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    ‘New Years resolutions’

    Avoiding the February Let Down

    Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

    January.  The soup kitchens and homeless shelters are swamped with volunteers, the Container Store does its best business, the lines for the treadmill at the gym snake around the block, nicotine patch sales are up and liquor sales are down.  Everyone wants to do good, be good, look good.  Then comes February: the let down.  Everyone becomes busy, fat and mean again.  Here are ten resolutions to avoid the February let down and heighten the impact this generation makes.

    1.     Brush your teeth before you check Facebook every morning.  We’re not going to sit on our high horses and tell everyone technology and social networking are taking over your lives (We tweet more than Ashton Kutcher), but making an effort to have more face- to- face contact than face- to- Blackberry screen contact can’t hurt.

    2.     Turn off the Gossip Girl re-run and turn on CNN.  Seek counseling for your tabloid addiction and pick up the newspaper.  Make an effort to follow the news and you’ll make more informed decisions when voting.

    3.     Stop bitching, start voting.  All too often we hear people aren’t voting because they are obligated to make a choice between the lesser of two evils, and they want a candidate they can believe in.  The solution to this one is relatively simple.  Vote in the primaries, pick your own candidate. Stay home, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

    4.     Reach out.  Celebrities and politicians alike have been doing their part by participating in the “It Gets Better” campaign.  So, time to pitch in!  Volunteer somewhere, reach out to someone in need, advocate for something your passionate about.  Break the apathetic teenager stereotype.

    5.     Turn off the lights and pick up a Nalgene bottle.  We’re no green environmental queens, but the Earth is everyone’s responsibility. We are the generation who has to deal with the problems created by wastefulness, so we’re taking small steps to do our parts.  You don’t have to build a wind turbine in your backyard, but using a Nalgene or travel mug instead of plastic products and turning off the lights in a room you’re not using does help.

    6.     Learn something.  If you want to become more politically active then learn some Congressional jargon (lame- duck, filibusters, you get the point); you’ll impress your friends with your new knowledge.  If you want to get fit, learn Zumba and dance your way into 2011.  When did resolutions get so cosmetic?  Expand you mind in 2011.  It might distract you from your expanding waistline come February.

    7.     Teach something.  We’re not saying apply for your PhD and become a college professor by 25, but when you learn whatever you learn for resolution six, pass it along!

    8.     Single-handedly fix the economy. OK, kidding.  But, there are little things that can help.  Pay for your music instead of downloading illegally and everyone’s happy (especially Steve Jobs).

    9.      Skip the post- concert midnight drive- thru run.  Eat less red meat, as some reports say it takes 25 square feet in the Amazon Rainforest to make one quarter pounder.  Cutting down on red meat will help us live more sustainably.

    10. Put a positive spin on things.  It’s easy to be a Negative Nancy about the state of things, especially if you follow the second resolution and follow the news.  Being negative takes way too much energy.  Dissing Kanye is so 2010.  Admire someone for doing some good in the world.

    What are some of your 2011 resolutions?  Share them with us in the comment section below!

    This post was written by our Communications intern, Maeve Coyle, and Executive Assistant to Rock the Vote’s President, Caitlin Maguire.

    Maegan Carberry
    Bio: Maegan is Communications Director of Rock the Vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com