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  • Belinda Lane

Discussion: Achievable New Year’s Resolutions

J. Anthony Spencer

December 30, 2022

This is the last Friday of the Year and though things have changed since I was young, one of the things that still linger are New Year’s Resolutions. For many of us we resolve to lose weight, to pay off bills or work towards a new home. All of these are good and achievable. But here are a few that I feel are definitely achievable, and I think that if you incorporate a few, this time next year, you feel that you have accomplished something.

Resolve to be better to yourself. Let’s look at one that is on many of our lists (including myself) Losing weight. Why not look at it as getting healthier? This can start with merely walking. Walking lowers systolic blood pressure. It is calculated that after 1 to 3 months of regular walking, it has an impact on blood pressure. It also raises your “good” cholesterol and lowers the bad. Eating better is a guide to losing weight, and it’s definitely a way to improve on how you feel daily. Smaller portions are one factor that can help you reach your goals. Research how eating better leads to a better you. It may surprise you at what you find.

Resolve to be better to your fellow man. So, yes you go to church. And yes, you care and pray for your fellow man. But do you put it into action? When you come up to the corner and a person is holding a sign for help, what do you do? Sometimes it’s not all about money. When your favorite fast-food restaurant has a “Buy one, get one Free,” why not give your second sandwich to the homeless person on that corner? Toss a couple extra bottles of water in the car. Give one out as you drive. If you have read my posts, you may have heard me mention Love the Hopeful. Between April and December, we do a free farmers’ market for the Homeless/Hopeful community. We had extra socks donated by Bomba at the end of our season. So now when we come to that corner, we give out pairs of socks. The Eastern States have been going through a cold snap with extremely low temperatures. Small items like this are a big help.

Resolve to reconnect. How many of us have family members or friends we have not talked to in years, over things we may have forgot? A lot of our writings at Friday at Sundown are about forgiveness. Some things in our lives seem life shattering, but we are still here. But there are things that have separated us that may not have been as severe. Is it worth it to hold a grudge? How many people have left this earth and we didn’t get the chance to tell them how we felt? How many years and memories have we wasted? Was there no room for conversation, where a misunderstanding could be rectified? Michael Jackson said, “If you wanna make the world a better place. Look at yourself and then make a change.” Be the catalyst for restoration.

Resolve to find a church home if you don’t have one. If you are a reader of Friday at Sundown, I would image you have some degree of belief. Our belief does not always translate to attending a church. Before I continue, let me clarify that “The Church” is not the building, it is the people. I know as a certainty that there are many people with “church hurt”. And as a result, they may not have lost their belief, but clearly lost a belief in the people that attend a certain church. I speak as one of those people. But I am now in a church of caring, loving people. Many are there because of one church hurt or another. But just as it is better to work out with a partner, it is better to worship with like-minded people. It may take some visits and observation, but there is a church and a church home for you. You don’t have to make your faith walk alone. Let the Lord lead you.

Resolve to be an example. We are fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles. Sometimes we are teachers, coaches or just a voice in the ear of a young person or someone in need. A few years ago, my boss at the time, Thomas Cassella, presented me an award before guests and recipients of Horseshoe Baltimore. He said one of the things that led to my nomination was that I mentored to the young officers that were in our department. It wasn’t something that I meant to do. My thought was they could benefit from my experiences, both positive and negative to make better decisions. One of our young minsters and an occasional writer for “Fridays” (Mesean Noble) is big on mentoring. “Iron Sharpens Iron” is one of his favorite sayings.

Another thing we are missing at this point in time is positive role models. I am not talking about the Jay Z’s of the world. I am talking about you and I. You don’t have to set out to be a role model, just be that listening ear. Be the one that is open to having conversations and dialogs that can help a young man or woman navigate through this confusing world. I was personally blessed to have men outside of my biological father that took an interest in me and made me who I am today. This is in no way a slight on my father, but as they say, “It takes a Village”.

Resolve to be a better significant other. It doesn’t matter if you are a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband. As a mate or spouse you must realize that the person you are with depends on you. To be a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, a confidant or just a friend. We all need people in our lives that we trust and depend on. The people we love have their own share of issues or problems outside of the relationship. And depending on the negative and positive aspects of it, they want to share, celebrate, vent or just talk about it.

Listen. Interject when you think it’s a good time, but don’t judge or belittle. You don’t have to “blow smoke” or lie. Most people would rather have truths, even harsh ones other than words to placate. If during these conversations mistakes have been made, help correct them. If you are in a relationship, you are a part of the whole. Both should be happy if one is happy. If one is in pain, it can affect how the relationship operates. Again, it starts with the Man in the Mirror.

We can set goals that affect the outer you and believe me, that is fine. But in working on a better inner you, you will see changes in the outer you. Be intentional in what you do. Breathe.

Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!

Maya Angelou


"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."


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