By Jacques Fleury
The bells and whistles of Christmas are but a distant memory; the holiday dramatics are now over and a New Year has dawned upon us, perched like a proud and hopeful eagle, as we begin to make the often provisional promises to ourselves for the New Year. However, I know that I have made promises to myself in the past that I was unable to keep and I’m almost certain that you too will succumb to a similar fate. But I am not necessarily here to simply tell you that the building blocks of your New Year resolutions are doomed to collapse, I just want to emphasize some key strategies about how you can be more methodical and realistic about them; thus minimizing the possibility of failure and ensuring a grader degree of success.
The faltering economy will most likely affect New Year resolutions in 2011. Surfeits of people fell victims to the unsteady economy and lost their jobs and homes. No one was impervious to the dark claws of economic scarcity. Even the Television show “Inside Edition” profiled a lawyer who went from litigating in the courtroom to cleaning the bathroom by taking a job as a housekeeper; proving that—as I’ve always known—anyone can succumb to hardship and essentially become jobless and/or homeless at any given time no matter what their circumstances.
December 21st marked the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, a fact that I just recently became aware of and which I’m certain that most people don’t even know about. I long for the day when we won’t need a day set aside to commemorate the homeless because they’ll all be housed. Nevertheless, there is good news about homelessness in Massachusetts. During the 31st Annual Homeless Census on Dec. 6th, Jim Greene, director of the city’s Emergency Shelter Commission went around town counting the city’s homeless. “City and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) figures released on [Dec. 21st] show a 30 percent decrease in homelessness in the past five years,” writes Justin A. Rice of the Boston Metro. He goes on to say that, “The number of chronically homeless people has decreased 25 percent, which officials attribute to the city’s…efforts to permanently house the homeless.” Hence for those that are still homeless, their New Year resolution will probably be to become permanently housed and to them I say I find that prayer and perseverance is the cure to all barriers, so keep pushing through until