A different kind of resolution

By JASON PATTERSON,

I can see my friends struggling not to roll their eyes when I start telling them about my New Year’s resolutions.

They don’t want to hurt my feelings because they know I’m excited about them.

I see why they think it’s silly.

After all, we have the power to change ourselves at any time.

Why should we wait for a particular date on the calendar to change something about ourselves that we know needs changing? Why put off for tomorrow what we can do today?

For people like me, it’s because we kind of like some of the things we need to change about ourselves – even if we know it might not be good for us.

Maybe that’s true for all of us.

I still have some of those same goals for 2019. I want to get healthier and shake off some bad habits, but I’m also taking a different approach to the idea of making myself a better man in the new year.

I’m going to try to improve on some of the things that I already like about myself. I’m going to try do the things I think I do best even better. Maybe this will be easier than those other resolutions that test my willpower each year because the things you do best are likely to also be things that you enjoy.

For example, at this stage in my life, the number one priority is being a good husband and a good father. I think that my wife and kids would agree that I have at least been competent in those roles.

But there’s always room for improvement, and I don’t have to think very long to come up with ways that I can do better.   Best of all, I will enjoy doing those things.

A great deal of my energy is dedicated to this newspaper. It’s a demanding job at times, and since my wife Jamie and I work together it sometimes seems like our lives revolve around it.

We’ve had a great time in over a decade working as a team at this newspaper. Our entire married life has been spent working at The Yazoo Herald. Along the way we’ve welcomed three children into the world while taking on additional duties at work in response to changing business environments.

We’ve enjoyed a lot of success, but I don’t think either of us is ever satisfied. With each edition I always wish there would have been more time to do more. We’ve never had the resources to do everything we envision.

This year I’m going to take a hard look at ways to improve in my role as publisher of this newspaper.

It is my responsibility to make sure this community has a strong newspaper. I think our staff does a great job of telling the stories of the people of Yazoo, but I know that we can do a better job of telling our own story.

You hear all of the stories of doom and gloom for the newspaper industry, and it’s certainly a more challenging field these days, but quality community newspapers are going to survive.

We still have strong readership in our community, and the arrival of the Internet and social media has only expanded our reach. While our printed newspaper is still by far our core product, our website gets more traffic than any other site in Yazoo County, and the same is true for our social media pages. The Yazoo Herald has been the most effective way for businesses to get their message to local people for many years, and it still is today.

That’s something we need to do a better job of explaining to our advertising customers, and it will be one of my goals for 2019.

I hope that those of you who join me in resolving to improve in 2019 are successful. I am looking forward to seeing great things from you this year.