Ten New Year's resolutions

People seriously start making promises to themselves between Christmas and the New Year's Day. Most, if not all those resolutions will come to naught. Too many promise themselves the moon, the stars, and the sun.

People think they can accomplish the impossible or forget just how hard they have to work to keep those resolutions.

New Years Eve at Gibsons. (Peter V. Bella)

New Years Eve at Gibsons. (Peter V. Bella)

New Years resolutions should not be impossible dreams. They should be well thought out. The object of the game is to accomplish some of them, even just one. A majority fail.

For example, many people resolve to get in shape for the New Year. They join a health club. Eventually that expensive membership goes unused. Time is a factor in all our lives and time was not factored in when you bought the membership. You also did not take in your lazy disposition when making the resolution to get in shape.

Self improvement resolutions are easier to accomplish if you promise to improve things you already do or participate in. For example, you golf. You like to golf. You play often. Your game is mediocre. Resolve to take lessons or take lessons from a better pro. This is easy, as you already love and play rounds of golf.

Try to be better at the things you already do. Think your resolutions through and plan how to accomplish them. Resolving is not enough, you need an action plan.

For 2014, I decided to make things easy. Resolve to do things I really want to accomplish, have a passion for, need to do, and are easy to achieve.

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Photo: Peter V. Bella

1.) Volunteering- I decided to volunteer photographic services for a non-profit publication. I already made contact with the organization. During the first week of the year I will meet with them to discuss their needs and how I can fit in.

2.) Restructure my business model- I love to  shoot pictures. I love to earn money. Next year I will pursue more clients who can offer consistent work throughout the year.

3.) Saying no- Last year and this year I shot a lot of charity events in exchange for supposed cross promotion. Next year I will research charities and say no to any charity that does no cross promotion. I will also have a contract that specifies they promote me in exchange for services. If not, they will be liable for payment at normal rates. The free ride is over.

4.) Cooking- Cooking is another one of my passions. After the first of the year, a new blog, "The Cooking Cop" will be activated on ChicagoNow. Cooking is about sharing. I will be sharing recipes, techniques, methods, tips, humor, and other topics about cooking, eating, drinking, and dining.

5.) Acting my age- I finally realized I am not physically 25, 35, or 45, no matter what I think. I have limitations. A recent injury made me realize my limitations. I do not bounce back or recover from injuries, hangovers, and minor illnesses as fast as I used to. I will be more careful.

6.) Purging- Like many people, I have stuff, more stuff than I even know. If it is not related to my work or have not used or worn it in the past year, out it goes. Craigslist, yard sales, and donations to charity.

7.) Housekeeping- My home usually is in one of two states, neat, tidy, and clean or chaotic and messy. It depends on my schedule and state of laziness. I will schedule tidying up during set times during the week and stick to the schedule.

8.) Work smart- We constantly are reminded to work smarter not harder. This suggestion is given in our professional and personal lives. I will try to break tasks down into simple chunks to be accomplished. This will not cause panic or surrender when an objective seems overwhelming.

9.) Improve skills- I resolve to be a better photographer, writer, and to learn from and appreciate the work of others. This may require an investment of time and money for classes, seminars, or other training.

10.) Make time my friend- Time is not my enemy. It currently is not an ally. Mostly, time is an excuse. I will make time my friend and stop making excuses for not having enough. I will also try to curtail wasting or spending more time on recreation than productivity. Balance is what I seek.

Now, let's see how many I can accomplish.








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