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"New Years resolutions" by Josh Trought, published January 2007

The end of the year is a time for reflection. We look back at the accomplishments and make plans for the future. 2006 was a turning point in the Pemi-Baker Valley. Through projects like Local Foods Plymouth we are bridging divisions in our community and developing a sense of trust and faith in our neighbors. People are bearing down to do the day to day work of building community through face to face relationships and there is a renewed commitment to localize our economy. I would like to thank several groups for their continued efforts to improve our quality of life including the Plymouth Energy Initiative, KTM Auto, the Main Street merchants, LongView farm, the Plymouth Bridge House and PSUs's Centers for the Environment and Rural Matters. Together we are building the future.

New Years resolutions are usually about restrictions. Quitting smoking or losing weight are specific goals that imply a loss. Instead we can look at resolutions as positive steps towards a more fulfilling life. I would like to share some resolutions that I have made for 2007 to help make our lives richer.

11) Eat better- Take the time to enjoy wholesome healthy food. You are what you eat and eating local nutritious food is delightful.

10) Smile- This always seems to improve the situation. It will almost always make you and the people near you feel better.

9) Volunteer to help a neighbor- From the youth to our seniors, everyone needs a hand now and again. Find out what would be a help and then do it.

8) Slow down, breathe and admire the scenery- We live here to enjoy so take a moment and step back from the day to day rush. Relaxed moments in the woods or by the lake are forever.

7) Thank people you appreciate-From the waitress, to the teller, to your family; it is simple and means soo much. There is no better opportunity than right now.

6) Buy Local- it helps the economy here. Dollars spent with local business stay in the area instead of our money being shipped to corporate headquarters.

5) Save Money or Reduce Debt- Cut your expenses and find a way to put some $ away for the future.

4) Conserve energy –whether car-pooling or turning off lights saving energy helps us all. Conservation is the most effective solution to our energy crisis.

3) Build Community- Make the effort to communicate-pick up the phone, make a house-call or stop and chat in the grocery store. Community trust is built by getting to know one another.

2) Challenge yourself to undertake tasks. This helps maintain your cognitive and physical health.

1) Be positive- It is infectious, productive, and habit forming.

Josh Trought is the Executive Director of D Acres of New Hampshire, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organic Farm & Educational Homestead in Dorchester. D Acres offers workshops, internships and public access designed to promote sustainable living choices. Learn more about the programs at D Acres by visiting www.dacres.org. Josh can be reached at 603.786.2366 or emailed at info@dacres.org.

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