Joe McFarland: Appreciating the small things in 2019

Onions for sale at the Calgary Farmers' Market. Michael King/Global News

I have never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. It’s always felt a tad arbitrary to make up some kind of goal that very few actually have the intention of fulfilling and doing it on what seems like an arbitrary date.

Why wait until the beginning of a new year to do something for yourself or others when you could do it right now?

That being said, I used to make what I called “lifestyle changes.” They were small things that I knew I could accomplish that I knew would make me or someone else feel good. They ranged from “go skating in the winter” to “see more concerts” to “go for a walk once in a while.” I never attached any numbers to them, only hoping that one would lead to another, to another and so on.

This year, I figured I would get back on that train as I admittedly let it slip in recent years. Maybe I got a little too comfortable coasting along or maybe I just never really proclaimed anything as being too important to post on social media like I used to.

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READ MORE: How to really – actually – make a difference in your life this year

I have come up with three things that I hope we will be able to revisit in a year and say “it was a lot of fun making those small changes.”

In no particular order:

Buy more local

I’ve always been a big believer in a “thank you economy” of sorts. If a company contributes to something near and dear to your heart, why not show them your gratitude by supporting them back? I mentioned it during the 770 CHQR Pledge Day for the Calgary Children’s Foundation and feel as though I need to put my money where my mouth is and do it even more this year. Whether it is at farmers markets or just finding shops in the communities I visit, I want to help them out in any way I can.

Take more pictures

Being at home over the holidays, it was amazing to see how many photos we have up around the house. It made me realize I’m not doing a good enough job of showing off some of the amazing adventures Erin and I have been on over the past couple of years. Part of it is not showing off the pictures we have taken, but the other part is not getting enough pictures in the first place. With the wedding coming up in April, I’m sure there won’t be any shortage of opportunities, but it’s the other things we do that deserve some attention too.

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More positivity

It was amazing to see the reaction we received over the last month to our slow but steady integration of “good news” stories into Calgary Today. It was obviously easy given the holidays always bring out the best in people, but I know these kinds of efforts are made all year round. While I’m not going to shy away from the “hard news” items like business, politics and crime, I’m going to make a concerted effort to inject a little more inspiration and fun into the show.

If you have an inspiring story to tell or know someone making an impact on their community in a great way, don’t be afraid to drop me a line about them. You can email me at or visit me on Twitter @CalgaryToday.​

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