My New Year’s resolutions rarely see the light of February. I know why I fail at this seasonal activity but it still doesn’t keep me from creating new ones, boldly sharing them with close friends and joining in their chuckles when I fall short.

In past years, my resolutions create often unrealistic visions of an “improved Don.” This better version of me never butters his popcorn, resists the temptation of gooey cinnamon rolls, comes to complete stops at empty intersections and always matches his socks as soon as they come out of the dryer. The “improved Don” sounds like quite a guy!

The serious side of me recognizes a magic-wand approach to real change only occurs in poorly scripted movies and fairy tales. My work at The Change Companies has allowed me to witness talented professionals assist people in making positive and lasting life changes.

From The Salvation Army ARC in Harrisburg to Serenity Lane in Eugene, I’ve seen individual lives transformed. I’ve seen families and communities heal. Often, this is not a quick or easy resolution, but I’ve seen change occur in small, wondrous ways each day.

Overbuttered popcorn, mismatched socks and other peccadillos may still haunt me as I enter 2012. But, over time, supportive friends and dedicated professionals have helped me change more significant behaviors so I can look forward to another year. For that, I am so grateful.