Washington, DC - How did 2017 go for you? Was it a good year or a not so good year? Regardless of what happened you can't change 2017. The year is behind us and 2018 is ahead of us.
What can you do to make 2018 a great year?
Make a list of what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. Don't make it so long that it's overwhelming. Most people's list can go on and on and then it becomes a daunting
Here are some ideas for you.
Focus on your health. You can do almost anything if you have your health. Go to your doctor for a physical. Have blood work done. Find our what your numbers are then adjust accordingly. If your cholesterol is high or your sugar level is high you will need to exercise a little more and eat a better diet with more fruit and vegetables and less red meat. Eating less sugar will probably be a good thing for you in 2018 as most Americans eat too much sugar. I had my blood work done about four days after Thanksgiving. Everything came back good except my sugar level was 106, which is a little high. It needs to in the nineties. However, I ate at least four pieces of pie over the Thanksgiving holiday. When you go to have your blood work done don't go right after a blowout-eating holiday.
Remember if you have your health you feel like doing something. You can work hard, sell pencils, work retail, work your garden, mow your grass and enjoy life. A lot of sick people have money but they can't enjoy their money because they threw away their health. Things still happen. Our bodies are flesh and blood and you can lose your health even being a fitness nut. However, your chances are better if you at least try. Keep walking, keep moving your body, be active.
My father was actually very unhealthy in his eating habits. He was overweight and ate any and everything. He wasn't big on desserts but was big on anything fried, red meat and lots of squirrels and rabbits. He was a hunter. He made it to 85 and one of the reasons I believe he did was become he kept moving. He was out in the hills about three days before he died and shot a rabbit from his truck to eat for dinner.
Find ways to keep moving and things to keep your interest. Winter months are tougher for most Americans so be creative in your efforts to keep body and mind active.
Make and Save Money. You can't take money with you but you can enjoy it here and then leave some for your family. America's economy is coming back. There are more jobs now than we have seen in awhile. Some corporations who moved their work to other countries will bring some of their jobs back to America. Any jobs they bring back will be more than we have had the last sixteen or so years. There is work to be done in America. You might have to drive or move to another town but there is money to be made if you are willing to work. Even if you have to work two jobs you can earn a paycheck in America. Every time you get a paycheck put some money aside in your bank. Eventually buy some stock in a mutual fund or preferably an index fund. Unless you have a crisis in your life leave your saved money alone and keep adding to it. Eventually you will have enough for hard times and good times. Even if you can only save $20 a paycheck this is better than nothing and even a small amount will add up.
Pursue one or two interests in 2018. Fourteen months ago I started taking violin or I should say fiddle lessons. I enjoy it. It's something to do. I write these columns. It's something to do. I like to travel. It's something to do. I hope to write a book in 2018. It's something to do. I try to do only what I enjoy but that's not easy because not everything is enjoyable. There are some parts of life that are tedious, trying and just a pain. This is why you need to pursue a personal interest or two. Do something you want to do.
Of course there is always more. You have a closet or a garage you need to clean out. You have chores and more chores to get done and most everybody does.
Find time for God in 2018. Most Americans believe in God but spend very little time in spiritual pursuits. When all your friends have walked away and even your family and other loved ones are no longer there for you there is a friend who sticks closer than all others.
There is only one person who can make 2018 a great year for you. Go look in the mirror and look this person over.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is President of Newburgh Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana and his syndicated column is read in all 50 states.