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Happy New Year!


Each year, I decide that this will be the year I redesign a "new and improved" version of myself. I resolve to be patient, organized, thin, more Zen-like, a better cook; and every year, I say, "This year I am going to eat healthier." Well, I think I have recycled the same list of New Year's resolutions since I turned 20; and now at 38, I haven't achieved them yet. However, I am in good company, because less than 10 percent of Americans who set New Year's Resolutions actually achieve them.
Does this mean I am off the hook? No way. Here I go again – another year, a new start, a new list. How would we better ourselves if we didn't take the time to set goals? So, it's now up to me to achieve success. Experts say all the goal-setting in the world will fail if you don't have a plan; so I say this year, instead of New Year's resolutions, I will take it one step further and make a New Year's Plan. Maybe with this formulary adjustment, I can do it!
January 2009 ushers in hope of exciting changes to come - a new year awaits us, a new president takes office, lower gas prices at the pump, and hopefully a healthy economy booms back to life. While you page through your brand-new, blank, 12-month calendars and find ways to fill them up with all your important events, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, remember to schedule and track your New Year's Plan!
Kicking off our first issue of the New Year, we have a special section focusing on our mind, body, and spirit and achieving optimal health. Experts agree that keeping your mind, body, and spirit in harmony will create a more peaceful and happier you. Check out these insightful articles and special advertorials.
Another part of January we can always count on, especially in Kern County, is fog. And with the dense fog comes foggy-day blues. KCFM has your answer to chase away these doldrums: Kids' Activity Corner. In each issue, we feature a page full of fun and educational activities including crosswords, Sudoku games, word finds, Nanny's Craft, and interesting bits of facts and trivia. You can find these activities on page 26, and you can also download a printable version from our website, www.kerncountyfamily.com. Attention teachers: these activity pages make great resources for your classroom and you can access back issues through our "Archives" link.
Another way to make your wintery days more educational and interesting is to check out Tracie Grimes's "You Can Do It" section on page 9. This month you can make a cute craft, a Winter Wonder Candle, while you learn something, too. Check out how to make an Ocean in a Jar and A Garden Under Glass on our website.
Reading is another fabulous way to spend a cozy afternoon curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of hot cider. You can find many suggested reads on page 14 for all different age groups. Each month, Tracie Grimes suggests a "Mommy Read" that might not be PG-rated but will definitely entertain.
In her "Humor At Home" article on page 6, she also keeps us laughing, as she gives us her unique spin on motherhood. This month, she writes about the moment she realized that she might have become an "old fogy" because she calls her kids' music "noise." Of course, her music (i.e., Barry Manilow) does not constitute noise!
In this month's "Mothers, Shakers, and Community Makers" section on page 8, I got to interview a local mom, Michele Willis, who understands the true meaning of noise: she has six kids. She also started the local chapter of Project Linus, a non-profit organization that makes and donates blankets to kids in crisis. I don't know how she does it all – she's amazing!
This year, as I look at my daunting list of vices I need to change, I am going to take Oprah Winfrey's advice when she says, "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." So, maybe this year, I really will eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and less chocolate! I have this year to get it right!
CHEERS TO A HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2009!

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