One year ends, another begins. We humans traditionally review what we did (the good, bad and indifferent) and look to what we want and need to do in the next 12 months – our New Year’s Resolutions.

The change of the calendar (whenever that happens culturally) is a time to reflect and plan. The Romans dedicated the day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. The month of January was named after Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking back at the same time.

“Janus symbolizes change and transition,” one scholar notes, “such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another.”

A resolution is a statement of a goal – and a commitment to achieve that goal. We tend to focus on self-improvement: lose weight, eat healthier, make more money. Our top resolutions remain pretty similar year to year and almost always include these general areas. Health: get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, reduce stress. Money: reduce debt, save more, get a better job. Personal: get organized, read more, spend more time with family. Service: volunteer to help others.

Where do yours fall in these categories? Will you keep your resolutions? Vague goals lead to a high percentage of failure. Some basic advice…

Don’t make too many promises to yourself and make the ones you do achievable and specific. Contrast “I resolve to lose weight and exercise more” with “I resolve to lose 20 pounds in 2012, and I will exercise three days each week.”

Express and track the commitment. Whether by writing or sharing with friends or family or tracking in a journal, the physical act of commitment has been shown to greatly improve success. And once expressed, tracking progress can give continual information and motivation.

Revisit frequently and persevere.

Celebrate success!

As a person who wears many hats, I can form lots of resolutions. My own top resolutions for 2012 follow. And yes, some of them are a bit large or vague, but my next step is to break them down into a handful of specifics. Here’s to New Beginnings!

As Executive Director of The New Community Coalition:

• Create consulting arm to diversify funding sources for greater financially sustainability and have more fun at work and with the community.

As part of SWIRL, the Southwest Institute for Resilience:

•Continue to fund and grow the regional community garden and farmers’ markets network, enhance the Tomten Community Farm and strengthen our ties with folks interested in the concept of resilience


• Walk the Talk even more, with an emphasis on the walking and other forms of movement! Work towards personal fitness and stress reduction. Find lots of ways to share knowledge and gather new information and ideas from my tribe and my community.

Upcoming events:

• January 2, 2012 – KOTO radio show – “Local Solutions.” My guest will be Daniel Aragon of the Southwest Institute for Resilience. I’ll be asking 5 questions and requesting 5 songs from Daniel that have some bearing on both his personal and the organization’s philosophy. Music, community, news and conversation, a chance to share what’s great about our community.

• If all goes well, February’s Green Business Roundtable will be really fun. We’re planning on having Michael Brownlee from Transition Colorado AND Woody Tasch from the Slow Money Alliance to kick off our first 2012 GBR. Find out how communities are creating a new way of creating the future they want – and a new way of looking at money and investing – “as if food, farms and fertility matter.”

Stay tuned….

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