2020 has arrived, a new decade is beginning, fresh starts are in place and hopefully, we are ready to live the best life to date. For many of us this means making resolutions, starting a new diet or work out program or a string of other changes intended to improve our self and life.

New Year’s resolutions tend to fade soon after arriving. The grueling pace of life makes completing a workout challenging, and the ease of fast food makes dieting overrated. We weigh and measure ourselves hoping the regular check-ins, vision boards and plans for the perfect summer vacation will make the weight melt off and our bodies morph into the images we watch on YouTube.

At the end of the day, what positive changes have we made? Sure, we can outline our lips to perfection, have mastered contouring and understand the perfect selfie pose, but what has really changed? What impact does this have on our lives, our community, our neighbors?

What would happen if rather than making resolutions to improve our outwards selves, we made resolutions to improve our inward selves? Yes, changing our diets to a healthier balance of fruit, vegetables, lean protein and unprocessed foods will positively impact our physical health, they will also positively impact our mental and emotional health. Adding 30 minutes a day of low impact cardio and 2-3 sessions of weight training a week will also improve physical, mental and emotional health. We should all make these changes because we desire to live a healthier life, not because we desire to mimic an unhealthy, highly photoshopped image of a celebrity.

As we begin to make positive changes, as we focus on improving our mental and emotional health we begin to heal and forgive. Slowly, our perspectives change from inward to outward. True change happens when we are secure and confident enough to leave the past in the past, stop judging others, recognize the hurt and needs our community has and begin working towards a brighter day for all.

I would like to challenge you to make 2020 the year of Lawton. Make small changes within your community, change your perspective and see what Lawton could be. Rather than complain, ask what you can do to help solve the problem. Instead of rushing past your neighbor, say hi and slowly get to know them. Volunteer more and focus on ourselves less. Hold the door for someone, say please and thank you, offer a compliment.

My daughter loves pineapples, she adores the way they look, feel and taste. And she loves the memes surrounding them. Her favorite, stand tall and straighten your crown. Straighten your crown, give what you have where you are, expect nothing in return and watch our community improve. You could be the catalyst Lawton needs to have the best year ever.

I love hearing from my readers. You can reach me at believestrengthpassion@gmail.com.

Sara Orellana-Paape lives in Lawton.

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