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New Year’s resolutions always start out with good intentions. Then, real life kicks in and and many go by the wayside. The Picayune Magazine reached out to an assortment of Highland Lakes residents to find out how they handle resolutions. The surprise is not so much how many put their own personal twists on the idea but how many actually still make resolutions and keep them!

FRANCIE DIX OF HORSESHOE BAY

Co-executive director, Horseshoe Bay Business Alliance 

Francie Dix

Last year was probably the first time I’ve really stuck with a resolution ever. I was given a book in 1999 called “The Catholic One Year Bible” by a friend. Every day, it gives you something from the New Testament, something from the Old Testament, and then a Psalm to read, and by the end, you’ve read the whole Bible. I started it back in 1999, but I didn’t finish. I just sort of put it away. But at about this time last year, we were right in the middle of the agony of COVID, and I ran across the book again and thought I’d try to read it throughout the next year. And now, I’m almost done with it. There have been a few days I’ve missed, but I always catch up. 

(For this year), the first real thing I thought of is to try to avoid saying “no problem” when people ask me to do things. I want to give myself permission when people ask “Will you do this?” to really consider if I can or if I want to. I feel such a responsibility not to say no, and, as a result, I feel weighed down a lot. So, that’s on my list of changes to make next year. 

DANE LACKEY OF GRANITE SHOALS  

Faith Academy of Marble Falls senior

Dane Lackey

My New Year’s resolution last year was to get all A’s in school. I didn’t keep that, in fairness, but I still passed, so I count that as a partial win. I try my very hardest to keep resolutions because it’s like a promise you keep to yourself. If you can’t keep promises to yourself, who can you keep promises to? No one. I’ve also found that making deadlines for resolutions helps. I always did resolutions as a kid; it was like a family tradition thing. They always said you had to do a New Year’s resolution. We also ate black-eyed peas every year. I hate them though. 

My resolution for this year is to gain 20 pounds by June. I got a gym membership with my last paycheck. I’m also working on a high-protein diet. Bulking, that’s a thing that people say. 

CARL DELINE OF MARBLE FALLS

AARP volunteer, Marble Falls Senior Activity Center 

Carl Deline

I started keeping a New Year’s resolution in 1974. My wife and I were first married in 1973. January of ’74, we got hit by a blizzard where we lived in Minnesota. It was enough that it buried our garage, buried our house, and it took the community road workers to come and clean us out. We asked the question “What are we going to do now that we’re locked in the house?” We talked about it and began to make a list of the things we were thankful for. So, in January 1974, we made the resolution that every Jan. 1, we would start with a list of thanksgiving. And then, since the snowstorm continued for two weeks, we decided we would also make Monday a day of praise and Thursday a day to say thank you. It was a matter of sharing our story with each other. 

My resolution (every year) is always the same. (My wife and I) were divorced 14 years ago, but I’ve never stopped keeping our resolutions. I ended up with some serious illness beginning in 1978 and almost died on a number of occasions. I needed patterns in my life, so I fell back on the idea of thanksgiving and praise. Those two elements became a part of my weekly experience in life. When you’re laying in a hospital bed and everyone is calculating when you’re going to die, it has a way of stripping away a lot of the non-essentials of life. It puts back what it’s all about. 

OCEAN LEIGH OF MARBLE FALLS 

Head baker, Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls

Ocean Leigh

I make month-to-month resolutions throughout the year. I tend to look more at habits than the more traditional things, like diets and that stuff. It’s habits like keeping a certain space in my life more organized, like say my car’s always messy. I’ll set a goal to keep my car cleaner, or let’s try waking up 15 minutes earlier. Or, I don’t feel too great after eating this particular meal, so maybe let’s cut out these things and add others back in. I notice that when those things fail, it’s a lot easier to not get frustrated with myself. I realized recently that I needed to work on self-care first and foremost. The most recent was, anytime I caught myself saying “Ocean, you idiot,” or something negative like that. So instead, I would turn around and say, “OK, maybe that was a poor judgment, but now things are going to be OK because we can take this and make it OK.” That has been really great. 

