Not the same old “New Year’s Resolutions” column

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The new year (and in the this year’s case, a new decade…) has arrived, and with it New Year’s resolutions.  We promise to lose weight, exercise more, be nicer, finish that half-done home improvement project…etc. And let’s face it, most people never follow through on those resolutions.  We get too busy, or we decide that whatever we want to do is too much work, or we wonder what the heck we were thinking when we resolved to learn how to play the oboe — or whatever.

And it’s also the time when columnists like me give you ideas on what resolutions you should make for the coming year. Blah, blah, blah.

Instead, I’ll just give a little nudge to remind you about all the things you resolved to do in the past.  Hopefully, you’ve kept these resolutions, but if not, well, maybe it’s time to try again.

Be a good steward of our open spaces. Don’t just toss your trash out the car window, or along the trail. When required, stay on designated trails and don’t wander into sensitive areas.  Follow Leave No Trace guidelines.

Be a good example to other users. Show your kids how to be a responsible trail user. If dogs have to be on leash, make sure your best friend is on leash. Don’t cross into closed areas.  Follow the “rules of the road”: Bikes yield to hikers, everyone yields to horses, and downhill yields to uphill. And, be friendly. Say “hi” to the people you meet. Share your knowledge.

Help make our open spaces better.  Join one of the many park friends groups and support their mission. Go to the city or county Parks Advisory Board meetings. Or better yet, go to both. Even better, when an opening comes up, volunteer to be a member of one of the boards. Volunteer to clean up a park. Or help to build, repair or maintain one of the many trails. Don’t know how?  The Rocky Mountain Field Institute will help you learn at their crew leader class.

See, it’s pretty simple. I’ll bet these all look familiar. If you’re still doing these good deeds, great. If not, let this serve as a gentle reminder to try again.

Happy New Year.

Be good. Do good things.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob’s Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website ( E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: