Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

WELCOME from the editor

There was an interesting photo in the paper the other day from the Cheongryong Self-Denial Training Camp on an island in South Korea. It showed boys sitting outdoors, rubbing snow onto their naked torsos, wearing the kind of anguished facial expressions one might expect under the circumstances.

The adults, who presumably did not need to "mentally and physically strengthen themselves,'' as the boys were said to be doing, stood in the background, warmly clothed.

This naturally got me thinking about New Year's resolutions. The annual ritual can be sort of a self-denial training camp, snow or no snow, made all the more excruciating when you are surrounded by others who aren't joining you.

I used to be a great one for resolutions. Back in middle school, when I was about the same age as the boys in that photo, I'd make these long lists, veritable road maps of physical and mental self-improvement.

None of my lists involved getting shirtless in the snow, but I think I covered most other bases, from getting to the bus stop on time and keeping my room clean, to starting my homework earlier and taking up tennis.

Not one of these brave resolutions stuck. To this day, I am frequently late, my closet is a mess, I thrive on deadline and I have no interest in tennis. I'm still working on the lateness thing. As for the rest, well, I'll live with it.

Still, I haven't given up on resolutions. There's something hopeful and encouraging and just flat-out wonderful about believing we have the power to make our lives better.

Today in Personal Best, we're serving up a New Year's Day resolution buffet, specific goals you might wish to consider, as well as strategies to help you realize them.

The idea is not to turn all these ideas into a laundry list you'll soon abandon with the dryer lint. Rather, I hope the resolvers among us will take the time to pick just one thing that's truly meaningful, and then make a specific, careful plan to achieve that goal.

So, instead of just resolving to exercise, you might take a cue from our cover story and find an exciting event to aim toward, and a club or gym where you'll find help to achieve your goal. If quitting smoking is your project, enlist a coach to help you (see Page 3 to find one for free online or over the phone). Losing weight is a perennial resolution, but it's also a toothless one if you don't have a solid plan to help you make that vague dream a specific reality (see Page 7 for details). Slowing down seems like a no-brainer, but plenty of us need tips, and you'll find some good ones on Page 6. Want to be a better parent? We've got 10 specific ways to help you get there (Page 12).

Finally, there's nothing magical about Jan. 1. Take your time and plot your strategy — we resolvers want positive, smart change, not frosty self-denial.

WELCOME from the editor 12/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 31, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Estimated 5,000 people marvel at MOSI over solar eclipse

    Human Interest

    Packing pinhole cereal box viewers, cardboard glasses and curiosity, solar gawkers gathered outside Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry on Monday for a show that required no ticket.

    At center, Sophia Butter, 8, and Kristina Butera, both of Valrico, watch the sun through eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party Monday at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. MOSI will reopen after renovations on November 18. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  2. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh


    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  3. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide


    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated for a knee injury when his unmarked police truck collided with a patrol SUV while the officers were tracking a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  4. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed


    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.