About four in 10 Americans will start 2013 by making New Year’s resolutions. Almost nine of 10 who do so will fall short of achieving their goals, according to the Statistic Brain website.
The top resolutions each year are along familiar themes, according to the website USA.gov: Lose weight, quit smoking, get fit and eat healthier are among the lifestyle goals. Others make resolutions about their careers, education or managing debt, the website said.
Some local officials shared their thoughts on New Year’s resolutions in general and for 2013 in particular.
Hagerstown’s new mayor, David Gysberts, said he typically doesn’t make resolutions, “although I am constantly setting goals and evaluating progress toward achieving those goals.”
“Being that I am now the mayor of Hagerstown, I resolve only to serve the people with integrity,” Gysberts said.
Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he has made resolutions in the past, including one after a 1995 skiing mishap that nearly cost him his life.
“I vowed to make it back to becoming a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) examiner again, the highest level in ski teaching,” Riford said. Keeping the resolution took years of work, he said.
“This year, I resolve to be involved in nonprofits and charities in Washington County,” Riford said. He already donates time and money to several, he said.
“I usually don’t do any New Year’s resolutions, because they’re almost impossible to keep,” said Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore.
Jobs and other life issues usually get in the way of keeping them, he said.
Some resolutions are spiritual in nature.
“I make a New Year’s resolution and encourage everybody to resolve to love God more, love our neighbor more and fix up our personal foibles and get into good holy habits,” said Father John Lombardi of St. Peter Catholic Church in Hancock.
Delegate Andrew Serafini admitted it might sound “corny” to some, but “I have to grow in my love for God and also have that exhibited in my love of people,” Serafini said.
Serafini said he also will try to be more forthright with people in the new year, which can be difficult in the world of politics.
“We all struggle with being politically correct,” Serafini said.
“I sometimes keep my resolutions but not always,” said Washington County Commissioner Terry Baker. “This coming year my resolution will be to get in better physical condition.”
“I know the benefits of being in decent physical shape and will commit myself to a rigorous exercise plan,” Baker said.
“Personally - stay in shape. Professionally and personally — listen better,” said Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski. “Any elected official runs the risk of becoming isolated from constituents. I want to do a better job of seeking out opinions, especially those that conflict with my own.”
Hancock Mayor Daniel Murphy said he hasn’t had much luck in seeing resolutions through in the past but, for the new year, he has resolved to seek a greater understanding of Washington, D.C.
“I have resolved to try to find a true source of information, so as to understand the absurdities of our government’s dealings in Washington,” Murphy said. “To exercise good citizenship, we must be informed ... but the truth is very hard to discern these days,” because of partisan spin and “media slant,” he said.
“Wish me luck on my search,” he said.
“This year I will be making resolutions and I intend to keep them,” said Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said.
Care to divulge them?
“No,” Wilson said. “If you divulge it, you’re kaput.”