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Our View: New year can be a time for personal inspection

:A new year is often a time for celebration, but it also presents us with a time to focus on positive changes in our lives. Although Jan. 1 is nothing more than a date on a calendar, there is nothing wrong with using the date as a distinct time to change something in our lives.

As we look ahead to 2014, there are plenty of things that will cause us to ponder as Jan. 1 rolls around - dealing with violence issues, energy issues and the federal government continuing to struggle with health care and finding a balance regarding spending and taxation.

Locally, there will be county and municipal issues. The school district is still struggling with a solution to the continuing enrollment growth. There will be important decisions regarding the library, county property and much more.

Decisions made in 2014 are likely to have a huge impact on all citizens.

Around the world there are continuing issues in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism is with us each day and we sometimes get the feeling that the world is spinning out of control. There is still uncertainty in the financial markets, in both the United States, and around the world. As individuals, we don't have a lot of control over the fate of world peace, terrorism or many other national and international issues.

What a new year offers, however, is the prospect of changing something in our own lives - something over which we do have some control.

For some people it could be shedding a few pounds, making an attitude adjustment or changing other aspects of our lives that could impact our happiness, or the happiness of those around us. There is nothing wrong with attempting to improve a small corner of our own life.

Of course, there is no magic in the date of Jan. 1. We should be attempting to make minor adjustments in our lives each day of every year! As they say, there is always room for improvement. We may not always be successful with our ideas, but any attempt and any improvement is better than nothing at all.

The new year does offer us a very visible time to take stock in our personal inventory. We look forward to the new year with great expectation and hope you are successful with any adjustments planned in your life.

Happy New Year!