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2019 Thank You Gratitude

5 New Year's Resolutions To Put On Your List


Take it from someone who has lived over a half a century and has written down on paper, not the computer, New Year's resolutions almost every single year! Over the years, I've learned that when you have a plan, a target, goals, dreams or even a bucket list, you tend to hit some of them, if not many of them, rather than those who don't write down their aspirations. A survey by has statistics that show "people who write down their goals, have an 80% higher success rate of achieving them." But in order for those goals to be successful, your goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and time-limited. You also need to visualize the end results, create doable or reachable goals, don't be vague, such as "I want to be rich," since the word "rich" can be defined as having $200 in the bank to one person and $50,000 in the bank to another – so be very specific! And one more way to accomplish all your goals for your 2019 New Year's Resolutions list, is to start a routine with those goals. They say it takes 60-days to form a new habit, not 30, so if you set a routine to achieve those goals, just know that by March 1, you should be on target with reaching your goals. Below are 5 great goals to put your 2019 New Year's Resolutions list.

1. Try something NEW each month

Maybe that means try a new restaurant you've never been to before in town, such the new Oakley Bistro Punahele Tonnelier on Main Street in downtown Oakley or Wence House California Cuisine, which is located at the Winco Shopping Center off Lone Tree Way. Maybe go to a ballet or a Jazz concert in San Francisco, or see a big show at the Concord Pavilion. El Campanil Theater in Antioch off W 2nd Street is featuring Nicolas Bearde on Jan. 27, who sings the music of Nat King Cole. Maybe something new to you means joining a book club or attending a cooking demonstration at Tess's Community Farm Kitchen in Brentwood off Balfour Road. When you try something new each month, it changes things up and broadens your horizons. It also gives you more to talk about at social gatherings! For me, since I write for newspapers and magazine, I'm forever learning something new about people, places and things. It's fun to learn about new things, especially when it's outside of your comfort zone.

2. Read one new BOOK a month

We all know books are sold at Barns and Nobles book store in Antioch off Lone Tree Way, Wal-Mart and of course online with, but did you know that there are many book authors located here in far East County? I've interviewed and written about many of them and the four who come to my mind quickly are the following: Michael Chrobak of Oakley, who writes fiction books about spiritual warfare. His latest book, third in a series is called, "Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion: The Guardians Crest." Visit him at For historical mystery series, check out Dan Hanel's books (he's in Brentwood) which take place at the historical John Marsh Stone House, the Byron Hot Springs, and his most recent book which just hit shelves, takes place at the Black Diamond Mines, called "In the Shadow of Diablo: Ghosts of Black Diamond." Visit him at If you're in the mood for some romance, you might want to pick up Karen Tabke's books. Known as K Tab to her friends, Karen is a multi-published, national best selling, award-winning author. Notably on the naughty side, her books can be found on her website at and on For a more Christian style of writing, local author Sarah Sundin writes about Christian romance from the World War II era. Sarah enjoys speaking to school, community, historical and church groups and she belongs to the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Visit her at 

3. Write a THANK YOU note each month

I'm talking about a good, old fashioned, handwritten thank you note, not typed on a computer and not an email or Facebook instant messenger! Every business or person gets feedback from a customer for bad service or a horrible product, but how many people receive a thank you note praising them for their great service or product, or even just a great friendship? I can tell you – probably not many at all. You don't have to write a long letter, but just a short simple note saying thank you. When I do this, people are blown away, because in this advanced technology age, no one receives handwritten notes anymore. Have you ever noticed that junk mail now uses a printed font for your address that appears to look handwritten? There's a reason for that. It's because people might open up that junk mail, thinking it came from Aunt Susie. It's simply a marketing strategy used to get you to open up the mail instead of tossing it into the circular file. So write one thank you note a month, let's say, thanking your cousin Bob for bringing the best chili beans ever to your house for Christmas Day. Cousin Bob will never forget it.

4. Start that book you've wanted to write

How long have you been thinking about writing your book? You've got some major stories to tell. Or maybe you have a family recipe book you've always wanted to create, so that you could share it with your millennial nieces and nephews. What about that How-To book you’ve wanted to write. Well there's no time like the present, right! Write a chapter a week. Or better yet, do what I did and write a certain number of words each day. My number was 700, but I write on a daily basis anyways, so writing 700 a day was easy for me. Even though 700 was easy, writing a certain number of words on demand, daily, was a little more challenging! I got this sage advice from one of the book authors I listed up above, Michael Chrobak. He's an amazing book author and an even more amazing book writing coach for newby writers. Connect with him at the website I mentioned earlier and ask him for some writing advice for you – he's quick to answer and offers excellent tips and tricks on getting started with writing your book.

5. Start a Blessings Box

I started one of these about 19 years, and whenever I have a blue day, my mood is down, or I'm in a funk that's just too difficult to get out of, I go to my Blessings Box and read. I read all the little papers that I've thrown in there over the last 19 years. Of course my box started out small, it was a plastic 3x5 index card box that you can purchase at say Staples Office Supply or Office Depot, both located off Lone Tree Way in Antioch, and I'm pretty sure the Dollar Tree off W. Sand Creek Road in Brentwood has them as well. But over the years, I've graduated to a large hat box, purchased from Hobby Lobby off Lone Tree Way. What I put in my Blessings Box are kind notes from friends, family members and former students, anywhere from thank you notes to letters of praise for maybe something I wrote about them or did for them. It brings me such joy to read these dated notes and it will do the same for you as well. Start that box on Jan. 1, 2019!

On behalf of the entire team at Cypress Self Storage, Oakley's newest self storage facility (currently under construction), we wish you an incredible 2019!

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207 E. Cypress Rd. Oakley, CA 94561

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