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New Year Resolutions - 2009

Who knows what 2009 will bring? The financial crisis will still be going strong. The housing markets will still be a mess. There will likely be more layoffs, which will cause problems in all other areas of American life. There are lots of things to consider in the New Year, so thinking about your resolutions now is a good idea.

Lots of people make empty promises on January 1, and then don't follow through. This year, make it different. Now is not about making money, or clawing your way to the top. It is about being the person that you always wanted to be. Expand your horizon. Get out of your comfort zone and make this next year the year for change.

Movies often stick to people, and they remember bits and pieces. The movie Overboard, with Goldie Hawn, is one of those movies. It's not an award winner, and it's played often on cable, but there is a line in the movie that is one to remember. The premise of the movie is that Goldie Hawn's character looses her memory and is separated from her life. She is tricked into thinking that she has a different life. She goes from rich to poor and is able to assimilate and appreciate a new, very different life. When she returns to her rich life, she is talking with her butler and asks him if she is crazy. He tells her that she has been given the gift of a new perspective. He goes on to say that she now has understanding that she never had before and it is now her choice to use that information to her benefit.

Wouldn't it be great to get that perspective? There are many ways to get a new perspective without loosing your memory, so please no head injuries please. Seeing life from the perspective of others is very possible in our society, but people often forget that there are others, living very different, even difficult lives. Volunteer work often provides lots of new opinions and lifestyles. There are many kids looking for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and those kids can make a person humble. Working with Habitat For Humanity is also an amazing experience. Seeing life through someone else's eyes is a gift.

Take some time to better understand how the other half lives. Whether the right or wrong side of the tracks, the different perspective is amazing. Though everyone would like to know what it would be like to be rich, think about what that might be like. Research that lifestyle and be careful what you wish for. Being successful takes work, at any level. The other end can be just as fragile, but just as happy. Money doesn't make people happy. That is up to the individual.

When you think about this New Year, think more about being the best can you can be. It's not just about loosing those extra pounds or quitting the vice you wish you didn't have. Grow as a person by seeing life from a new perspective and giving back to others. Whether you choose to be a Big Brother/Big Sister, or a construction worker for Habitat For Humanity, the experience is one you will never forget. By the way, what were your resolutions last year?

About the Author

Kimberly F Shaw is a clinical social worker. She has a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from City University and continues to learn from every opportunity. She has been working, trying to bring families together for more than 16 years. She started her own blog, at - and her own gift basket business at - to focus on bringing people together. Her eventual goal is that families will come together, and she can work herself out of a therapist job