When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, I do an excellent job of thinking about what I should do. But when it comes to executing the plan, that’s another story.
Some of these “action” resolutions have included exercising more, eating less, getting better organized, giving back, learning something new each day and not procrastinating. Of course, I have thought of many more over the years.
The beginning of a new year offers me a chance to become aware of those things I consider my shortcomings and, if I work at them, they could help change my attitude. The trick is to persevere.
Even though I haven’t mastered all my resolutions, I have had some successes in the past.
Instead of having insurmountable goals, experience has taught me to take baby steps. For example, instead of promising myself I would get organized, I chose one task related to that aim—cleaning out my purse.
I also wanted to learn something new every day. Cleaning my purse was more of a short-term goal while learning something new every day was challenging.
As it turned out, the two resolutions were connected.
The year I vowed to make those two resolutions stick was also the year of the H1N1 flu strain. Wanting to become more educated on that subject, I went to the Internet and started researching it, which ended up taking me to a site about germs.
One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I was reading about how germs are everywhere, including my purse.
Although I am aware that germs live among us, I really hadn’t stopped to think about the need to sanitize my purse.
According to one study, most women’s purses have thousands of bacteria on the bottom and some handbags could have millions of germs. Sure hope my purse isn’t in the latter group.
It’s easy for me to understand that sinks, bathroom fixtures, and garbage cans can be infested with bacteria, but not my purse.
This is a place where I store all my stuff—emergency repair kit, lipstick, extra pieces of gum, billfold and other important items to get me through my day.
In fact, many of the studies suggested that germs were not only prevalent on the bottom of purses, but also inside them.
Not that I keep anything I thought was perishable in my purse—like a sandwich, chips, cookies or anything—but it turned out that even my gum can create viruses and microbes.
Those germs have no shame when it comes to things as important as my purse.
The study did suggest ways to reduce the amount of these pesky bacteria, though, and I have since changed my habits on how I handle my trusty friend.
Instead of flinging it around in public areas or tossing it on the floor, I now use hooks whenever available, particularly in a public bathroom.
Other ways to prevent further exposure to germs is to keep purses off the kitchen counter and buy leather or vinyl purses, which are usually cleaner than cloth.
When I think of all the places I used to toss my purse, it makes me wonder if I could have prevented a few colds or the flu.
Now that it’s 2012, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at expanding my organizational skills while continuing to learn something new each day.
Even when my grandfather was in his 90s, he liked to read the dictionary and it showed in his vocabulary.
Self-improvement is something I need to work on every day because there are a lot of surprises to be found in books, newspapers, the Internet and from other people.
One thing I learned about today was that healthy weight and family fitness are both celebrated in January.
It might be a good idea to research more on both of those subjects and see where it takes me, but I also have to remember that at some point I will need to do more than just read.
Whatever resolutions someone does or doesn’t do in 2012, I wish them happiness.