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I know we're in a new year now, but I don't make New Year's resolutions for myself, and 2018 is no exception.

When you're like Mary Poppins ("practically perfect in every way"), you don't have to.

Kidding, kidding. I have a whole lot of room for improvement in my life, and I have to admit that the new year somehow has me motivated for once.

But I consider every day -- heck, every minute -- a good time to start any new change for the better.

I have the usual plans for a new year that most folks make as their New Year's resolutions -- be more healthy, appreciate the good things and people in life more, and so forth -- but I had those plans in the old year, too.

What is it about the change in the calendar that gets us more motivated?

As I think I've done before, I've made New Year's resolutions for others. I like to help the people.

For my nephew Daniel, my resolution is that he find a new barber. It's not as though one could have purposely given him a buzz cut except for a wide swath on top of his head that is long and thick with curls. His beard is neatly trimmed -- he'll be 18 this month -- and his hair is tidy but clearly out of proportion. Aunt Penny is skeptical of this.

It's not like it's his own head of hair and he should be able to do whatever he wants with it. That's poppycock.

You might be surprised to find I have no resolutions for our president. He's beyond help.

For Democrats, my resolution is that they get some sort of CAT scan and find a spine, right after they stop by the sporting goods store and buy a gosh darn compass.

My resolution for Republicans is that the poor things are able to help the richest of the rich to count their additional riches after their tax reform just passed. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

For the sandwich shop where I most often order lunch, my resolution is that they get a frequent customer reward card. I could have a free lunch every other week if they did. What can I say -- I'm a creature of habit.

My resolution for the State of Illinois is for leaders to get their act together, but it feels like that's been my wish for the state since about 1709. Give or take.

I also resolve that in 2018 more people appreciate good driving habits. That would really help me out; I'm trying to cuss less. Nobody likes a potty mouth.

In conjunction with that, I resolve that more people will play "Cards Against Humanity." That way while they all have potty mouths playing that crazy game, I will look like a real angel even if I cuss a little bit.

It's all relative.

My resolution for all of us is that we are kinder to each other, and hold tight to love and our loved ones every single day.

Oops. Now my new resolution for myself is to not be so darn mushy.

I think you should resolve to be nicer to yourself -- appreciate your talents and skills, work on your faults, and embrace the fact that you are only a human being, and human beings make mistakes, and just keep doing the best you can in life.

There goes my "mushy" resolution already.

I resolve that we all have faith that people in general will become less stupid in 2018. Fewer shoppers will wander stores like cattle, getting in the way of those of us who are on a mission to cross groceries and other goods off of our lists. Not so many dumb-dumbs will forget to give a turn signal or drive like maniacs when roads are slick due to winter weather.

While I'm at it, my resolution for Mother Nature is to stop making us freeze our noses off. Geez. You'd think it's January in Illinois. As a meme I saw on Facebook says: "It's so cold my face hurts. Why do I live where it's so cold my face hurts?"

Furthermore, I resolve that everyone will make it a point to eat a bit of chocolate every day. That will help with all of us trying to be kinder to each other, and maybe make 2018 a bit happier.

My resolution for the public in general, and on behalf of real journalists specifically, is that people learn the difference between a real journalist and a commentator ... not to mention that people remember that proper journalism works on behalf of the public, not as an enemy to American citizens.

I further hereby resolve that our spring be pretty, fishing and mushroom hunting be good, summer be hot but not too hot, and next fall to bring beautiful foliage to enjoy.

My most sincere resolution goes out to elderly folks in general and specifically those in long-term care facilities -- that they be well taken care of, comfortable in old age, and appreciated as valuable resources in our society.

I resolve that we all drink more water and less junk like soda, alcohol, energy drinks, etc.

Another hope for all of us is that we get more puppy kisses, more kitten cuddles, a whole lot of adorableness from the children in our lives and more affection from our spouses and other loved ones.

I am really not starting out well on this "no-more-mush" thing.

My resolution for the Middle East is a day without violence. Sure, that's a tall order, and yet a tiny baby step in the scope of things, but it certainly would be nice.

I resolve that there be no more terror attacks and hate in the world. I'm getting brave and crazy about this resolution thing now.

My resolution for inventors in the world is to find a way that fishermen/women can put worms on a hook without getting worm guts on their fingers. Or maybe that's already done -- that's what they make rags for.

Finally, my resolution is that we all feel like we can resolve at any time to do better, to be better -- as I mentioned before. We don't have to wait for New Year's Day to start.

Smile more. Work harder -- it's good for you. Relax more -- that's good for you too. Try not to sweat the small stuff, and tackle big problems bravely and with determination.

Who am I to give such advice? Nobody. So, you can resolve to find someone who has more sage words to offer, and you can probably easily fulfill that resolution.

But I do what I can. And I resolve to do better.

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Penny Weaver is the associate publisher and editor of the JG-TC. Her columns include her own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinion or editorial position of the JG-TC. Contact her at pweaver@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.

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