Celebrating 2019: Local leaders, community members set New Year’s resolutions

MANISTEE COUNTY — The New Year’s resolution is a tradition for many, but for others it’s more of a tentative goal that is subject to change at some point in the year.

As 2019 swiftly approaches, people are already thinking about their New Year’s resolution, whether they are going to skip the tradition altogether or take a different route to bring in the New Year.

From working out at the gym more often to brushing up on skills, resolutions tell a lot about a person and what they prioritize in life. Sometimes, it might even be a step out of their comfort zone or just a new skill they would like to learn.

The possibilities are endless.

The News Advocate asked various city officials and community members to reflect on their New Year’s resolutions for 2019, and share what they are planning to focus on within the upcoming year.

Here’s what they had to say.

Attracting a new audience 

Xavier Verna, executive director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, spends a lot of time in his position working to bring new programming to the Ramsdell, and expand arts and cultural experiences that Manistee County has to offer.

His 2019 resolution is a professional goal.

Verna hopes to: “Engage more local and regional students at the Ramsdell, because 75 percent of them who have visited so far have not been inside before.”

A new challenge 

Julie Herringa, assistant director of the Manistee County Library, has a passion for reading and is always learning a new skill or subject.

Julie Herringa, assistant director of the Manistee County Library, has a goal to read more in 2019. (News Advocate File Photo)

For 2019, her New Year’s resolution is to complete a year-long reading challenge.

“I am doing a year-long reading challenge that will take me out of my box, and get me reading different genres and material than I typically do,” Herringa said. “I want to be a more well-rounded individual so I think it will be easiest to get momentum to achieve this by starting with something I already love to do, read.”

Checking off the list 

Jacob Bergmann, marketing and communication coordinator for the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, has many goals in mind for 2019, and he plans on attempting to achieve a balance in accomplishing all of them.

For 2019, Bergmann plans to do the following:

• Read at least one book a month, fiction and nonfiction;

• Spend at least an hour a day doing a quick sketch in a journal;

• Learn to play the guitar that he says is “collecting dust” in his closet;

• Eat more fruits and vegetables, and less junk food. He says he trying to “curb the sweet tooth down”;

• Improve his overall time during the Firecracker 5K; and

• Dedicate an hour a day to cardio exercising to improve his overall fitness.

A new community 

Lissette Reyes, Manistee’s community development fellow, recently moved to Manistee as part of the state’s Rising Tide program. Manistee was selected to participate in the program over the next year.

Her goal for 2019 is focused around that program.

Reyes is planning to: “Successfully complete my year in Manistee, as I work to continue building on the great assets of this community and its great people while we celebrate our successes.”

Stop and smell the roses 

Sarah Howard, Manistee County Council on Aging executive director, is dedicated to her work and is always on the run, completing daily tasks one after another.

However, in 2019 Howard would like to slow down, and take more time to focus on herself and family.

“My New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to take more time to smell the roses. For a few years now, I have put myself on the back burner because I am so busy with work and life,” she said. “I would like to take time to enjoy my grandchildren more, spend more time with my mom and take time to relax with my husband.”

She said her ultimate goal is to find more of a balance in life.

“You know, like everyone else, I’m not getting any younger and we are not guaranteed to grow old,” Howard said. “So, I would like to be able to find that balance in life so I can be happier with myself and my life.”

Spending time outdoors

Sgt. Steve Schmeling, with the City of Manistee Police, said his New Year’s resolutions is to spend more time outdoors, doing the recreational activities he enjoys.

Schmeling plans take a vacation now and then, and spend more time camping, fishing and boating.


Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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