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PROMISES, PROMISES

Every year we make them; every year we break them. If you're out of ideas, the X-Team has some resolutions for you to try.

It's that time of year when everyone is thinking about what they would like to improve about themselves in 2005. And that includes the X-Team. Need more patience? Better time management? How does your room look? The X-Team offers up these ideas for changes, and challenges you to come up with some yourself.

Clean your room. Clean your room. Clean your room.

It's my mother's mantra _ apparently, she knows those words are not on my radar.

I don't think my room is that bad. Why is it such a big deal that I leave my stuff around _ it is my room, right? My mom likes to joke that when (if) I finally clean it, we may find Jimmy Hoffa buried there _ but I didn't know who he was, so the point didn't really get made. Hey, I'm 12! Now, if she said I'd find Chad Michael Murray under my stuff, that just might increase the chances of me wanting to clean up! But I know I have to try, if only so my parents won't threaten to kill me. So, my resolution: to keep my room cleaner. Or at least to hide the evidence better!

_ Sarah Collins, 12, sixth grade, Palm Harbor Middle

I am a very impatient person, especially when driving. So this year, my New Year's resolution is to learn to be patient. I'll stop making impatient sounds and gestures and rolling my eyes, will control my fidgeting, and no more hollering at other drivers when in reality, the people in my car are the only ones who can hear me!

_ Taylor Pashley, 18, 12th grade, homeschooled, Dade City

My New Year's resolution is to spend more time with my family, especially my parents. This past year has been so busy and has gone by so fast that we have not really had the chance to see one another. So hopefully this year will be different especially since I will be going off to college soon.

_ Anna Costello, 17, 12th grade, St. Petersburg High

I've never really understood why people make New Year's resolutions. They seem to make them and break them within a short period of time, year after year. This year, I'm going to make my first New Year's resolution, which I am going to work hard to achieve.

I am resolving to improve my time management skills by prioritizing and focusing on what is truly important to me.

_ Andrew DeLong, 17, 11th grade, East Lake High

I've never really stuck the whole year out with the same New Year's resolution, but for some reason I think 2005 will be different. I resolve to stay more focused on my future and make sure that I take advantage of opportunities that could possibly help me in the future. Also, I want to stop taking for granted all the things I have, I mean all the things, such as waking up every morning, clean air to breathe and a positive environment that helps me to keep a positive attitude.

_ Traci Bexley, 17, 12th grade, King High, Tampa

My New Year's resolution is to not get as stressed out about the small things. I want to focus more on the things in life that really matter and have a bearing on my future.

_ Lauren Adams, 17, 11th grade, Seminole High

I usually shy away from ever making big New Year's resolutions because often I try and try but bad habits kick in and I am back to the Jane I have always been, and thus frustration stems! But for the sake of the X-Team, instead of wishing for more hours in the day, I should look to manage my time in a souped-up way.

_ Jane McInnis, 16, 11th grade, River Ridge High, New Port Richey

My New Year's resolution has been the same for four years: no soda. I have stayed loyal each year unless I'm in a situation where soda is the only option and I'm thirsty.

_ Sarah Wilkerson, 16, 10th grade, Palm Harbor University High IB

The coming of a new year is a time to look back and reflect on the past year. The new year brings with it a tradition of new beginnings and new hopes. Every year, I try to make a New Year's resolution, but I usually end up forgetting my resolution after the first month. However, this year I hope to keep it. I hope to curb my procrastination skills and manage my time better. Somehow, I always manage to put off doing work until the last minute. I think calendars should come with a warning label: "Days in calendar are closer then they appear."

_ Rohini Komarla, 16, 11th grade, King High, Tampa

My New Year's resolution for 2005 is to work on my procrastination. I think that some people may say it's normal for a teenager to procrastinate, but I think that it is something that every teenager can overcome.

With exam studying, I haven't procrastinated and I have studied really hard and worked my hardest at mastering the material. Sometimes, when it comes to long-term school projects I have some trouble. I figure that to work on this, the minute I get a project or long-term assignment, I should write the due date down on a calendar and then plan out each section of the project and plan it over a couple of days. I think that this will help me finish the project in a timely manner and not be working like crazy the day before it is due.

Procrastination is something that every teenager can work on. I know it gets hard sometimes with extracurricular activities and family, but I think that if you plan out what you are doing for the long-term assignment, then it won't get hard during those times when other stuff seems to be interfering.

_ Austin Arias, 16, 10th grade, St. Petersburg Catholic High

This year my New Year's resolution is to start keeping a calendar or planner with everything I need to do on it. I always find myself commiting to something and then forgetting that I have to do it.

_ Alice Feigel, 16, 10th grade, Countryside High, Clearwater

My New Year's resolution is to be a more obedient daughter, a kinder sister, a more generous friend and a more diligent student. If I achieve any one of those, I feel I will have accomplished a lot in this new year.

_ Krista Pontzer, 12, seventh grade, St. Paul's School, Clearwater

My New Year's resolution is to definitely be more patient. As a leader in my band program, I find myself in situations where more patience would be a virtue. I know it will take time and concentration, but I know it can be accomplished.

_ Sarah Tareco, 16, 11th, Central High, Brooksville

I am not usually a person to make resolutions. Most deal with losing weight, eating healthier or breaking bad habits and I really have none of those to worry about. But now that my senior year of high school is half over, I've realized how easy it is to look ahead to my first year of college and the impact it has on my parents.

It seems that every time I make comments to my mother concerning my leaving home in the near future, she gets upset and quickly quiets me. The situation was only made worse this Christmas when my sister came home to visit from UCLA _ I had an even clearer vision of college and my mother imagining her life with both of us away from home. I can see how hard these visions are on Mom. So I have resolved to have two parts of a New Year's resolution that are equally important.

The first, the most obvious, is to simply not parade around my house in front of my mom pining away for next year; I think that alone would work wonders. The second is to be more helpful and create less friction. I would help around the house, not trying to get on my parents' good side to get my way, but easing the tensions created during the holiday season.

_ Travis Radke, 17, 12th grade, Plant High, Tampa

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