My next one I’m leaning toward is just taking a few seconds or even minutes here and there to just sit down and take a few deep breaths. That’s really hard for me to do. I fidget a lot. I have to have input constantly, and I don’t really know how to have quiet. So, just letting myself sit for a minute is something I want to work on. I would love to be able to have that calm time. So, just starting with a few seconds. 

CINDY BROWN OF BURNET

Owner, Unshakeable Grounds Coffee Shop in Burnet

Cindy Brown

I did not make (a resolution last year). I have in the past. I changed my New Year’s resolution to an every morning resolution. You know: “His mercies never fail. They are new every morning.” The Bible verse. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Instead of focusing on how badly I messed up yesterday, I focus on His grace that I rely on. I get to rest in His grace. 

My resolution is that I am going to trust Him to get His job done. I’ve been doing that for the last two years. I started three years ago. Before, it was usually reading the Bible more or losing weight. I had already failed on my New Year’s resolution that year. But instead of waiting on the next year, now my prayer in the morning is that God will give me self-control over what comes into my body. I will fail, but next day, I can start a fresh. Eventually, I will end up where I’m supposed to be. If I don’t read, I’ve got another opportunity to get fed by the word. 

I grew up in a situation where failure was just kind of a constant cloud. When you realize in Christ that you can do nothing outside of Christ, why would I beat myself up? I have an audience of one. I want to please Him above all things. That’s very freeing. My stress level goes down. I go directly to the word of God to rule on my life and living. God is good. 

STEVE BUCHANAN OF BUCHANAN DAM

Director, Lake Buchanan/Inks Lake Chamber of Commerce  

Steve Buchanan

I don’t do resolutions. I just carry on. I’m well aware of the improvements I need to make for myself. I muddle through all year working on that stuff. As for resolutions at the first of the year, I don’t really do that to myself anymore. 

ROBIN KASPER OF KINGSLAND

Children’s coordinator, Packsaddle Fellowship Church in Kingsland 

Robin Kaspar

Last year, my resolution was to exercise more and eat whole foods. It lasts a little while. At least it starts you off on the right track for a better year. I keep it off and on. It always ebbs and flows with me. I’m an all-or-nothing gal. First three months are usually good. What throws me under the bus are my grandkids when we have to go to DQ or Ms. Lollipop’s candy store. But I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

My newest one, I found a new Christian devotional called First15 Podcast. I devote the first 15 minutes of my day with the Lord and exercise every morning before work and eat more whole foods throughout the day. I don’t have a strategy, but I need one. I need an accountability partner. Maybe I’ll ask a friend. 

JEANNA JETTE OF MARBLE FALLS 

Executive director, Marble Falls Education Foundation 

Jeanna Jette

What I do is set intentions. I used to be all about the resolutions, then I realized I never ever stuck to them. Then, when I thought about, what is something I can stick to, I came up with having a theme for the year. I’ve been doing it for three or four years now. One year, it was kindness; one year, it was gratitude. This past year was grace. That really has been an intentional practice of mine. I have not set my intention for this coming year yet, that’s a Thanksgiving time frame for me. I sit down and think about that and wrap it into gratitude practice for Thanksgiving. 

Keeping my intentions is more of a mindset: making sure as I go throughout my day that I am keeping my intentions. I may have to do it 100 times before I get it right. If it’s the right intention, it should naturally play out right. The kindness thing was something I kept seeing over and over. We were not making our mamas proud. That was a really easy one. I would feel my reactions. I would slow down and remember, “OK, they have their own struggles; everyone has their own back story.” Intentions should be something on top of mind for where you are at the time. The lose-20-pounds thing, get to the gym more often, that’s a lot harder. 

MELISSA MACDOUGALL OF BUCHANAN DAM

Head librarian, Lakeshore Library in Buchanan Dam

Melissa MacDougall

Last year, I resolved to exercise more, read more, and send more letters and cards. I totally bombed on exercise. With the addition of audiobooks while driving, I did manage to read a little more than I had been. I sent some cards, but not as many as I’d like.

