Say “Goodbye” to New Year’s Resolutions

Do we really even stick with New Year’s resolutions anyways? Hardly! Every year, millions of people ring in the new year with one or two (or maybe even a laundry list) of resolutions they plan on sticking to – ‘plan’ being the keyword here.

We get it! We have the best intentions starting the year off right: eating healthy, exercising more, ending toxic relationships, saving more money – but what usually happens? Some (ultra-motivated folks) actually DO stick to their resolutions; they put in all the effort and crush all their goals. If you are one of these people, please drop us a comment and let us know how it’s done! We really want to know!

Other New Year’s Resolutioners, stick it out for a month or two, but life gets in the way: jobs, kids, spouses, lack of motivation – these are all things that can derail the resolutions train. Other folks write down their resolutions and, well, that’s as far as it gets; a list of stuff on a sheet of paper.

So, if New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for most people, why are we making them to begin with? Sure, resolutions gives us a sense of hope and optimism for the new year, but when we don’t stick with them, we are left feeling like we have failed…again.

That’s no way to start off a fresh New Year so let’s say “Adios!” to those resolutions and do something that can actually be beneficial!

Instead of looking to the future, let’s reflect and take a look at the past. We’re not talking years’ worth pasts, just the year before – the year we have just said our final goodbyes to.

2021…Hello, again!

Looking at the past allows us to reflect on what went well in our lives and what didn’t. It allows us to see the last year clearly – what’s that saying? “Hindsight’s 20/20”. There is truth to that! When we are in the thick of a situation, conflict, or argument it’s hard sometimes to see that circumstance clearly in the moment. But if we take a look back, all of a sudden, that situation seems a little clearer.

Having that perspective helps us look to the future. We now know what we should do differently if a similar situation were to arise. So, let’s call this new method of doing things “My Year in Review.”

Here’s what you need to review your year:

  • Paper/pen, computer, phone – use whichever of these you have access to
  • Your 2021 calendar
  • Social Media (FaceBook, Insta, Twitter, TikToK…)

Now let’s review!

  1. At the top of your list write “My Year in Review.”
  2. Then, divide your list into two columns. Label the first column as “Positive” and label the second column as “Negative.”
  3. Go through your 2021 calendar and social media pages and review. Take it day-by-day, week-by-week, or month-by-month depending on how in-depth you want your review to be.
  4. As you review the last year, write down any people, activities, commitments, events, etc., that trigger either positive or negative emotions. Put them in their respective columns.
  5. Once you have gone through everything, take a look at your positive and negative columns. What items under the positive list spark the most joy? What items on your negative list make you feel miserable?
  6. Based on your answers, take the positives that really jumped out at you and schedule MORE of those! Make plans with those people who bring out your best, look up your favorite band and see when they are playing near you, plan those activates that make you feel vibrant and alive – do MORE of what makes YOU happy!
  7. Now, for those pesky negatives that make you feel blah, make a separate list and at the top put “NOT-TO-DO-LIST”. Write down those negative people, relatives, activities, events, etc. that do NOT bring out your best. Toxic relationship? Nip that in the bud. Friends who cause more drama than it’s worth? Bye, Felicia! Activities that drain and zap your joy? Don’t do them! Put your NOT-TO-DO-LIST somewhere where you can see it every day for several weeks to be reminded of the things you DON’T want to do.

For 2022, focus on what makes you happy, on what fulfills you and brings you joy in your life. The NOT-TO-DO-LIST you know makes you miserable so don’t put it on your calendar out of obligation, FOMO, guilt, or other nonsense.

Emotionally, physically, mentally the last two years have been ROUGH so let’s resolve to do something that will start 2022 right and not something that’s setting us up for failure.

The future is in your hands – make the BEST of it!

Happy 2022 from your friends at Central Counties!


Summertime Water Safety

It can happen in an instant. You’re enjoying the sun at your local pool, or relaxing on family vacation by the ocean. You take your eyes off your child to read a couple lines in your book, reply to a text, or to reapply sunscreen. Then tragedy strikes. A child or a weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to do any of these activities.

Drowning incidents (death and/or injury) mostly happen in residential swimming pools; however, all it takes is one inch of water for heartbreak to strike. Buckets, bathtubs, wading pools, hot tubs, and even toilets pose a potential threat to the safety of your young children.

In addition to at home threats, open waters such as lakes, rivers, and oceans pose a drowning threat to older children as well. Most children who survive water submersion without brain damage are discovered within two minutes; 10 minutes is all it takes to lose a loved one forever.

As parents, caregivers, grandparents, and the like, what can we do to protect our kids, avoid risks, and respond appropriately in an emergency?

First, let’s look at the facts:

  • In the U.S. drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in children younger than four and teens.
  • Emergency room care is typically needed for non-fatal drowning injuries with half requiring extended hospital stays.    
  • Surviving a drowning can leave someone with severe brain damage – 5%-10% of childhood drowning cases result in long-term disability.

How kids drown varies by age:

  • < 1: babies most often drown in bathtubs, toilets, and buckets.
  • 1-4: young kids often drown in swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.
  • 5+, teens, and young adults: drowning incidents in these age groups are most likely to happen in natural bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Despite the risks of drowning, drowning injuries and deaths are 100% preventable. So how do we keep our kids safe?

Supervision is KEY. Supervision of your children around any type of water is an absolute must. This is true if your child is by a wading pool, fish pond, swimming pool, ocean, or lake. Age and swimming skill level are not an exception to this rule.  

Swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are an important part of water safety. Training can reduce the risk of drowning and teach important lessons in water survival, flotation, and basic swimming. As a parent, if you do not know how to swim, it is highly recommended you take lessons as well.

You can search for instructors by visiting the YMCA or Red Cross websites.

Responding appropriately in an emergency situation can sometimes be the deciding factor between life and death.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). PFDs are helpful, but should never be used in place of swimming lessons or as a permanent solution for protection.

Diving. Don’t allow your child to dive in water less than nine feet deep. The probability of a traumatic neck injury increases exponentially in shallow waters.

Responding appropriately in an emergency situation can sometimes be the deciding factor between life and death. Surviving a drowning incident depends on a quick and efficient rescue and restarting breathing as quickly as possible. So what should you do in a water related emergency?

Learning CPR is a must. CPR is a life-saving skill that can be useful in a variety of emergency situations.

If a child is missing: always check the pool or other body of water first. Survival is dependent on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible.

If you find a child in the water: call loudly for help while getting the child out of water. If someone is nearby, give them a direct and clear order to call 911. Check to make sure the child’s air passage is clear. If the child is not breathing, start CPR if you are trained to do so. If you are not, follow the prompts given by the 911 operator.

If injury occurs from diving: keep the child on their back. Brace the neck and shoulders with your hands and forearms to keep the neck from moving about. Doing this can help prevent further injury to the neck and spine. It’s important to keep the child as still as possible and to speak in soft calming tones to keep the child comforted.

Summertime swimming is supposed to be fun and carefree – and it can be! We just need to make sure we stay alert, are prepared, and have the tools necessary to help us in the event of an emergency.

Information from this article was gathered from The American Red Cross and John Hopkins University.