Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ann and Abby

For years, these were my most favorite New Year's column and I would read them to my kids on each New Year's day. What traditions do you have in your family around the New Year?

Ann Landers New Year’s Resolutions
Let this coming year be better than all the others.  Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time.

Call up a forgotten friend.  Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories.  Share a funny story with someone whose sprits are dragging.  A good laugh can be very good medicine.

Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep.  Pay a debt.  Give a soft answer.  Free yourself of envy and malice.  Encourage some youth to do this or her best.  Share your experience, and offer support. Young people need role models.

Make a genuine effort to stay in closer touch with family and good friends. 

Resolve to stop magnifying small problems and shooting from the lip.  Words that you have to eat can be hard to digest.

Find the time to be kind and thoughtful.  All of us have the same allotment:

24 hours a day. Give a compliment.  It might give someone a badly needed lift.

Thing things though.  Forgive an injustice. Listen more. Be kind.

Apologize when you realize you are wrong. An apology never diminishes a person.  It elevates him. Don't blow your own horn.  If you've done something praiseworthy, someone will notice eventually.
Try to understand a point of view that is different from your own.  Few things are 100 percent one way or another.  Examine the demands you make on others.

Lighten up. When you feel like blowing your top, ask yourself, "Will it matter in a week from today?".  Laugh the loudest when the joke is on you.

The sure way to have a friend is to be one. We are all connected by our humanity, and we need each other.  Avoid malcontents and pessimists. They drag you down and contribute nothing.

Don't discourage a beginner from trying something risky.  Nothing ventured means nothing gained.  Be optimistic.  The can-do spirit is the fuel that makes things go.

Read something uplifting.  Deep-six the trash.  You won't eat garbage - why put it in your head? Don't abandon your old-fashioned principles.  They never go out of style.  When courage is needed, ask yourself, "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Walk tall, and smile more.  You'll look 10 years younger. Don't be afraid to say, "I love you". Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

© Ann Landers

Dear Abby's
New Year's Resolutions

Just for today, I will live through this day only, and not set
far-reaching goals to try to overcome all my problems at once.
I know I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me
if I thought I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today, I will be happy. Abraham Lincoln
said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make
up their minds to be". He was right. I will not
dwell on thoughts that depress me. I will chase
them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts.

Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is.
I will face reality. I will correct those things
that I can correct and accept those I cannot.
Just for today, I will improve my mind. I will not
be a mental loafer. I will force myself to read
something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

Just for today, I will do something positive to
improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll make
an honest effort to quit. If I'm overweight,
I'll eat nothing I know to be fattening and
I'll force myself to exercise ~ even if it's
only walking around the block or using the
stairs instead of the elevator.

Just for today, I will make a conscious effort
to be agreeable. I will look as good as I can,
dress becomingly, speak softly, act courteously,
and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

Just for today, I'll try not to improve anybody
except myself. We know so much more about nutrition
and how much exercise and sensible living can extend
life and make it more enjoyable; so just for today,
I'll take good care of my body so I can celebrate
many more happy new years.

Just for today, I will have a program. I may not
follow it exactly, but I will have it, thereby
saving myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will gather the courage to do what
is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.

© Abby

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