Yes, tomorrow begins the new year. And to help you get the year off to a rousing start, weíre providing some helpful New Years Resolutions for you ó some serious, some not so much.

So go ahead and cut the list out. Stick it on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror. Repeat the resolutions to yourself at least 27 times a day. Commit them to memory and plan for the best-est year ever.

9. Forgo Top 10 lists. They are so 2008. Instead, all lists should be ďTop NineĒ in honor of Ď09.

8. Speaking of honoring Ď09, try to visit nine new places close to home this year. Too often, we miss what is in our own backyard. Try a festival or event youíve always intended to go to but never made it. Visit a museum or art gallery here in Harvey County. Or maybe even venture into a local merchant or restaurant to see what youíve been missing. Here are a few examples of events and attractions: The Harvey County Free Fair, Goessel Threshing Days, Peabody Operation Celebration, the Hillsboro Folk Festival and Demolition Derby, the Carriage Factory Gallery, the Harvey County Historical Museum, the Kauffman Museum, the Warkentin House, the Apple Blossom Festival, the Parade of Lights, the Newton Downtown Car Show, the Recreation Commission Easter Egg Hunt, Chisholm Trail Festival, Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Harvey County East and West lakes, Fall Fest at Bethel College, Taste of Newton ó OK, thatís way more than nine. (And thereís no way to list all the shopping and eating possibilities.)

7. Leave for work 15 minutes early, thus avoiding the dreaded panic that sets in when you realize you have one minute to get to work and the train lights are flashing and the train horn is honking.

6. Attend at least one government meeting ó local council or commission or the county commission. Youíll learn a lot and have a better understanding of how things work around here. And then when itís time to gripe about local government, you will have lots more information and far more specifics at your disposal.

5. Recycle not only the goods in your own household, but recycle when visiting those who live outside the long arm of the automated trash truck. When visiting Granny, stealthily stick squashed pop cans in your purse, and stuff your pockets with every piece of scrap paper imaginable from Uncle Edís place. And thus, together, we will single-handedly save the world.

4. Answer at least one Voices question this year ó not counting open forum week ó or write a letter to the editor. Itís cathartic.

3. Volunteer at a local organization. So many need help, and itís a great way to get out and get connected ó whether itís through a civic organization, a charity, an organization like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, or your church. Itís good, clean (and cheap) family fun.

2. Repeatedly repeat: ďI WILL not cuss at trains. I will NOT cuss at trains. I will not CUSS at trains. I will not cuss at TRAINS.Ē

1. And lastly, donít be too hard on yourself if you happen to falter on a resolution or two (especially No. 2). Thirty-five percent of people typically break their New Yearís resolutions by the end of January, and only 45 percent make them to begin with, so go easy on yourself and enjoy Ď09. Happy New Year from all of us.

ó The editorial board