Do you start out each new year with lots of plans to improve your life but, after a few weeks, lose your enthusiasm? If so, here are ideas to help you keep the best of your New Year’s resolutions:
Make realistic resolutions. Don’t try too much too quickly. For example, if you are presently not reading your scriptures at all but your resolution is to read half an hour every day, you may be setting yourself up for failure. It may be more realistic to resolve just to read something, even if it is just a few verses, every day. After that becomes habit, then you can work on increasing your goal.
Set a series of smaller goals. Divide your big goal into smaller sections. Say, for instance, you want to save money. Instead of leaving your goal so vague, plan a reasonable amount to work toward in the first month, then a larger amount to have saved at the first quarter of the year. These smaller goals will keep you encouraged as you make progress.
Make reminders. After you decide the things you would like to work on, make several reminders for yourself. The old standard of posting a sign on your mirror might work. But if you ignore your signs, try something different. Sometimes simple things can work. Take the resolution to read your scriptures every day, for example. When you get out of bed in the morning, place your scriptures on your pillow. It will be difficult to say you forgot when you have to move them before going to bed.
Be kind to yourself. If you find you’ve made resolutions that are making you miserable, be willing to change them. After all, they are your resolutions. Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew. Instead of giving up as a failure, modify your goals so that they will be a true help and result in improvement.
Cathy Williams of the John Day Ward, Redmond Oregon Stake, is just 13 years old, yet she is filling her calling as the ward organist. She was also asked to play a special musical number at stake conference and played at the Young Women regional conference.
Cathy has won many local talent contests and enjoys acting in school plays as well. She also serves as the Beehive class president.
April Michelle Sessions has a lot of interests, and her various talents have led her into some unusual opportunities.
April is interested in languages. She was a delegate to the governor’s academy for Russian language studies and culture. She also student teaches French to sixth graders twice a week.
April has had the lead in several school and community theater productions. She also performs as a cellist in the college community orchestra. She has received numerous awards, including being named Student of the Month. In addition to school, April works part-time as a dental assistant.
As a member of the Fredericksburg Second Ward, Fredericksburg Virginia Stake, April serves as the director of the Young Women choir and has attended early-morning seminary for four years.
A Special Solo
Nancy Treu of Farmington, Utah, has had one of her wishes come true. She was selected to sing a solo with the Tabernacle Choir during their weekly radio broadcast.
As a member of the Salt Lake Children’s Choir, she was chosen to compete as a soloist in the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival in Canada. After competing with soloists from four continents, Nancy took first place. “I was so frightened the night before the competition, I cried. But when I started to sing, I had a very calm feeling and I was not even scared. I know my Heavenly Father answered my prayers.”
When the children’s chorus returned to Utah, Nancy was asked to solo with the Tabernacle Choir.
Nancy is a Mia Maid in the Farmington Utah 15th Ward.
Park Clean Up
The youth of the Las Cruces New Mexico Stake hit the city parks en masse, but the purpose was work rather than recreation. Under the direction of their youth leaders, 80 young people accepted the challenge to help the city pick up trash and paint tables and rest rooms in the parks.
One lucky group climbed in the muck of a drained pond to clear moss from the edges. Braving dead fish, broken glass, and boot-grabbing mud, the young men and women slogged through the slime, swinging pitchforks. It was a dirty job, and this group did it without a complaint.
Employees of the city parks department were grateful for the participants’ efforts and praised their good work.
On the Ball
Janel Green was an outstanding member of her school’s state championship basketball team. She is also a star on the volleyball team which took the state championship.
Janel is a Laurel in the Cambridge Ward, Weiser Idaho Stake.
Eight Varsity Scouts from the Greeley Colorado Stake served as volunteers for two days at the Colorado Special Olympics Winter Games. The group cheerfully performed the many tasks assigned to them by the Olympic Committee. They helped decorate the “Olympic Town” and manned booths for competitions. Several of their group were also assigned as escorts to athletes on the ski slopes. They were to stay with their athlete during practice runs and during races.
They returned home tired but with a new appreciation and understanding of the special people they had been privileged to serve.
Get a Kick
David Vincent of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, gets a kick out of life. In fact, he has earned dozens of trophies for his abilities in the martial arts.
Having started just three years ago at age 15, David quickly progressed until he won national recognition when he took second in his class in the Junior Olympic trials.
David is dedicated to his training, but he starts every morning at seminary before going to high school. He is a priest in the Baton Rouge Second Ward.
On the Team
Chris McKinney, 14, of the Martin Kentucky Branch, has distinguished herself in academics as well as church and school activities. She has been on the honor roll and is a member of the academic team of her school. She is also captain of the A-team cheering squad.
Chris serves as president of the Young Women class in her branch. Her older brother is serving a mission in Sweden, and Chris hopes to be able to serve a mission as well someday.
Bonnie Elizabeth Powers of the Eufaula Ward, Dothan Alabama Stake, has received recognition in her middle school. She is an A student and was tapped for the National Junior Honor Society. She plays the flute in both the seventh- and eighth-grade bands. She was also named Miss AMMS (Admiral Moore Middle School).
Bonnie has served as first counselor in the Beehive presidency in her ward.
Kevin Scott Oler was honored at the Edmonton Public School awards night for achieving the highest senior class grades for the city. Kevin also completed a full seminary program and participated in two school bands. He served as ward organist for two years.
Upon graduation, Kevin, now an elder, registered for Institute at the University of Alberta, where he is enrolled in his first year of engineering. He is taking the missionary preparation class and preparing for his mission call.
The Young Men and Young Women of the Nashua Second Ward, Nashua New Hampshire Stake, chose an unusual way of showing their school teachers how they feel about them. The youth held a Teacher Appreciation Night.
After planning the event in their Bishopric Youth Committee meeting, the youth delivered printed invitations to the teacher or teachers of their choice. On the appointed evening, 48 guests arrived at the ward house to find the cultural hall set up with round tables and decorated with miniature hot air balloons and baskets. The youth served a complete sit-down dinner from salad to dessert. The bishop addressed the group, thanking the teachers for their hard work and the good influence they were having on their students.
At the close of the evening, each teacher was given a certificate of appreciation. One teacher said, “No one has ever done anything like this for us before. It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Comments from the young people included, “I was nervous at first, but we had fun talking and eating. I felt special and so did my teacher.”
The BYC is ready to plan a repeat of the evening next year.
Far East Exchange
Brent Lee Williams of Snohomish, Washington, returned to China for a second time as an exchange student. In his junior year, Brent was selected to attend school in China on a five-week pilot cultural exchange program. He obtained permission to return once again during his senior year to complete his last semester of high school. He has studied Chinese for three years and has come to appreciate the Chinese people and their culture. He would someday like to teach the gospel in that area of the world.
Brent is a priest in the Everett Fourth Ward, Everett Washington Stake.
Erica Aldrich, a Beehive in the Tigard Second Ward, Lake Oswego Oregon Stake, is one-half of the champion in a duet in U.S. National Rhythmic Gymnastics. Erica and her partner, Pilar Reuter, have been practicing together for two years. They swept the finals competition, including the older duet teams.
Rhythmic gymnastics combines many elements of dance in addition to using pieces of manipulative equipment such as balls, hoops, ropes, or ribbons. The pair train together five days a week.
Even with daily practices, Erica still manages to earn straight A’s in school. She also serves as the Beehive class president in her ward.