In days, millions of people across the nation will commit to New Year’s resolutions. However we prepare, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions will fall by the wayside within weeks. Some few will actually change their lives. What makes the difference?

Recent research-based models of decision making recognize that our emotions have tremendous impact on our decisions — and on our behavior. Happy people, researchers have found, make better decisions and more consistently follow through.

There is another piece to consider. Resolutions are often based on judgment of past behavior. Judgment tends to inspire emotions like guilt and shame, which can make it difficult to follow through.

If, however, we are choosing to do something because it feels good, our likelihood of following through is much greater. The “feel good” I am talking about here is both short-term and long-term — the feel good without regret or negative consequences.

If you make New Year’s resolutions, success will require both initial commitment and moment-by-moment choices to follow through. Choose resolutions that are based on what will make you authentically happy. Then as you are deciding whether to follow your resolution, feel what will bring you the greatest happiness now and in the future.

What are my resolutions? Intend and envision happiness every day and, at every decision point, choose what will make me happy now and in the future. I deserve to be happy.

You deserve to be happy, too.

Aurora Walks Gently


Righteous indignation

The suspension of Phil Robertson from the “Duck Dynasty” show for anti-gay comments should cause righteous indignation in every American.

The attempt to silence the expression of Christian faith and religious liberty is outrageous.

Freedom of speech is a constitutionally protected First Amendment right. Religious liberty, yes. Religious expression is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

It is un-American to attempt to repress or restrict the free expression of religious liberty and other speech.

Every citizen, including government officials, should defend the right of free speech.

Any attempt to demonize others because their opinion differs from our own is intolerance and unacceptable.

I have always defended the right of others, whether I agree or disagree with their opinion to freely express their belief or opinion.

I understand that there can be same-sex attraction; however, I do not support nor do I celebrate homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage, since both are identified in Scripture as inconsistent with God’s plan.

Christians are commanded to follow God’s Word and live our lives according to his plan. We do not follow the trends of the world, and we will not be forced to turn away from God in order to support or celebrate the things that go against our faith.

My friends, brothers and sisters of faith, stand up, speak out and defend our right to religious liberty.

Christians are taught to love one another, to love our neighbor and we do, even those whom we disagree with; however, we have been told to love our God, and so we will.

Peter Alexander


Thank you, Charleston

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the people of Charleston did the state of Maine a huge favor. They voted down their rights-based ordinance. The people of Charleston took the time to study it and found it wasn’t good for the people in town, nor business owners. They went over the language in the bill line by line and understood what it really did mean. Thank you, Charleston.

The most important of all that was said was a statement by of one of the leading proponents of the ordinance. He said the group writing the bill went to the “out-of-state” environmental corporation to help them “make some changes” in the language to make it more business friendly. We were told the out-of-state group was adamant it not be changed in that way. It makes you wonder who is in control of all this.

We can talk about reducing taxes and government spending, but if we lose the ability to use our property we can kiss any hope of ever improving our economy goodbye.

Sen. Doug Thomas