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Officer Norway’s Corner – Consider setting goals for the new year

By SRO Kjell Michelsen

So here we are a week into a new year, indeed a new decade. Already many might have second thoughts about their new year resolutions; some did not even bother, based on prior years’ experience with the same.

I am not making any resolutions. After all, a resolution is a firm decision, at least on paper, to either do or not to do something. Then there’s a hick-up, be it with not working out, eating right, stop smoking, drinking, and more. Many people, when they break their resolution the first time and rest assured for most, there will be a first, they give up.

A better approach is actually to set a goal. A goal is about your personal ambitions and efforts. It’s not written in stone but is instead a longer-term effort of bettering yourselves, and it does not matter what the task at hand is. As we all know too well, as individuals, as human beings, we are all flawed in one way or another, so when we set a goal, it should be long term. It should be with the understanding that there will be small or more significant setbacks.

It’s worth remembering that those setbacks do not define you. No matter what one tries to overcome, what might have taken years, even decades, won’t be gone in a week, a month, even a year or more. Or, as the saying goes: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Many struggle with ditching smoking or using any other tobacco products. I grew up in a fishing village were smoking, especially back in the 70s and 80s, was common practice for most people. Even at our local middle school, we had a corner where students could gather during recess to smoke; luckily I never picked up the habit.

Today, with all the knowledge and negative consequences we have of using tobacco products, we still have young people starting in middle school who are smoking. A big issue is a relatively new trend of vaping. This is an issue we deal with virtually every day in the school system. It’s a goal I and many others have to reduce the occurrence of in the years to come.

As individuals and even as a community, we all face small and more significant challenges. From personal ones, like living healthier, saving money, raising children, having to deal with the loss of a loved one, sickness, and just the general political divide in our country.

We turn to many sources to deal with these issues. Faith is a big one; close family and dear friends, often in combination with the first, is another one. It’s good to reach out for support and advice, many people are drawing tremendous strength from just that.

So no matter what our personal or collective challenges and goals are for the new year, they start with that first step, that first reaching out, that first prayer. Life is not perfect, there will be bad days mixed in with the good ones, just let it be more of the good days than the bad ones.

Until next time, have fun, be safe, and try to stay true to yourself and the goals you are making.