A new approach to New Year’s resolutions
By Mike Nichols
Mayor, Solana BeachWith every New Year comes the tradition of a New Year’s Resolution. This year is probably no different than others. Most individuals look back at the previous year and make a commitment to change a habit or some aspect of them selves in the coming year. New Year’s resolutions offer us a great motivation to make a positive difference in our lives, such as focusing on our health, getting out of debt or reconnecting with long-lost friends.
But, statistically, over 20 percent of us have already abandoned these resolutions by the print date of this column and over half of us will have forgotten about these undertakings by March.
So, considering the drop-off rates associated with many of our individual resolutions, I thought perhaps there might be better results if we had strength in numbers and attempted to make a collective city-wide “New Year’s Resolution.” It sounds idealistic, I know, but hear me out and you decide.
Many of the calls the City and the City Council receive over the course of the year are related to neighborhood concerns. The topics of the calls include noise complaints, litter problems, speeding cars and traffic safety concerns, overgrown landscaping and uncontrolled pets. Some of these issues are covered by ordinances, but all of these issues are controllable by individual behavior and conscious decision-making, which does not take government involvement to resolve.
With that said, my New Year’s resolution challenge to the community is simple and most people will have no problem keeping it beyond the next twelve months: It’s a pledge to be considerate and neighborly to those around you. It can be as easy as opening a door for somebody who has their hands full, to picking up litter on the street, slowing down when driving through residential areas or trimming back trees and shrubs that are blocking someone else’s view. These simple acts of kindness can be addictive and will likely come back to you in return.
I’m hopeful that collectively we can all prove the statistics wrong and maintain this New Year’s resolution throughout the year and beyond, while making our great community a better and friendlier place to live.