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Josh Bergeron: Resolutions worth adopting in 2021

New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone.

A lot of people simply don’t make them. Others abandon them quickly and entirely after the year starts. A third group might make progress toward a resolution without fully achieving what they hoped to accomplish. A rare group of people achieve what they set out to do when the year started.

Most years, I find myself somewhere in the third group, making progress while not entirely achieving my goal.

For those still looking for a good resolution for the new year, here are some possibilities:

• If you aren’t already, get involved with a civic club or social group in Salisbury or Rowan County. That could be Kiwanis, Civitan, Rotary or another club that meets regularly. You could fulfill this resolution by volunteering consistently with a church, nonprofit or charity. Maybe you’ll prefer a car enthusiast, garden, book or movie club. For too many, social distancing in 2020 has also meant social isolation, and that’s further torn at the threads that bind our community together.

• Log off of social media more often and spend time in the real world. Today, smartphone apps give people continuous access to social media in a second. People often check apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok multiple times per day (maybe dozens) because of the enjoyment we feel when we find a particularly good post. Maybe it’s something that hits home on a political matter, contains a timely joke or a precious photo of a family member. There’s a short euphoria when we receive positive feedback on social media that keeps us coming back for more.

But those posts will still be there whether people check once a day or multiple times. Being constantly plugged in has its downsides. Maybe unplugging more often will also reveal that your day isn’t as time-limited as you thought.

• Eating healthier or getting fit is the New Year’s resolution du jour. But the effect of COVID on people in poor health should bring a sharper focus on the need to adopt it. I’m guilty of buying fast food when it takes 30 minutes or less to make something at home. So, I’ll be joining the ranks of the would-be healthy eaters in trying to do better in addition to exercising regularly. That includes trying to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet. Coronavirus isn’t the only illness that affects people in poor health more severely.

• Broaden your view of the community, state, nation and world by reading opinions you disagree with and watching cable TV “news” programs featuring people who have different perspectives. The world is a worse place when we don’t understand or, at least, expose ourselves to each other’s viewpoints.

•If you live in a city or town, resolve to vote in your city council or town board election next year. Rowan County set a record turnout rate in the 2020 election, but the 2021 municipal races will see a sharply reduced turnout because people don’t see city or town councils as being as important as the presidential election.

It happens after every presidential election and it’s almost certain to occur again. But local elected officials more frequently have a direct impact on your life and they are usually easier to reach and share your opinion with.

• Resolve to learn more about Rowan County and the places nearby by taking a day trip somewhere here or in a neighboring county. Our region is full of natural and man-made wonders. Take vacation time to visit a museum or attraction, eat at a new restaurant or find a new store to explore. This has been a rough year for local businesses. Spending your money locally or in a neighboring county will provide a fun experience and the dual benefit of recycling your money through the local economy. Local businesses will appreciate it.

• A final, self-serving resolution: Share a story idea with the Salisbury Post in 2021, whether it’s a person who’s doing something interesting or a place that deserves to be highlighted. As long as it’s a local story (a person, place or thing in Salisbury, Rowan County or Kannapolis), chances are we’re interesting in publishing it. Just email the basics of the story idea to news@salisburypost.com.

Josh Bergeron is editor of the Salisbury Post.

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