**FILE** By Anthony Quintano via Wikimedia Commons
**FILE** By Anthony Quintano via Wikimedia Commons

Although we still have a few more days before the Great Ball drops in Times Square at midnight and Americans welcome the start of a new decade and 2020, it’s not too early to begin thinking about the changes we may want to make in our lives.

Traditionally, this brainstorming session and the results that come are often referred to as New Year’s Resolutions. But if you’re only following the crowd, you should know that most people break their resolutions within the first week of the new year.

So, I don’t waste my time with such silliness. Instead, I take some real “me time” during which I examine the last 365 days of my journey — taking stock of the victories and disappointments — those situations resulting in joy or pain.

Further, considering the sage words of a wise theologian who said, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results,” I determine those people, places or things that I wish to eliminate from my thoughts, life and soul. At the same time, I work within the confines of an Old Testament teaching that reminds us, “to everything there’s a season,” and helps me to release the old, no matter how much I may want to hold on to it, so that I can take hold of the unfamiliar — the new.

It’s like that old story about the dog sitting on a nail — a position which causes the animal discomfort if not outright agony — but one which it’s grown so used to that it’s afraid to say farewell, take the leap and grab onto something that’s foreign and mysterious — like the closed curtain whose contents we will never know unless we’re willing to accept whatever’s behind it.

That’s why I have concluded that there’s only one person whose actions I can change — whose fate I can truly impact — and that’s me. And, rather than try to change others, I just focus on the things I want to change about myself.

There’s no point in risking my own mental, emotional or physical health with things that and folks who exist beyond my control. And this truth applies to you as well, if you’re really interested in making the new year better than the last.

So, don’t use those precious gray cells to plot situations and destinies that you know you have no intention of remaining committed to. Just claim the blessings that you earnestly desire.

Follow the advice of one of my favorite groups from the ’70s, the Manhattans, and just let go of whatever’s been holding you back. Be brave. Take that leap. Just “kiss and say good-bye.”

Don’t you feel better already?

Happy New Year!

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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