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North Hills

New Year's resolution: In one year, out the other

Dave McElhinny
| Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

I can't believe that it's been an entire year since I didn't become that better person I vowed to be.

All too often, a New Year's resolution ends up being a “to do” list for the first two weeks of January, and nothing more.

Well, I say no more. It's time to affect some real change in my life and I invite you along for the ride.

So I sat down and penned out these three, carefully thought about New Year's resolutions that I believe everybody can benefit from.

It won't be easy, but making change never is. I'm getting a bit personal here by sharing some of my innermost musings, but I want to help you reach your goals, so I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone by sharing these private thoughts with you.

• Resolution No. 1: Be more spontaneous

I feel like I'm too predictable and I plan to shake things up more in 2018. I'm going to make sure to plan out some time each week to do something spontaneous.

I think that devising a way to set aside some time for spur of the moment activity is something that everybody should put into their weekly calendar. If I get the chance in my busy schedule, I might even try to figure out a weekly algorithm to prepare to do something unexpected at a set time each week.

That should really get the blood pumping.

• Resolution No. 2: Stop second-guessing myself

I was back and forth on this one, not sure whether to include it or not. On one hand, second-guessing yourself can be thought of as a way to think things through and get to the best possible conclusion.

However, the flip side of the coin is that second-guessing can cause you a lot of wasted time and angst as you agonize over each and every decision you make.

Ultimately, I decided to include it in my three resolutions. I just hope I did the right thing.

• Resolution No. 3: Stay on task

I plan to stay more focused this year, not allowing outside distractions to derail me.

For instance, if I'm working at my office and that same chipmunk comes to my window, I won't stop what I'm doing to watch him, pondering about his life as he clearly mocks me. After all, he's just a stupid chipmunk, what's he know? It's not like he can talk, like in the movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” which was actually funnier than I thought it would be. That movie was released in 2007 and starred Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl.”

I haven't seen him in many movies lately. I wonder why that is.

I could really go for some soup right about now.

I hope that by sharing some of my inadequacies with you and my plans to improve upon them, that in some small way, it might help you reach your goals. Also, anybody who would like to share their top New Year's resolution with me, I plan to run a list of the top five that are submitted. Together, if we stay focused and work hard, I know we can all reach our goals and make 2018 great.

Happy New Year!

Dave McElhinny is the North Bureau Chief for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at or via Twitter @DaveMcTrib.

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