On the Vikes-Pack showdown, paying it forward all year long, the fiscal cliff, New Year's resolutions and union power.

Time to make those New Year’s resolutions
It's the end of the year. Time for New Year's resolutions. Eating healthier or losing weight/exercising is a popular choice. But more often than not, they find themselves not fulfilling their goal soon after making a resolution, or not starting it at all. Usually a lack of motivation is behind it or everyone gets busy with their everyday lives. How about this: don't make such big goals. Start small. If your goal is eating healthier, remove temptation by locking away the junk food and give the key to someone else. If you don't want to go cold turkey, allow yourself one snack a week. If you want to work out more, post notes all over the notes to remind yourself to start exercising three times a week, then increase over a four-week period. It can be done, people.

Move away from that fiscal cliff
As of press time today, a solution to the United States' impending fall off the "fiscal cliff" appeared to remain out of reach. The financial implications of this are great, and we needn't share all the gory details in this space. But it won't, contrary to popular belief, be the end of the world. The U.S. will survive, although perhaps a little worse for wear. So who will be to blame if and when this happens? Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature, along with this whole divided partisan politics system. The American people want our legislators to work together, not counteracting each other's agendas and seeing to it that nothing gets done.

Stronger union power
A couple more did it earlier this month; after being locked out of their jobs at American Crystal Sugar for a second Christmas, they finally bit the bullet and took other jobs. They had to, right? What else are they supposed to do? There are bills to pay, groceries to buy, and vehicles that need gas and, without money, what can they do? Suffer, that’s what. So as a result, we have a union membership that’s a fraction of what it once was, thanks to people finding other jobs or simply retiring if they were of age, and a lockout that seems to get quieter by the day. Will there be another union vote? Will there be more “negotiations” that apparently aren’t really negotiations at all? The answer is probably yes to both; otherwise, everyone’s going to forget all about this, which is probably what the company wants anyway.

Vikes need to lean on AP Index on next meeting with Packers
Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. That's what fans of the Green Bay Packers must be thinking today as their favorite team was beaten by their hated rival Minnesota Vikings. The win not only boosted the Vikings into the playoffs, but setup a rematch in the Wild Card Round matchup next Saturday between the two teams. Christian Ponder seems to be finding the form he had earlier in the season when the Vikings took down the San Francisco 49ers. Nothing needs to be said about Adrian Peterson, except that he is making a strong case to be called the greatest running back ever. In two games against the Packers he has more than 400 yards rushing. And the Purple defense, although it allowed 34 points and 365 passing yards, made some key stops and allowed the Vikings to get out to a lead. Bring on the Lambeau lore. We have an AP for that!

Share the holiday spirit all year long
After New Year’s Day on Tuesday, another holiday season will have come and gone and, even though we’re enjoying a minute or two of extra daylight each day, the so-called dog days of winter will settle in. People might even find themselves in the doldrums. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Like Bill Murray’s character says in the 1980s film, “Scrooged,” we can share the Christmas spirit every day of the year. Keep performing random acts of kindness, no matter how small they are. Keep paying it forward, even if that means buying the coffee for the next person in line. Keep being the first to say hello when you cross paths with someone in the grocery store aisle. Keep holding the door for the person behind you. It’s easy. We can all do it.