DEAR READERS: My New Year's column has been an annual tradition since 1973. These New Year's resolutions are based on the original credo of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have taken the liberty of using that theme with some variations of my own:
Just for today I will live through this day only, and not set far-reaching goals to try to overcome all my problems at once. I know I can do something for 24 hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.Just for today I will be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." He was right. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. I will chase them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts.
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those things I cannot correct.
Just for today I will improve my mind. I will not be a mental loafer. I will force myself to read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll make an honest effort to quit. If I'm overweight, I'll eat nothing I know to be fattening. And I will force myself to exercise - even if it's only walking around the block or using the stairs instead of the elevator.
Just for today I'll do something I've been putting off for a long time. I'll finally write that letter, make that phone call, clean that closet or straighten out those dresser drawers.
Just for today, before I speak I will ask myself, "Is it true? Is it kind?" and if the answer to either of those questions is negative, I won't say it.
Just for today I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will look as good as I can, dress becomingly, talk softly, act courteously and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today I'll not improve anybody except myself.
Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it, thereby saving myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour to relax alone. During this time I will reflect on my behavior and get a better perspective on my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid. I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions. I will expect nothing from the world, but I will realize that as I give to the world, the world will give to me.
Have a happy, healthy new year - and to ensure a happy new year for everyone else, if you're driving don't drink, and if you're drinking, don't drive. - LOVE, ABBY
P.S. God bless our men and women in uniform not only in the Persian Gulf, but in Korea, Okinawa and in every corner of the world where our flag is flying. And let us not forget those patriotic Americans who are serving their country in the Peace Corps.
Addendum: The late Dr. Armand Hammer, a longtime cherished friend, told me that he had this column taped to his bathroom mirror so he could read it every morning while shaving.
To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)