President, CEO & Publisher – Joseph M. Valenzano, Jr – 2015 will soon be upon us. Many people use the New Year to make firm “Resolutions” like, “This is the year I will lose 25 pounds” or, “I will finally master my golf game.” The thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that so many other things tend to get in the way and we, regrettably, forget about them. And, to be fair, sometimes the resolutions we make…and we have all done this….are so far out of reach that they become unrealistic and unachievable. But here are some suggested resolutions that may be worth striving to achieve this time around:
In 2015 I will:
1. Make myself a priority this year. I will take care of myself. I will learn to say “no” to others when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. I will say “yes” to my needs and wants. This year I will learn it’s ok to occasionally put myself first and take care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. I realize that if I take care of myself, I will be there for others.
2. Be grateful for what I have. I will take the time to pause and think about all I have. This isn’t about my material objects. This is about the abundance of love, warmth, comfort, care and empathy I receive on a daily basis from those that matter to me. This year I will make room in my life to express sincere gratitude for all I have in my life….. the things that truly matter….like the love my wife gives me on a daily basis; the smiles of my grandchildren, knowing my five sons have grown to be good, strong men, caring fathers and loving husbands; the love I share with my brother; friendships I have had for a lifetime; the country I love and the closeness I feel to my God.
3. Pay it forward constantly. I will give more of myself every day. I will strive to inspire, help, and empower others on a daily basis, especially those who cannot care for themselves.
4. Step out of my comfort zone. I will take prudent risks, add variety and become more creative. You only go around once in life so you’d best take advantage of this moment.
5. Be a good role model. This will make me a better parent, mentor, friend and educator. I will teach others not just with words, but by my actions.
6. Think before I speak and act. I will make a conscious effort to be more positive and respectful of others and myself. I will be more sensitive to words and actions that might offend or cause someone harm.
7. Set a plan for myself. Not only will I set short and long-term goals but I will also develop action plans on how to get there. In business, on the athletic field or battlefield, all roads are impossible without a plan, including the road that leads to bankruptcy, loss and failure. I prefer to know where I am headed at all times, so planning for me is a necessary step.
8. Live in the present. I will let the past be in the past because the past doesn’t equal the future. I will stop worrying about the future. I will not waste my energy being stressed about something that hasn’t happened yet.
9. Spend less time trying to control others and being perfect. Neither one is possible and even though I have known this for many years, I never really listened. This year I vow to let go of my controlling issues and perfectionist traits and learn to enjoy life in its messy existence. I will learn to accept and enjoy the unorganized, the messy, and the not so well planned life. I will realize at the end of each day – everything will work itself out and, if it doesn’t, I will deal with it then.
10. Say “thank you” to everyone I love. Not just on Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays and holidays, but every time it is warranted. I will say “sorry” and mean it, and “thanks” when it’s deserved and “I love you”……often… because love is the most powerful human force and the greatest gift anyone can receive. And I am so blessed to have had my share of it!
11. Stay within myself. I will not try to be or act like someone I am not. I will not allow the pursuit of material things to define me or my life, nor will I compare myself to celebrities, or wish I were someone else. This year I will find a quiet place for myself to think, reflect and above all, pray. I will strive each and every day to become a better person than I was the day before.
12. Enjoy life. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our unrealistic expectations that we forget to just enjoy the life that is here right now – our present life, present situations, environments and family. We forget to be clear and aware of our surroundings. The love, warmth, and caring…the friendships and affection. I will remember to appreciate and enjoy those simple things.
Happy New Year Everyone!