Resolutions for 2016 on Things That Really Matter

‘To Do’ in 2016: New Year’s Resolutions

2016 calendar from the Nature Conservancy

This year’s calendar from the Nature Conservancy

Walk more. Even though the general consensus is that we should walk 10,000 steps per day, the folks at Live Science point out that doing anything beyond what you usually do is an improvement. So if 10k steps seems daunting, try for 5,000. Then work up to a higher goal. Pick up an inexpensive pedometer or spring for a Garmin or FitBit wrist band to keep track of your steps and motivate you to keep moving.

Read something hopeful. Try Bill McKibben’s great memoir, Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, the story of his experiences as a leader in the *successful* protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. Together, we CAN make a difference. Focus on success as much as on the work that remains.

Read it in paper. Research shows that sleep and concentration are negatively affected when we read on a digital, electronic device. Kindles and iPads have their place, but like Elvis, paper books will never die. Check out more medical benefits of paper.

Voting Rights demonstration in front of the Supreme Court

Demonstration in front of Supreme Court in 2013. Photo: David Sachs/SEIU

Support voting rights. This is the first big voting year since the Supreme Court removed key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Now it’s very, very important for all of us to speak out if we see someone who is blocked or discouraged from voting.  Get informed about the sneaky ways that voting rights of certain groups are abridged. Read more on this important topic from Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, writing in the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Live more sustainably. Use public transportation. Ride a bike or a scooter. Walk to work (See #1). Buy local foods and eat what’s in season. Don’t let the faucet run or leave the frig door open. Turn down the heat and put on a sweater (See Jimmy Carter, 1977, a president ahead of his time). Or be really ambitious and build an earthship.

And another thing — Don’t make your resolutions list too long or too complicated. A few things done consistently beat a huge list that just gathers dust.

3 thoughts on “Resolutions for 2016 on Things That Really Matter

  1. A list to live by, Bonnie. Me and mine have been trying to do our part. For instance, we love tinsel on our Christmas tree. Tinsel is the kind of thing that lives forever – it’s cheap, 99 cents per box, so most don’t mind just throwing it out when the tree comes down. We have taken a different approach. We save the tinsel and reuse it. We’ve reused the same tinsel for 5 Christmases now. It may be a small thing, but it’s still a thing to keep something out of the landfill that will outlive us. We will strive to do more this year to conserve.

  2. Bonnie, your resolution list is smart and uplifting, like you. I was just discussing insomnia issues with friends yesterday, and I was suspecting that even the dimmest light setting from my Kindle was not helping matters as I read before bed. So, of course I connected to the link you included about paper books, and voila….makes sense to me! So, off to the library I go. Thanks Bonnie. Keep on writing, love to you, and happy new year!

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