All of these will be repeat resolutions, but I’ll make them more specific this year. 

I am going to resolve to walk for 30 minutes at least five days a week; read at least two books a month; send at least one letter or card per week.

And, I’m going to add two: return to regular daily journaling and spend at least two hours a week immersed in nature.

DENNIS PORTER OF HORSESHOE BAY

Assistant pastor, St. Frederick’s Baptist Church in Marble Falls

Dennis Porter

My resolutions (last year) were to continue my faith and growth, get to a financial point in my life to sustain myself without relying on anybody else, maintain a strong and stable marital relationship, be the best parent I can be, be the best son of God I can be, and  maintain a good and healthy weight

I had to have all my suits taken in. At one point, I lost complete and total control. I was up to 365 pounds. I’m down to 259. My goal is 240 or less.

(This year’s resolutions) are all daily tasks. I check my eating habits, I work out four times a week, I ride the bike, I lift four times a week. 

RAYNBOE GROSSMAN OF SPICEWOOD 

Partner, Raynboe’s Hair Co. in Marble Falls

Raynboe Grossman

(My resolutions last year were) to stay alive — it was so hard with everything with the COVID-19 pandemic — and to keep my people healthy. We did a lot of cleaning and just getting through (the protocols) and adjusting. This has been such a change. We cleaned in between every single client. We wiped down everything all day long. We had to book (cleaning time) for that. You have to wipe everything down. And, we had to stagger the days and times we worked because of the social distancing. Our clients understood. Most of our clients were so happy to get their hair done. Everybody had COVID hair. The dynamic of the whole business changed. We still do cleaning like mad.

(This year), I still have to do house calls. Some clients don’t want to come in here, they’re afraid. (For resolutions), I love to travel. I’m ready to do that. I’ve never seen Niagara Falls, I want to see Savannah and the Old South.

JOHNNY LIENDO OF BERTRAM

Police chief, Cottonwood Shores

Johnny Liendo

(Last year’s resolution was) to beat COVID. I was in the hospital for seven days; I was in the ICU. While I was in the hospital, they gave me five bags of plasma that bolstered my immunity. I was a lot more aware of the virus. You can’t understand this virus completely unless you get sick. It gives you a whole new understanding. 

(This year), I want everyone I love to make it through COVID. I want everybody in my life and that I love to stay healthy and prosper. COVID has made me more aware. I count my blessings more, I got closer to my family, I quit taking things for granted. I’m not much of a religious person, I’m really not. I’m a lot closer (to family) now than I ever was.

MYRA CALLEROS OF GRANITE SHOALS

Administrative assistant, Living Architecture and Construction in Cottonwood Shores

Myra Calleros

(Last year’s resolution was) to be healthier. I was trying to eat a little better and working out, which didn’t happen at all — the working out part. I have kids, and I want to stay healthy for them.

(This year’s resolution is) the same thing. I run around taking my kids to school and whichever sports they have going on. Their ages are 17, 15, and 1. That’s the main one, my baby, to be healthy and stay healthy for.

SALLY MCFERON OF HORSESHOE BAY

Development Services director, city of Horseshoe Bay 

Sally McFeron

When I started my new job in Horseshoe Bay a year ago and moved into a new city, I wanted to stay in touch with people. I’m not big on social media, so to stay in touch, I made that specific idea to talk with people. I picked up the phone more. My granddaughter lives in Montana, so I used FaceTime. I read her stories. Usually I’ll think, “I’ll call them next week,” and here comes next week, and I still haven’t touched someone. With extended family, I’d make a list and reach out to them once a week. Another was in starting a new job, I knew I’d need to take time for myself. I’d take a moment for exercises, meditating, or saying a prayer, and I made sure to take that time. I’m a strong believer that you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. I think I did pretty good, not to say I didn’t fail.

I’m going back to the traditional New Year’s resolution (this year) to exercise more. Now that I’m settled and feeling good, I need to get out and exercise.

editor@thepicayune.com