Saturday, January 01, 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lay off the negativity and make those resolutions for 2011

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

It still baffles me that I actually don't mind waking up on New Year's Day without a hangover. Years ago, waking up feeling fine on New Year's Day was right up there with no chocolate on Valentine's Day or no gifts on Christmas morning.

But these days, I'm just as happy to wake up rested and alert, ready to take on the challenges that a new year brings, and excited about what will come in the next 12 months. I've always enjoyed it when a new year begins. It fills me with hope. Out with the old and in with the new, I say.

But it's also important to be grateful for what 2010 has brought us. We learn our best lessons when we go through hard times, so I'm even grateful for the terrible things that happened in my life this year. I know that sounds odd, but I am. I learned a lot and I hope that I showed some character - at least to myself - in dealing with some of the bad things that happened.

When bad things occur in your life, you have no choice but to learn from them and move forward - and make sure they don't happen again. It's all you can do. Say you're sorry. Mean it. Forgive the people who wronged you - especially if it's yourself. The only way to not make a mistake is to stay in bed every morning and do nothing.

Busy and productive people tend to make more mistakes than people who do nothing. That's just a fact of life. So, in 2011, I urge you to make a ton mistakes. The more you make, the better off the world will be because the law of averages will probably work it out so that the good things will far outnumber the bad. Only people who are trying - who are taking risks - who are dreaming - who refuse to accept the status quo just because we're used to it . . . only those people are making a difference in the world.

It drives me crazy to see people who are "movers and shakers" constantly brought down and criticized by those who do nothing. There is nothing so demotivating. In 2011, I hope that you look at the intent of why people do things before criticizing them. Are their hearts in the right place? Do they want to make a difference? If what they want to accomplish actually came to be, will it make the world a better place? If so, give them the benefit of the doubt before spewing negativity.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should just turn over and give up whenever you feel you've been wronged. Negativity has its place. But surely to goodness you don't live a life of pure unadulterated hell that requires it every minute of every day? Probably not.

Many people dislike making resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but I'm quite a fan of them. It's not because they all stick, of course. Actually, many of them don't - but the ones that do always make a positive difference in our lives. After all, no one ever makes negative resolutions, right? I doubt many of us have resolved to gain weight, use our credit cards too much or eat too much sugar.

I think we should make all the resolutions we can! Even though many of them may not stick, the good ones that we manage to accomplish will more than make up for those that were broken, so I say resolve away!

Here are a few of my resolutions for 2011 - and trust me, I've made most of these before. So what! I'm making them again.

1. Lose weight. I took a chunk off a few years ago but have remained pretty much stalled since then. I just know the French Riviera is waiting for me to strut shirtless down the beach. (Humour me, folks. It's the holiday season.)

2. Read at least one book per month. Now, please note that I said "read" and not "buy." I have enough unread business-type books in my house that if I actually got through them I could pretty much take over for Donald Trump by next Dec. 31.

3. Save more for retirement and significantly pay down debt. Now, it's time to sit back and wait for the telephone calls from the investment advisers who read this in the newspaper. At this point, my retirement is looking like a daily feast of canned cat food. As for debt, it's perfectly manageable right now but still plays on my mind. Debt means you owe.

4. Get my bathroom renovated. Let's just say that the paint is peeling and the decor looks like it was picked out by Mrs. Brady from The Brady Bunch. Speaking of home renovations, the water-stained carpet in my basement has got to go, too. And while I'm at it, the entire inside of the house needs to be painted.

5. Say "thank you" more often. Gratitude is a powerful tool in our lives that is not used enough. It tells people that we value them. It tells them that we care. It tells them that they made a valuable difference in our lives. Even being grateful for the bad things that happen can be powerful. Some of the worst things that have happened in our lives have led to some of the best things. Look back at some of the silver linings of negative things that have happened in the past year and be grateful for them.

Finally, dear readers, allow me to wish you all a very Happy New Year! As you're waiting for the clock to hit midnight on Friday evening, be thankful for everything that happened in 2010 - the good, the bad and the ugly. It's made you stronger.

And whatever your resolutions, make 2011 the best year ever. You deserve it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day!

Yes, there's actually a Boxing Day Christmas carol: Good King Wenceslas. (By the way, "Feast of Stephen" is December 26!)