New Years’ Resolution: Five Steps to Being a Bigger Fan

A “fan,” sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fan base or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention. (Wikipedia)

Fans come in all shapes, sizes, and...well, colors!

Are You a “fan?”  By definition, being a fan means that you display a positive approach to your support. If this were not true, then why would the definition be littered with so many positive words (see underlined)?

Nowhere do I see this definition so clearly displayed that during the college football season, and more enthusiastically during the Bowl Season. The opposite is also true – where I see people who call themselves “Fans” behaving in ways so contrary to definition.

For example: My alma mater just completed their season with a loss in a bowl game. The so-called fans are calling for assistant coach’s heads on platters, and bad-mouthing the play of young men who have given their all this season for the sheer love of game and a college education. For me, being a fan means support through thick-and-thin, during good times and bad.

How much money I donate (or not) to the school does not determine how much of a fan I am — and I have no more or less right to claim my “fan-ness” than the next supporter.  But my parents raised me to understand that “…if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”  I still try to live by this credo, and when the team is not performing well, I keep my mouth shut.

I also try to apply this approach to how I live each day — I’m a fan of me!  I’m a fan of my wife and the life we have together.  I’m a fan of my kids, their wives and our grandson.  I’m a fan of my friends, co-workers, and the connections I’ve made on Facebook, LinkedIn and @Twitter. But even I know that living my life as a better fan is possible!  And that is my resolution for the New Year, to work at being an aficionado of those objects of my fan-ness!  It’s so easy being a fan if you adopt these Five Steps to Being a Bigger Fan:

    • Support the object(s) of your affection with enthusiasm;
    • Regularly write and send fan mail (a Post-It with three words on it is often more than enough!);
    • Promote your person’s interests and be attentive to their need to pursue them;
    • Keep feedback positive, even if the instance prompting the feedback is negative;
    • Don’t keep your “fan-ness” to yourself. Be a fan in public, leading by example so others can see how they could be a fan in their own circles.

You know, 2012 is starting to look pretty good.  Until next time, Keep It Relevant and have a Happy New Year!



How to Add Years to Your Life – No Kidding!

So my friends (not really my friends, but it sounds better than “my trusted advisors I’ve never met!) at Men’s Health magazine have published a list of 50 things to do to add years to your life. Fifty. Not five, not ten, but 50! With friends like this, who needs enemies? Anyway…I read the list for you and in lieu of laboring you with the an entire synopsis, I thought I’d just cut to the quick and list the 50 ways here. If you want to read more, feel free to visit their online website at Men’s Health.

In looking at this list compiled by authors Denny Watkins, Alison Granell, & Heather Loeb, you might try to pick out the contributions of authors Alison and Heather – hereafter referred to as A&H. I’m not intending to sound sexist…I’m just sayin’ that from my personal experience with women…well, I’ll just leave it at that!

1 Drink Five 8-Ounce Glasses of Water a Day
2 Take a Laugh Break
3 Don’t Go to Work Sick
4 Put Out the Fire in Your Chest (i.e. treat your heartburn)
5 Indulge Your Chocolate Craving [A&H?]
6 Say No to Froot Loops
7 Take a Magnesium Supplement
8 Burn 1,100 Calories a Week
9 Take a Daily Multivitamin
10 Hit the Weights
11 Set a 3-Drink Limit
12 Plop an Alka-Seltzer . . .
13 . . . and Call a Ride
14 Treat a Killer Bee Sting [Do we still believe the KB’s are coming?]
15 Eat Produce at Every Meal
16 Monitor Your Blood Sugar
17 Think Positive [A&H?]
18 Keep Your Cool
19 Dive with a Partner
20 Hit the Shark in Its Eyes or Gills [What happened to “don’t dive in shark-infested waters?]
21 For God’s Sake, Don’t Pee in the Ocean [A&H? Denny wouldn’t use “pee” in a sentence…]
22 Try a Natural Remedy [A&H?]
23 Eat Breakfast Within 90 Minutes of Waking
24 Vacuum for 30 Minutes [I’m convinced Mrs NLR contributed this one!]
25 Eat Berries
26 Drownproof Yourself
27 Sleep on Your Side
28 Light a Jasmine-Scented Candle [This is “Mens Health,” right?]
29 Live Life in a Smoke-Free Zone [What? Kill all the smokers first?]
30 Dodge a Deadly Lightning Bolt
31 Put Your iPod on a Mount
32 Check Your Smoke Alarms
33 Sip on Mint Tea
34 Don’t Jaywalk [I am a big believer in this one! Your insurance settlement climbs by a power of 10 if you’re hit while in a cross-walk!]
35 Don’t Get Blown to Bits
36 Find Time to Exercise . . .
37 . . .Then Take It Outside
38 Cut Out the Sweet Stuff
39 Douse Your Salad with Oil and Vinegar [“Douse?”  C’mon Denny…grow some!]
40 Add Curry to Vegetables
41 Be a Career Coach
42 Stash an Air Freshener in Your Car [“…or Alison and Heather won’t ride with you.]
43 Test Yourself for HIV
44 Fall on Your Butt
45 Design a Colorful Menu
46 Take a Noontime Nap […and keep my job too?]
47 Steep Your Tea for at Least 3 Minutes
48 Use Watercress in Your Salad
49 Enjoy Your Joe (coffee!)
50 Ask for the Heel (of bread).

So after digesting the 50-item list I really thought that ten simple recommendations would do — and I don’t know about you — but remembering 10 things is pretty much my limit.  So here are my suggestions:

    1. Subtract five years and legally change your date-of-birth records
    2. Encourage your spouse to use the courtesy clerks at the store to pick products off the higher shelves.  This way, you can stay home, keep your feet up and watch the game in relative peace and quiet.
    3. Think positively,,,about sex…or supermodels…all the time!  It’s good for the heart muscle.
    4. Vacuum until the house is done – 30 minutes is not going to get the job finished, and will keep the missus from swinging on you!
    5. Sleep when you want, where you want.  You’re old…it’s expected…downright forgivable actually!
    6. Have your kids check your smoke alarms when they come over — you shouldn’t be up on ladders anyway.  Which leads us to #7.
    7. Don’t fall…period.  This really needs no further explanation.
    8. Eat roasted jalapenos – they help remind you you’re alive!
    9. Try a natural remedy – let the grass grow (lawn mowing has been linked to several fatal heart attacks)
    10. Man up!  Take your whiskey straight, or with a splash of water – cut out the sweet mixers and garnish.

There…that was rather taxing.  I think I’ll go find a place to lie down for twenty minutes.

Until next time — Cheers!