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Posts published in “Day: May 8, 2012

On resolutions and the new year


Sometimes turning the calendar to a new page isn’t enough. For a fresh mindset, I need a bigger, bolder signal of change. So I pick a different desktop picture for my computer; I rearrange the furniture in my living room; I cut my hair.

Still, the world is not new, and I don’t have a clean slate.

Every January, I have to come to terms with this all over again. I have to remind myself that the new year isn’t about a new me. It’s about a better me. Resolutions are meant to build upon the foundation we already have — to improve it, not erase it.

I think the best resolutions are small and simple. Something like “Become a millionaire” sounds great in theory, but it’s too big, too vague. Resolutions should be achievable — with clear, actionable steps that are completely within your control.

I prefer to make just a couple resolutions each year, in order to set myself up for success. After all, if these things were so easy to do, wouldn’t I have done them already?

This year, one of my resolutions is to make better use of my to-do list. I read somewhere that the best to-do lists have no more than 5-6 items per day. More than that and people start to feel overwhelmed. If/when they can’t cross everything off, they feel like they have failed. Plus the unfinished items carry over into the next day, along with their negative outlook.

So I plan to assign only a handful of tasks to each day, and to tackle them one at a time in an efficient and timely manner. It may sound small, but I think the ripple effects will be far-reaching.


Since moving to New York, I started recording my new year’s resolution as a pithy statement on my cell phone. The first year I moved here it was “Don’t forget about you,” to remind myself that I should stand up for my own decisions. Last year it was “Help others.” For 2012, I chose “Dream big. Act bigger.”

There are many things I would like to learn this year, from expanding my skills at work, to learning how to surf and ski. I also would like to continue traveling to other countries, seeing new sights and experiencing different cultures. Do I need a resolution to accomplish these goals? Of course not. But it helps.

Unlike Kristan, I find the point of a resolution is not to set measurable goals, but instead to shape your values and beliefs into something important. Resolutions create a focal point, and they represent your commitment to accomplish something you never thought you would. Seeing my new mantra on my cell phone every day helps frame my thinking and influence my actions in the right direction.

For example, there is a particular goal that I’ve had in mind since last year. “Dream big and act bigger” is a promise to myself that I will work hard to achieve it, continuously pushing myself out of my comfort zone without comprising who I am. That may mean I accomplish the goal, or it could mean along the way I change my course. But as long as I try, then I know I’ll be happy.

It also means I will look beyond myself and understand my impact on my peers. My decisions may be for myself, but we only reach them with the help of others.

This past year I have been very grateful for the faith that my family, friends and colleagues have in me, along with the opportunities I’ve been given. But I know there is more that I can learn as well as contribute. So I can’t settle for the status quo. I have to dream big and act bigger.

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announces resignation

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced on May 1 that he will resign his office, effective July 2 on the fifth anniversary of his appointment to the state’s highest public education post.

Scott, 43, began his career at the Texas Education Agency in 1994 as an assistant director of governmental relations.

“I’ve been here since Jon was one and Katie was three months old,” he said, referring to his children. “It’s time.” Both children have now graduated from Texas public schools.

Scott, a lawyer, has dedicated his career to education policy matters, whether serving as a congressional aide, education aide to Gov. Rick Perry or through a variety of jobs at TEA, including serving as interim commissioner and deputy commissioner.

“It’s been a privilege to serve as commissioner. I want to thank Gov. Perry for entrusting me with this job.

I also want to thank the State Board of Education for working with me to provide the best public schools possible for our students,” Scott said.

Scott served as interim commissioner of TEA from Aug. 1, 2003 to Jan. 12, 2004 and again from July 2, 2007 to Oct. 15, 2007, before being appointed as commissioner on Oct. 16, 2007.

Scott is the only person to twice serve as interim commissioner and is now the fourth-longest serving commissioner in the agency’s history. No one has had a longer tenure in the past 20 years.

Although there were many new initiatives begun during his tenure, it also fell to Scott to twice oversee drastic downsizings of TEA during a budget crisis.This prompted reorganizations of the agency and the way it operates.

“As someone who has risen through the ranks, I’ve seen firsthand the dedicated service provided by TEA employees. I want to thank them for their unwavering devotion to Texas children,” he said.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the educators who work tirelessly in our schools. I can’t thank them enough.”

Cinco de Mayo events throughout Houston and Northline Commons

By Julieta Paita

Northeast News

HOUSTON–Last weekend the city celebrated Cinco de Mayo with several parades and festive events.

Northline Commons celebrated the “Cinco de Mayo” with music, games and entertainment for entire family. During the celebration Community leaders such as Rep. Gene Green and Council Member Ed Gonzales and many others attended the event to enjoy with the community.

“I’m glad Northline Commons started a new tradition for the third year to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here at Northline Commons, said Rep. Gene Green. “The most important thing is talking about freedom, it’s about liberty” because during the Battle of Puebla which took place on 5 May 1862 near the city of Puebla, the Mexican army defeated the French forces.

During this celebration, Houston Area Community Services (HACS), was providing free cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure screening. Kids enjoyed moonwalks as well as Radio Disney show and games. One thing that could not be missing is Marichis, food and many exhibitors.

The event gold sponsors was Houston Area Community Service (HACS), Capital One Bank and Chick-Fill A.