Reflecting and looking forward to some changes

I don’t like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, as many of you probably know. It puts too much pressure on us to make such a declaration around a holiday, and, statistically speaking, we tend not to last long in attempting to reach them.

For me, setting goals should not necessarily be an effort of a single time of year. They also should be flexible and long-term. We may not always have the time to invest in tackling a matter in only a few weeks, or event a couple of months.

Following some personal events this last week, I’m finding myself, once again, reflecting inward to see if there are things I feel need changed.

I know I am flawed. There are things about me I don’t like, and some have been difficult to change because they have become so ingrained into my lifestyle.

However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need addressed.

I need to explore. Now, I’ve never been big on traveling alone. I feel experiences should be shared, especially when it’s something new. Plus, if you’re away from home, it’s never a good idea to be alone in the event there is an emergency.

There are a lot of places I would like to see, and maybe I need to try to break away from that philosophy, at least a little bit. Taking day trips, or just driving around for a few hours on a weekend afternoon shouldn’t hurt too much.

There are many state parks in West Virginia that are only a few hours’ drive away, and there are places in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio I’ve never seen.

I also need to explore myself in some ways.

We often get too buried in our day-to-day existence, that we sometimes lose who we really are. I know I am more than the newspaper person. I am more than just a name on a page, or the person behind the notebook and camera. I need to do a better job remembering that, and try to remember the other aspects of what makes me the person I am.

Along those same lines, I need to do a better job of listening. I listen to what people say as part of my job, but as a result I haven’t always been able to focus on the other things. We all have a special instinct within us that tips us off to problems with ourselves and others.

I don’t always do a good job of listening to my instinct, to see things that I should have. I get blinded to the obvious. That can hurt you in the long run.

Learning is always something we all can achieve. Whether it is obtaining a new skill or a bit of trivia we had not known before, there is knowledge all around and we should strive each day to continue our education.

I enjoy reading, but it’s become too difficult when other things consume so much of my time. I’ve very slowly been working my way through a particular literary series. I’m hoping to get further into it, if not finish it this year.

Along those same lines, hobbies are good for us all. Whether it’s starting a collection, taking up a recreational activity or planning some sort of themed outing.

Most importantly, I need to be present, and do a better job of reaching out to the people that matter. We can all lose touch, and go weeks and months without communicating. That doesn’t mean we should.

Send a message, or a social media post. Write a letter or call them on the phone.

Just let them know you are thinking of them, even if it might take some time to actually plan some time together.

These are things we can all do, and they definitely are things I plan to work toward over the next several months.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)