ALBANY — Its been quite a year for many — nearly 365 days now — and while some are just ready for it to end, others are thinking toward the next, and how to make better.
Aside from eating less salt, and being mindful of his health, Kenneth Smith wants to be a landlord.
“I just got married last month,” Smith said, “and our goal is to own a real estate business, buy some duplexes and rent them out. We went to a program at the Hilton and they gave us some ideas on how to do that.”
Smith understands, he said, that buying real estate requires a strong credit history and a fair amount capital.
“The real resolution is probably to make sure all that is order,” Smith said.
Chad Schwartz plans to volunteer more and help people in need, he said. According to Schwartz, a member of Hasan Temple, he already lends his help to one of the Shriners’ major services, but wants to do more.
“At least once a quarter, I’ll volunteer to take patients and their families to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa,” Schwartz said. “(Hasan does) pretty much all the driving for that in south Georgia.”
According to Schwartz, Shriners Children’s Hospital specializes in treatment of children with severe orthopedic and neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and does not charge patients for travel or treatment.
“I want to get more into what (Shriners) is all about,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz will also be more involved with downtown development and support the merchants there “whenever he can,” he said.
Whit Gunnels III resolves to “come closer to God,” he said, through increased prayer and reading of the Bible. Most important, according to Gunnels, is to pay more attention to “that spiritual voice.”
“I intend to slow my life down enough I can hear what God is saying to me,” Gunnels said. “We all rush around too much during the course of any day. We’re a microwave society. We don’t need to gripe so much. We should all be humble and more grateful for what we have.”
Gunnels said that he and his girlfriend also plan to exercise, get into better shape and increase their charitable giving.
April Gurganus, an Albany cosmetologist, also plans to become more spiritual, she said. Since moving from Jackson, Tenn., a year ago, she and her family have searched for a church that suits them.
“Something fairly small,” Gurganus said, speaking of the church she’d like to find. “About 150 people or a little more. Nothing like the really big churches here. A place we can call home.”
Gurganus is also making ready for a major change — giving up her smoking habit, she said.
“I’m going to give up smoking,” Gurganus said, “Not just quit, but definitely give it up. Before the day comes, I’ll throw away all my lighters and ashtrays and just go ahead and do it. I’ve been told that prayer can help a lot.”
Gurganus also plans to “learn how to budget effectively” and save for her children’s future, she said.
Martha Harrell, who said she is “emerging from an unpleasant period in her life,” plans to get a new truck and trailer, ride her horses and “get her life back the way it used to be.”
“I’m going back to a happier time,” Harrell said, “2012 is going to be much better year for me and I’m looking forward to it.”
According to Harrell, people in the Albany area have a lot to be “happy and grateful for,” including relative proximity to Atlanta and the Florida beaches without the burden of city traffic, as well as a number of other area attractions.
“I can’t think of a place I’d rather be,” Harrell said.
Faith Jackson, a country/rock vocalist, doesn’t need to think much about her No. 1 resolution.
“I intend to have a contract and have some of my songs published in 2012,” Jackson said, “and I’ll spend more time practicing my guitar so I’ll be good enough to play on stage when I’m singing.”
Jackson’s greatest difficulty in accomplishing her resolutions is finding enough time, she said, while working as assistant manager at Anytime Fitness, running her own business and balancing her music career.
“I’ll just have to organize my time better, I guess, and delegate more to other people,” Jackson said.