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For Duluthians, 'no resolutions' is the best resolution

Fred Garner (Photos by Teri Cadeau)1 / 6
Charles Searle2 / 6
Sherry F.3 / 6
Arthur G. and Tony S.4 / 6
R. Brock5 / 6
Stephen Pete6 / 6

New Year's, for many, is a time to take stock of their lives and decide what changes (if any) individuals would like to make in the upcoming year. Often these changes come in the form of New Year's resolutions.

The Budgeteer took to the streets on Dec. 28 to find out if Duluthians have made any resolutions for the coming year.

Some Duluthians didn't have anything to resolve.

"I haven't made resolutions for several years because I haven't had anything I needed to change," said Fred Garner, as he sat in the Duluth Transportation Center. "I do think they can work, though if someone actually decides to make a change, they can do it. It doesn't necessarily have to be at New Year's, though."

Duluthian Joey Dunahoo said resolutions are "a temporary vicious cycle."

"People resolve to do things every year, but never do. That's why I'm not making a New Year's resolution. I'm making a new life resolution," Duanhoo said. "I am taking Jesus more seriously. I'm getting more involved with my church and taking steps to sobriety. It's a new way of life, not a resolution."

Charles Searle hasn't made a personal resolution either. Instead, he proposed a resolution for the entire country.

"I want to everyone start treating people like people ... We need more empathy and we need more people who are willing to step up and help," Searle said, while waiting for the bus at the DTC.

Other Duluthians were busy maintaining resolutions from past years. Tony S. started his resolution back in 2014.

"Yeah, it's to stay single and I'm still going strong," Tony said.

Arthur G. has kept his resolution for 11 years: to maintain his housing and employment.

"It's a pretty important thing to keep. I said I'd keep it and I am," Arthur said.

Sherry F. was focused on her education.

"I want to resolve to do better in my college classes. I do OK right now, but I could do better," Sherry said.

Sherry is a returning student studying philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Although she doesn't make New Year's resolutions often, in 2016 her resolution was to remain healthy.

"Which I did, moderately well. You know, when you get to be my age, 65, there's not much to resolve. You just keep going," Sherry said.

R. Brock resolved to work on her mental health this year.

"I want to improve my mental health and find some better environments to be in," Brock said.

Some Duluthians stuck to traditional resolutions such as focusing on health or losing weight.

"I want to lose weight this year," said Stephen Pete, as he waiting for a bus at the DTC.

Pete said he doesn't think individuals stick to their New Year's resolutions, but he does think people have a better chance if they have support from others.

"I do think you're more likely to keep it if you have help with it from friends and family. People do better with support," Pete said.

Essentia offers positive resolution advice

It’s resolution season – the time when many of us resolve to lose weight or quit smoking. While laudable goals, why not aspire higher and make a “positive resolution,” a behavior you’d like to start rather than stop.

Essentia Health Psychologist Paul Remark sees patients at the Essentia Health-Hermantown Clinic. He says an attitude of gratitude is vital.

“My personal resolution every year is to take life more seriously and myself less seriously. I’ve incorporated this into my personal life and encourage my clients to do it was well,” he said. “Think of three things every day you are grateful for. Research shows that this simple task reduces depression and anxiety. Some of my married patients adapt this to always ending the day by telling each other three things they are grateful for.”
Remark challenges himself and his patients to experience three positive emotions to one negative emotion.

“I remind myself that if I have 20 negative emotions in a day, I have to think of 60 positive emotions to combat the negative. Humorous, yes, but it helps you become more resilient,” he said.
Essentia Health Clinical Psychologist Jodi Boerger Wilder who sees patients at Essentia clinics in Ada, Fosston and Detroit Lakes, says time and intention are important gifts.

“In this time of hustle and bustle, finding the perfect gift, preparing the holiday meal and cleaning and preparing for faraway guests, don’t forget these three things: spend time, make memories and create traditions,” she said.
Research shows that performing an act of kindness can also improve your mood and feelings of well-being. Here’s a website that offers ideas on random acts of kindness and ideas on resiliency.

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Budgeteer.

(218) 720-4176