Residents share progress of their 2011 resoulution
LUMBERTON — 2012 wipes clean the slate.
Today, about 140 million Americans are taking their first stab at their New Year’s resolutions: to lose weight, save money, get organized, spend more time with family, or whatever self-improvement goal they dreamed up.
Resolutions are easy to make, but hard to keep. Studies show that a quarter of the people making resolutions are unable to keep them a single week, and six months later fewer than half are still diligent.
Last year, The Robesonian spoke with locals who had big plans for 2011.
Let’s see how they did.
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Retha Locklear, who lives in Shannon, confidently declared her two goals for 2011: “Mine every year is always to be closer to God, that’s most of all. And, of course, to lose weight.”
Locklear, speaking with a little more than a week remaining of 2011, deemed it a success.
“I’ve done both,” she said.
By eating healthier and drinking more water, Locklear lost close to 20 pounds. She said a medical scare forced her to take that resolution seriously.
“I was diagnosed a few years ago with diabetes so I’ve had to be more faithful about it,” Locklear said. “I am a cake baker and it’s hard. I just have to have a made-up mind about it.”
Her other resolution with the Big Man is a journey, not a destination, she said. But she consistently prayed this year.
“Praying, seeking him, seeking more of him, and that’s a daily walk,” Locklear said.
Locklear may be among a minority in keeping her resolution, but putting her resolution on paper — in the newspaper, no less — may have helped. Studies show that those who explicitly make goals or resolutions are 10 times more likely to accomplish them than those who do not.
When she spoke with The Robesonian, Locklear hadn’t decided on her list of 2012 resolutions.
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Last year, Alexia Tinling had school on her mind. As a senior at Lumberton High School, she said her New Year’s resolutions were to “do better in school, graduate with honors, go to college, get into a really good school and just start my future.”
It was a long list, but Tinling checked them all off.
She graduated with a 3.23 grade-point average and was inducted into the National Honor Society. She is now a freshman in the business program at North Carolina A&T.
“I just studied more and I made sure I got all A’s during my senior year because there was no excuse for me not to succeed in my senior year,” Tinling said.
About 70 percent of resolution-makers have three or more on their list, so Tinling was not alone in her laundry list of goals.
She said her parents helped her to keep on track.
“Knowing that I wanted a better future for myself and knowing I wanted to succeed when I got older that I had to get good grades and get into a good school to do those things,” Tinling said.
This year’s resolutions are just as lofty. Tinling hopes to finish her freshman year in college with better than a 3.0 GPA, get a job and own a car.
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Rosa Blue of Pembroke said last year, “I want my health to get better and I want to quit smoking.”
Those resolutions fell to the wayside this year in the midst of deaths in her family. She lost two brothers-in-law this year.
“It was a bad year,” Blue said. ” … I fell on that one.”
She said that she would sporadically quit smoking for a few days but then start back up again.
“I’m going to try harder this year,” Blue said. “It’s just habit.”
She said smoking — a vice she picked up right before turning 30 — helps her deal with stress. Back then she smoked maybe one cigarette per day, but now she is up to half a pack a day.
“I didn’t like them then,” Blue said. “I should’ve quit then.”
Blue plans to give better health habits another try this year, including kicking the cigarettes for good.
“Just better health and … and let there be peace on Earth,” Blue said.
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Last year, Julius Meekins wanted to get in shape and to curb his spending.
While the Lumberton resident has managed to do both, one came a little easier than the other.
“Money-wise, the economy took care of that for me,” Meekins said. “There was far less money to spend, so it made that a little easier to keep.”
In terms of exercise, Meekins can be found at the Southeastern Lifestyle Center doing cardio and weight training four days a week. He works out with his friend Ezra Blanks to keep his motivation high.
Often goals fall to the wayside because of time constraints, but Meekins found a way to make sure he stayed on course.
“With the business of work and everything, there were times where I wasn’t able to get in my regular workout routine,” Meekins said. “But I found other things, like family walks, to make up the difference.”
Meekins didn’t have a specific goal in mind for saving money, but he wanted to prepare for retirement. He looked into different options this year.
While shopping, Meekins kept the future in focus.
“I would think from a standpoint of was it something I wanted on a whim or was it something that I myself or my family really needs,” Meekins said.
Meekins doesn’t have new resolutions for 2012, as he hopes the year will follow the pattern of 2011.
“In the words of the last President Bush, ‘Stay the course,’” Meekins said. “This last year was a very blessed and prosperous one.”
— Reach features editor Amanda Munger at 910-272-6144 or email@example.com.