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  • By Aline Yamashita

Working on belated New Year's resolutions? Some advice

As you are making Christmas wish lists or New Year resolutions, a priceless item could be time.

For yourself, make the time to write a journal to reflect on where you are and where you want to be. Determine and do. Smile and go!

With your significant other, make the time to hold hands. Recapture the exhilarating feeling of falling in love. Look at photos. Toast to each other. Giggle and hug!

With your family, make the time to create joyous memories. Walk in the rain. Bake cookies. Go for a ride around the island – with a picnic basket. Create a family song. Write poems. Go fishing. Laugh and celebrate!

With our community, make the time to see, to listen, and to understand. Smile at someone you don’t know. Keep the door open for the next person. Share and appreciate!

For the world, make the time to pray. Maybe it’s the instantaneous notice of events but the bombardment of unfortunate happenings puts us on edge. There are horrible people. At the same time, there are wonderful people. Let’s tip the scales and have the wonderful occurrences take center stage more often. Hope and pray!

For our future, make the time to get to know the candidates for the next election. Who will work with the people? Who will welcome you through their doors? Who will be fearless of needed change? Who will respect each of us? Who knows how to collaborate? Who will embrace policies and practices that are so simple that they’re brilliant? Who will facilitate oversight hearings on issues meaningful to the people? Who will get mass transit and medicinal marijuana up and running? Who will invest in agriculture and aquaculture as an industry? Who will invest in human capital from the very beginning by making early childhood education a priority? Think about it and talk about it!

In education, make the time to determine who will be a board member serious about preparing all students for life, promoting excellence, and providing support. Who will be serious about a master plan for our 30,000 students? Who will get the home of the Sharks, home of the Geckos, home of the Hawks, home of the Roadrunners re-built? Who will be serious about supporting charter schools by developing an overall transitional plan for the potential conversion of schools into charter schools? Who will explain how Title IX charges can be expunged – or, was there a full investigation and conclusion and it wasn’t shared with the community?

In the world of work, make the time to work with those with disabilities. Ask that life coaches be supported. Life coaches help individuals realize their potential – at a job that they are good at and enjoy. Life coaches help others understand the way we are and the best practices to have a good day at work. Once they see it, employers will embrace the work ethics of workers with disabilities. These workers are reliable and consistent.

In our church, let’s focus our time on being God’s ambassadors. Let us be fair and civil. Let us be open and forgiving. Let us learn and let us believe. Let us continue to strengthen our faith by praying together as we give thanks for the sacrifice He made so that we may live with faith, hope, and love.

Yes, there never seems to be enough time but know that until we focus on what’s important, all the time in the world won’t make a difference – at all.

Aline Yamashita is an educator and former senator. Send feedback to

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