New Year’s resolutions can be about more than self-improvement – TribLIVE

People tend to focus New Year’s resolutions on self-improvement and fulfillment.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the resolution.

In 2020, about 75% of adult Americans set a goal to better themselves in 2021. But Forbes reported there is
research to show that, year after year — for a variety of reasons — most have abandoned the effort by February.

So … here we go again? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Volunteer opportunities abound, especially if you find something that you like doing anyway, said Larry Boehm of Leechburg.

In 2010, Boehm volunteered to help tend to the abandoned Leechburg Cemetery after driving by and seeing the job being done by older people.

“I recognized that the work couldn’t just be done by people in their 70s,” said Boehm, 49. “It’s just too tough to be up there at that age cutting 5 acres of grass. The opportunity came up, and I got involved. After that, things just kind of cascaded.”

He would visit the Leechburg Museum to research the cemetery and was asked to join its board. Then it was the Leechburg Shade Tree Commission, Community Development Corp. and Parks Committee, along with the Experience Armstrong tourist information center.

“My wife (Jennifer) once asked me if I was getting tired of it, and if I thought about quitting,” said Boehm, who works in data services for Verizon. “It does take time away from her, but she’s still supportive. But I can get in the car and go to the store, and on the way there, see tangible evidence of some way I have helped.

“I literally can see things I’ve done over the past 10 years and say, ‘If I hadn’t done this, this would be a lot worse’ or ‘This wouldn’t even be here.’ And that’s pretty motivating.”

Seeing results also is a motivating force for Theo van de Venne of Murrysville, who has been volunteer coordinator for Murrysville Parks since 1999.

“I work practically every day in the parks,” said van de Venne, 80. “I enjoy being in the woods better than being in the inside of my house.”

Her particular interest is in environmental …….


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