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Jon Mark Beilue column - Posted December 29, 2017 9:08 a.m.
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Artwork by Andy Chase Cundiff

A better you in 2018? Take this test first

The biggest problem with New Year’s resolutions is people set their goals too big. They can’t keep up the pace, can’t reach the heights, can’t completely change their behavior or lifestyle.

So by mid-February, they’re done. Then they feel guilty and the year is off to a disappointing start. To help, and to see if you can maintain a reasonable level of resolution change, let me offer this multiple-choice test to better help you make life-changing decisions that will carry you through most of 2018. Choose the best option. (Hint: Choose C).

1. If you are determined to become more fit with more exercise, you should:
A. Incorporate a running program through your neighborhood for a minimum of 15 miles a week.
B. Purchase a gym membership for one-hour workouts before work three times a week.
C. Buy some running shoes and spend six months breaking them in.

2. If you are determined to become more well-read this year, you should:
A. Inquire about any local book clubs and ask to join, where you combine fellowship, food and drink and sharing together the work of current novelists.
B. Read one great American classic novel each month, approximately 10 to 15 pages a day.
C. Stop in Barnes and Noble periodically and leaf through the latest Maxim Magazine.

3. If you are determined to look slimmer and trimmer around others, you should:
A. Focus on a low-fat diet with smaller portions.
B. Substitute water for all carbonated drinks, and avoid all refined sugar.
C. Hang around more fat people.

4. If you are determined to get a new job and broaden your horizons, you should:
A. Take a computer class to become more adept in computer skills, thus making yourself more employable.
B. Joined Linked In and other online job connections, marketing yourself better to businesses which could benefit from your knowledge.
C. Tell your current boss to stick it up his #@*!

5. If you are determined to better manage the stress in your life, you should:
A. Take a yoga or painting class, learning to focus on the moment.
B. Volunteer for different charities, which takes the focus off you.
C. Admit to yourself that going concealed carry to work, where you also keep a bottle of Wild Turkey hidden in your desk drawer, is not the best idea.

6. If you are determined to quit procrastinating and get more order in your life, you should:
A. Make a list each day of what needs to be done, and cross off each one as you complete it for a rewarding sense of accomplishment.
B. Visualize how you want each day to end, and take the necessary steps each day to fulfill it.
C. Put this baby off until June. What’s the rush?

7. If you are determined to cut back on cigarettes during the day, you should:
A. Find the nicotine replacement therapy that works for you, be it nicotine gum, patches, sprays or lozenges.
B. Set up a support system, perhaps a friend who has quit smoking and can help you reduce your daily number.
C. Sleep longer.

8. If you are determined to slow down the debt on your Visa card, you should:
A. Enroll in a Dave Ramsey “Financial Peace” class.
B. Cut up your card and set up a specific plan that will wipe out the entire debt in three years, taking away 33 percent each year.
C. Apply for a Mastercard and spread out the credit card debt.

9. If you are determined to learn a new language, you should:
A. Order the Rosetta Stone software and spend one hour a night with it.
B. Enroll in Beginning Conversational Spanish in the continuing education program at Amarillo College.
C. When ordering at a Mexican restaurant, say the name of the actual dish rather than, “I’ll take the No. 8.” And be sure to roll your ‘r’s.

10. If you are determined to be more civil on Facebook, you should:
A. De-friend those who make you angry and know they can push your buttons.
B. Acknowledge there are different opinions and points of view and that’s what makes America so unique.
C. Keep your cuss words to just one syllable.

Here’s to you making a better you in 2018.

by Jon Mark Beilue

Jon Mark Beilue is an award-winning columnist for AGN Media. He can be reached at jon.beilue@amarillo.com or (806) 345-3318.
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