Andrea Rondeau column: A few New Year’s resolutions

It’s the time when people start deciding they’re going to get in shape next year

It’s the time when people start deciding they’re going to get in shape next year, lose weight, exercise, clean out the closet.

And there’s nothing wrong with any of those resolutions (aside from the fact that most people don’t keep them; though I’d argue there’s some value in making them every year anyway, but I digress).

But here are a few other resolutions you might consider as well.

Try to be a little more kind. Is that thing you posted to social media, or said to your group of friends to be witty and clever really very nice? These days people tend far too often to use the word “nice” as a negative, but it’s really not. There’s nothing wrong with being nice. In fact, I bet a lot of people in your life, and strangers, too, will really appreciate a kind word rather than an effort to be edgy. I bet if you tried increasing your “nice” quotient just once a week it would begin to influence your life in a positive way, and that of those around you.

Try understanding someone else’s point of view. We see this a lot in politics these days — the segregation into strictly enforced camps of which nobody dares reach beyond the borders. It emphasizes our differences rather than the things we share with the people around us.

We all do it. We read or hear something that doesn’t agree with our own opinion and instantly have a negative reaction.

But instead of adhering to that negative feeling and acting on it immediately, try putting it aside and make an effort to understand where the other person is coming from. You won’t always succeed, and not everything deserves to be understood. But trying to bridge our divisions rather than widening them is a worthwhile endeavour. And you may just find out that while you continue to disagree with them in the end, you really don’t dislike them as a person as much as you thought.

Try looking at the bright side. Sarah Simpson even has a column in the Citizen to help you out. But seriously, I know this is one I could do a lot more. Most of us are extremely fortunate, even when it doesn’t feel like it, just by dint of where we live in the world.

It’s easy to focus on the bad things that happen, the things with which we are dissatisfied, the things we don’t have. But most of the time, for most of us, the glass is actually at least half full. If we focus on that instead, our satisfaction with life improves immensely.

Just Posted

Local Cowichan youth shines in national writing contest

Cowichan Tribe member Danika Smith places fifth in her category in Indigenous Arts & Stories contest

Child hit and killed in driveway in Cobble Hill

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Cobble Hill’s Price sprints to first Dirt Cup championship

Robbie Price’s first win on the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series… Continue reading

Cowichan police warn of cryptocurrency scam

More than $64,000 in losses so far

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Cowichan Provincial Park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Most Read