It’s that time of year again – out with the old and in with the new. For many, it’s a time of reflection and evaluation not of others, but of one’s self. This is usually when people begin to take inventory of their lives, where they’ve come from and where they’re headed. They choose to set goals, aspirations or better yet, New Year’s resolutions.

For Britt Holmes and his wife, 2013 will bring with it the challenge of learning a new language as they embark on a missionary journey to Sendai, Japan. 

Holmes is a recent graduate of Southwestern Assemblies of God University and said he will have an opportunity to put his degree in church ministries into action beginning in January.

“My wife and I will both be teaching English in Japan by the end of January,” Holmes said. “We made a one year-commitment, but our plan is to remain there for at least three years.”

Once they arrive in Japan, Holmes said the first item on their list is to learn how to speak Japanese.

“Everything has already been set up for us,” he said. “Initially, we will have a translator, but if we’re planning on sticking around, we definitely need to learn the language.”

Learning a new language is not on Jenny Watson’s list, but getting out of credit card debt ranks number one for her and her husband.

“We know it’s impossible to live without accruing some form of debt,” Jenny said. “We have a mortgage on our house and thing’s like that. But to be rid of credit card debt has been a long-term goal of ours, and we’re on our way.”

She said by the end of 2013, they should be completely out of credit card debt and on their way to living the life they’ve wanted for them and their children.

“The goal is have money to do fun things with our kids again,” she said. “We used to have a family night that involved sitting around playing board games. Our goal is to get back to doing things like that – to be more family oriented.”

She said they’ve taken giant steps in that direction by cutting out cable and the Internet. They’ve also joined a gym as a family and plan to increase the number of days they participate as a family.

“My husband is very dedicated and goes every day,” Jenny said. “I would really like for us to spend at least three days of the week working out as a family.”

Jenny’s 11-year-old daughter Chelsea added that she is also looking forward to family game night, because it was a lot of fun. And although she wasn’t particularly happy about losing cable and the Internet, it has caused her to become more active.

“I’m really looking forward to the new year, because I get to start taking dance again,” Chelsea said.

Jenny inserted that Chelsea had to give up dance several years ago due to their insurmountable credit card debt and promised to sign her up again when they were financially stable.

Chelsea said beginning the new year in dance class will be like a dream come true.

“I absolutely love taking dance,” she said enthusiastically. “And I’m going to take all three styles, jazz, tap and ballet.”

In addition to participating in dance lessons again, Chelsea added that one of her new year’s resolutions is to maintain her organizational skills.

“I’ve been working really hard to stay organized,” she said. “And next year I’m going to have three more teachers than I have this year, which will take me staying organized to keep up with everything.”

Aaron Long-Jordan drove all the way here from Indiana in order to make one of his resolutions a reality.

“I’m here visiting my children for the holidays,” Long-Jordan said. “But the plan is to take them back to Indiana with me so they can meet their grandmother for the first time.”

He said his children are both teenagers and they’ve never met his mother or his sister. To begin 2013 with them all meeting for the first time is something he’s looked forward to for quite some time he said. 

Another goal, hope or dream for Long-Jordan involves his income. He said he hopes the company he’s with will continue to grow, because it will place him in better financial standing for the upcoming year.

Taylor Durling, 14, said his top priority for 2013 is to make it to high school.

“I’ve been working very hard in school and can’t wait to be a high schooler,” Durling said. “The minute I can say I’m a high school student, I’m going to celebrate.”

He added that he’s also been working on his physique by joining a local gym. For the new year, Durling hopes to build more muscle and maintain those healthy eating habits he’s put into place. He said making it through the holiday season has been a bit of a challenge, and if he can make it through the rest of this year, he should have no problem attaining his fitness goal.

Ashley Rigden’s goal is to also institute a regular workout regiment for herself. She said if there’s one thing at the top of her list, it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“I take zumba right now, but it’s kind of been sporadic,” Rigden said. “My goal for the new year is to workout at least three times a week.”

She added that she is also going to concentrate more on the relationships in her life.

“It’s important to establish solid relationships,” Rigden expressed. “Life is way too short and I really want to show appreciation to those in my life.”


Top 10 Most Common Resolutions for 2013 based on a poll:

• eat healthy and exercise regularly

• drink less

• learn something new

• quit smoking

• better work/life balance

• volunteer

• save money

• get organized

• read more

• finish those around the house to-do lists


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