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By Mark Snyder, Gatehouse Media Columnist




So, we’ve had a few weeks go by in 2007. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes back to 153 B.C. The mythical King of early Rome, Janus, was the man at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events, and look forward to the future. He became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year. (Trivia Alert: The Romans named the first month after Janus.) Which brings us back to your resolutions this year.

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve already abandoned your goals for the year. Studies show that 70% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution (many keeping them to themselves), and nearly all fail their goals. Why? Experts say that people don’t prepare right for their goals. For instance, those wishing to quit smoking may have a more difficult time if they continue their previous environments like drinking at bars, or enjoying a cup of coffee with dessert, both situations that may be associated by that individual with a cigarette.


Similarly, those trying to diet or lose weight have a much better success rate when a spouse or friend joins them for this resolution. Since healthy weight loss involves a healthy lifestyle, it all starts in the home. If a spouse or significant other won’t join in the healthy lifestyle, and leaves Twinkies all about the room, failure is assured.

According to Wikipedia, p eople who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. And, according to Pro-Active Coach, Twenty-Five percent of those making resolutions last past the first week. Less than half survive the fist six months. Snyder’s Web did a survey of local political leaders to see if they actually make New Year’s Resolutions. Some spoke on the record; others weaseled out.

Most people in the area had a view similar to East Bridgewater Town Clerk Marcia Weidenfeller. “I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made them before and never kept them. I guess I’m boring.” Being the nice woman she is, she offered to “make up” one for this columnist. But, what she said resonates to most readers and fantasy was not necessary.

East Bridgewater Town Manager George Samia said that the winter has added a few pounds to his frame. “My resolution is to get to the gym a little more the next twelve months. Getting rid of the extra weight is really my biggest goal.” On the professional front, Samia says that “we’ll continue to work at balancing the town’s budget, but that’s not really a resolution. It’s a constant battle.”

State Representative Geraldine Creedon (D-Brockton), who represents parts of Brockton and Easton, had two New Year’s resolutions she shared with Web readers: “ I'm an inveterate saver so my first resolution is to organize the clutter in my life.  My second is to become more computer proficient.” Creedon sent her reply via email, so she is well on her way to computer proficiency!

Brian Howard , Town Clerk for Randolph, says his professional resolution requires legislative action, but he’s hopeful. “I’m a proponent of the same day voter registration. It benefits voters and makes the election process run smoother.” On the more personal side, Howard, who has battled weight problems since second grade, tells the Web, “I’ve had the same resolution for the last 25 years. Since I was young I have battled to lose weight and get healthier. I still need to do better.”

State Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton), who covers West Bridgewater, and parts of Brockton and Easton, says, “For 2007, I have resolved to keep a journal of all books that I read and/or buy. I only wish I had done this since teenage days!  And, I have also resolved to end 2007 with the accomplishment of having learned something new.  I am looking for a gourmet cooking class or a computer class for self-publishing.  I'd like to spend 2006 learning how to do either of these two tasks.  Hope I find one that goes with my crazy schedule.”

Michael Carroll , the Executive Secretary for the Town of Randolph, put his response to the Web quite succinctly, “ I did not make New Year's Resolutions this year.  Experience through the years has shown how fragile they are.  The best intentions to save more, exercise more regularly, be more charitable, and read a few more good books last for a while, but must be renewed more frequently than annually.  So instead, every day I thank God for what I have been given, and resolve to use it as well as I can.”

State Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton), who represents Avon, Braintree, Milton, Sharon, West Bridgewater, and parts of Stoughton, Easton and East Bridgewater, is really working on getting in shape. He says, “ I want to improve my physical health, and have been watching what I eat, and exercising.  My friend is a fight doctor, and he and I have been working out with a boxing instructor three mornings per week in Braintree.  I also joined the Easton ‘Over 30 Men's Basketball League’ on Sunday nights, and so far, haven't had a heart attack.” As for his professional resolutions, he added, “I'm trying to improve my management skills, so as to improve the productivity and efficiency of both the State House and Canton offices.”  


So, readers, how is your resolution coming along? Drop me an email if yours is a little different, or if you have a strong opinion of resolutions in the first place. And, once again, Happy New Year!


(Mark Snyder is CEO of, the internet’s entertainment superstation. His radio feature, The Entertainment Minute, is heard on WMJX-FM/ Magic106.7 FM, WROR-FM 105.7 and WBOS-FM 92.9. Mark can be reached by fax at 781-344-7207, or by e-mail at

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