Several years ago, I had fun talking about the number of New Year’s Resolutions that I had made. I joke about the time that my resolution was not to eat hot dogs for a year. I made it, but it didn’t seem to be the life-changing event that I had hoped. I’ve gone back to eating hot dogs, even though I know they have no nutritional value.
One year, I was going to wipe out all negative thoughts as a resolution, but unfortunately, I chose to watch Southern Cal play on New Year’s Day. I’m more successful giving up things for Lent, but none have lasted beyond Lent. You can only go without sweets for so long.
There are some things that are worth making a resolution to change. Research shows that to change a habit, you have to practice the new habit for 27 days. It doesn’t seem long, but for some habits it is like an eternity. Author Malcom Caldwell once wrote that you need to practice something 10,000 times to be successful at it or to create a habit.
As we go into the new year, we are reminding our community that we have a new initiative: Every Minute Counts. It is based on the need for children to be on time to school and spent quality time engaged in learning. If a child is present in school every day and every minute, they will attend school approximately, 1,085 minutes or 180 days in Cumberland County. Those 1,085 minutes are packed with learning opportunities. So when you miss school, you miss out.
To paraphrase a saying that I’ve heard, we are preparing our children for a future that we can only imagine. When I was little, a favorite cartoon character was Dick Tracy. All the ‘super’ technology in the cartoon is now out of date. You may not remember television detective Maxwell Smart and all his technology, but it too, is out of date.
Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar pointed out that you will never have as much time as you have now. So, if you put off going back to school or making a change, if you don’t take the time now, when will you have the time?
Every Minute Counts acknowledges using our time wisely. When a child is late, when will they have the time to make up what they missed? When you check a child out early for your convenience, when will they get that experience that they missed?
As you read this, it will be a busy season. Vacations are coming and religious celebrations are here. When you think about making a resolution for next year or a new habit, I hope you think of our Every Minute Counts initiative.
I hope you have a safe holiday. I hope that in these troublesome times, you find peace. To our military personnel who are far from home, you are our heroes and we thank you for your service.
Dr. Frank Till
Published by Laurie Pender on December 1, 2015