Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Try to Seize Each Day and Make It Your Own

DEAR READERS: My New Year's column has become an annual tradition. These New Year's resolutions are based on the original credo of Al-Anon with the addition of some variations of my own.

Just for today, I will live through this day only, and not set far-reaching goals to try to overcome all my problems at once. I know I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. I will chase them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts.

Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

Just for today, I will improve my mind. I will not be a mental loafer. I will force myself to read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and not speak ill of others. I will look as good as I can, dress becomingly, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I'll try not to improve anybody except myself.

Just for today, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll make an honest effort to quit. If I'm overweight, I'll eat nothing I know to be fattening. And I will force myself to exercise -- even if it's only walking around the block or using the stairs instead of the elevator.

We know so much more today about nutrition and how exercise and sensible living can extend life and make it more enjoyable; so just for today, I'll take good care of my body so I can celebrate many more happy new years.

Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow it to the letter, but I will have it -- thereby saving myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

To one and all, a happy, healthy New Year! -- LOVE, ABBY

P.S. I'm sure anyone who lives with a football addict will appreciate the following letter I've been saving for today. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: No earth-shaking problem, just a day-brightener:

A man bought his mother, a sweet old lady of 75, a portable television set for Christmas. After the excitement of the holidays was over, she finally sat down on New Year's Day to watch some TV. Anticipating a game show or a soap opera, she turned it on -- and got the Rose Bowl game. She changed the channels and saw the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl. In disgust, she turned the set off.

The next day she phoned her son: "I'm sorry to tell you this, son," she said, "but there's something wrong with the television set you got me. The only thing you can get on it is football games." -- DEAN BUNN, BROOKLYN CENTER, MINN.

DEAR DEAN: The football crowd may not appreciate that joke, but anyone who is "bowled over" today will.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600