Sunday's Mirror editorial page included a web poll asking readers what their New Year's resolution would be and provided five possibilities: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, spend more time with family, or mend a broken relationship.
All of those are good resolutions, but there are many more great possibilities. Consider some or all of the following. Don't limit your resolutions to just those in the poll.
An obvious top choice beyond the web poll is resolving to be a more active citizen, by keeping informed about what's happening on the community level, including in the schools. Also, resolve to follow state, national and international news more closely than in the past.
As part of all that, resolve to vote. Anyone not registered should resolve to do so in time to participate in the spring primary balloting, which is just as important as the November general election. Also, resolve to help friends or neighbors get to the polls on Election Day, if they otherwise would have difficulty doing so.
Promise to volunteer for your community's benefit. Many groups, organizations and churches would welcome your help and time.
Resolve to support neighborhood food banks, which help the needy all year long. Also, resolve to provide financial support to such important agencies as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Red Cross - and don't forget about resolving to give blood, then doing so.
People who live in communities served by volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance services should resolve to support those entities' annual fund and membership drives.
Being a good citizen and neighbor also involves keeping one's own property a community asset, rather than allowing it to become an eyesore. Resolve to extend that commitment to wintertime, when it is important to keep sidewalks free of snow and ice.
Resolutions should apply to the well-being of animals. Even those who, for whatever reason, cannot resolve to adopt an animal at the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society can resolve to make a financial contribution or a gift of pet food for the care of the animals there. And, everyone can resolve to watch for the start of the shelter's 2014 Holiday Campaign.
Resolve to shop at local stores. Resolve to have more compassion toward others, and to be a positive guiding light for those grappling with problems.
Resolve to slow down when driving, and not drive after having consumed an alcoholic beverage. Resolve to make driving safer by not using a hand-held phone while operating a vehicle, and to not break the law prohibiting texting at the wheel.
Resolve to look twice for motorcycles before pulling onto a roadway.
Resolve not to get into any brushes with the law.
With New Year's comes the start of another income tax-filing season. Resolve to start early to prepare income tax returns; doing so helps taxpayers avoid missing eligible deductions.
There are many other resolutions holding the possibility of wide-reaching benefits for others, besides the self-satisfaction gained from keeping them.
The web poll planted a seed for readers to think. Hopefully those and many other good resolutions will bloom over the next 12 months.