What We’d Like to See in 2018

Most resolutions made on January 1 are forgotten by January 31, if not before. We all vow to lose weight and get to the gym and perhaps stick to that routine for a few weeks. But like most resolutions, reality intervenes making it difficult to make any progress.

So rather than giant leaps ahead, let’s take baby steps, small things we can all do that will benefit us and everyone around us. Here are some suggestions. Even if you can take on and complete one thing on this list, 2018 may turn out to be your best year yet.

1. Once a week, get through an entire meal without checking your email or cellphone. Instead focus on those you are with and have a real conversation.

2. Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a while, whether a relative or a friend. Not an email – a paper letter. You just might find that putting pen to paper will result in a more thoughtful exchange than allowed in an email.

3. Read the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. You will be reminded of the rights we enjoy as U.S. citizens that are too often taken for granted. Here’s a link.

4. Visit a tourist site in your town or city that you have never seen. Live in Philadelphia but have never seen the Liberty Bell? A New Yorker who has yet to get to the top of the Empire State Building? You don’t have to wait for a friend to arrive to plan a tour. Go on your own and discover what you’ve been missing.

Mount Rushmore

5. Read the biography of a president. Karen Rosenbaum went further and read at least one biography of each president. She’s not alone. Apparently reading the stories of our presidents is a trend. You don’t have to read all of them. Pick one. For help, see a list by Justin Wm. Moyer (click here), who says he’s still stuck on Herbert Hoover.

6. If there’s someplace you want to travel to in the future, but don’t see that happening in 2018, lay the groundwork now. Talk to friends who have been there. Begin to compile lists – where to stay, eat, tour, etc. Buy books, not just tour books, but books about the history of the country or city you hope to visit. When you finally get there, the experience will be richer and more meaningful. 

7. Volunteer! OK, this many be something you’re thought about but never get around to doing. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Perhaps you can set aside one day a month to help out at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Do it with a friend. You will motivate each other. 

8. Make a doctor’s appointment. No matter your age, there’s probably one doctor you’ve been putting off – the opthamologist, the dermatologist, gynecologist, dentist, etc. Let’s face it. Some of us take better care of our pets that we do of ourselves. But being proactive is always the best policy and may save your life.

Library of Congress

9. Relax in a library, not a Starbucks. Libraries are struggling, but they provide an essential service to young and old. And we have some magnificent libraries, the New York Public Library in New York, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to name the two best known. For a list of the country’s ten most beautiful libraries, click here. 

10. The 2018 mid-term election will be important. No matter your political persuasion, educate yourself. Start with learning who your representatives are on the local, state, and federal level. Then get up to date on the issues. Read, attend lectures, ask questions. After November’s election, the majority in Virginia’s House is still in question and will be decided by one vote! So never believe that your vote doesn’t count. It does.

We’ve kept this list short and varied. We hope you will find a few ideas to get you going. If you don’t, that fine, too. There’s always next year.

About Charlene Giannetti (706 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.