January 4, 2010


New Year’s means resolutions to make

Whether keeping fit or reading more, residents commit to having fun while doing it


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Lynn Olcott of Homer poses Saturday with her manuscript “All the Souls of Munrow” and a collection of writings called “Traveling Light.” Olcott’s New Year’s resolution is to have the writings published.

Staff Reporter

Lynn Olcott usually tries to make two or three New Year’s resolutions each year, but often only commits to one of them.
Around the New Year, most people have good intentions but “we’re only human,” the Homer resident said.
“So you hang on to what you feel is the most important one,” she said.
This year, Olcott’s resolution is to submit two book manuscripts to be published. One is a novel about life in a small upstate town. The other is a collection of short essays that apply the Bible to everyday life.
She decided on the resolution after finishing the works earlier this year. Writing is a hobby of hers, she said.
Others have committed to making personal improvements or to get lagging long-term projects off the ground in the New Year.
But all of them had a goal to have fun while doing it, saying the resolutions would not be worth keeping otherwise.
Judy Bentley of Cortland thinks of her resolution as more of a goal to reach. A SUNY Cortland professor of inclusive special education and research methods courses, Bentley is striving this year to create a more peaceful atmosphere — in the classroom as well as her own life.
Bentley said she often sees the stresses her students bring into the classroom.
“I find that the more peaceful I can make it in the classroom, the better they learn,” she said.
Having this as a New Year’s resolution puts it more on top of her mind, she said, making it more likely to be kept.
Ashlee Watson and her boyfriend Jeremy Chiano, who recently moved to Cortland from Florida, had several ideas for their New Year’s resolutions. The couple, both 24 years old, was interviewed Saturday while having coffee with their friend Harold Comings, who serves as pastor for Bible Baptist Church.
Watson came up with monthly goals to meet this year, saying she thought that would be easier to attain. Among her goals were to pursue different interests in art and playing musical instruments, as well as doing what she can to live healthier.
Chiano had two resolutions this year: get back into shape and read more often.
Admitting they were big movie fans, the couple said they made a joint resolution to watch every one of the American Film Institute’s Top 100 movies of all time.
Chiano and Watson felt making a resolution or setting goals for the New Year is a worthwhile pursuit.
“It gives you a good game plan to start off with that gives you direction,” Chiano said.
Comings, 64, who decided this year to write a collection of stories to leave to his grandchildren, said he feels resolutions should be realistic and responsible.
Olcott said she believes New Year’s resolutions have become part of our culture — something rooted in hope.
“I think we really do want to make things better,” Olcott said.
Although she makes resolutions, she does not regard them as such — just something she wants to get done that year. Olcott said she usually does not think about a resolution until prompted to by someone else.
Bentley views the New Year as a time to think about the past and future, adding she does not consciously make a resolution each year. The ones she makes generally relate to work somehow.
Last year, Bentley said she tried more community service. She now serves on the board of directors for Access to Independence, which provides services to people with various disabilities.
Olcott kept one of her two resolutions for 2009: to reduce clutter around the house.
“I’m still working on it, but I feel like I stuck with that one,” Olcott said.
The second resolution she made was to exercise more.
“That’s one we could probably all make,” Olcott said.


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