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Michelle Turnberg, Published December 30 2011

Turnberg: Envisioning some positive steps for 2012

The New Year. It’s a chance to start fresh, start over or just start.

What is it about the New Year that gets us so excited about change? Every morning of the year allows us a chance to resolve to do something different. We could make a declaration to do something special on any one of those mornings, but there is something about the fresh beginning of a new year that inspires us to do better.

What are your resolutions for 2012?

The most common ones I’ve heard in recent days include getting healthy, losing weight, organizing and spending more time face to face and less time on Facebook. And, of course, I’ve heard from those who are proudly determined to avoid making any resolutions at all.

I make resolutions every year. Some years I honor them better than others, but to me the New Year is a lot like a brand new slate. No markings, no flaws – just the possibility of making something great.

In 2012:

<•> I want to run a faster half marathon and marathon.

I started running seriously again after my divorce in 2008. Running gave me something positive on which to focus. Once I started entering races, I had an ever-changing set of goals to shoot for. Running provided me with a challenging routine that was healthy. This spring I will run my ninth marathon, but I resolve this one will be my fastest yet.

I want to read more. I say this every year, but I sincerely want to read more – more newspapers, meaningful websites and books.

I have found the most well-spoken and interesting people I have met in my life have been ardent readers. I want to be someone who brings something of substance to the table.

<•> I want to be a better mom.

Who doesn’t, right? But saying it is one thing, while making genuine improvement is another.

There are so many things I can work on, such as being more patient, becoming a better listener and learning to be a better cook. The amount of love I have for my kids cannot be increased, but dinner options could improve significantly.

<•> I want to spread some love.

If I can do one thing with the privilege that comes with writing this column, I want to spread some love. I want to attempt to lift people up and put something positive out in the world.

When I started writing I was blown away at how negative and hateful people could be. A column about bullying prompted someone to write about how I’m the bully. When I wrote about spreading Christmas cheer, someone actually said that I must hate anyone who isn’t Christian.

I think (and hope) there are plenty of us out there who thrive on hearing something positive. I’ve stated this previously: Never let the haters get you down. Have the temerity to do what you know is right, and keep going when others want you to fail.

Thank you for all of your support in 2011, and if you’re among the despondent, pessimistic or hateful, make a resolution to be happy. Life is too fleeting to be anything less, and as we turn the page on another year, it is most certainly getting shorter.

Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column for SheSays. She can be reached at michelleturnberg@gmail.com.