Many Americans need more motivation.

One of the greatest internal dynamics that any human can possess is motivation. Life is very difficult for many Americans because they have lost their motivation. I recently saw a story about a 100-year-old man who sky dived out of an airplane. The reporter covering the story said he also enjoys doing yoga and apparently enjoys living an active life.

As a kid growing up “down the way” in Cleveland, Ohio I was a member of one of the most dysfunctional households imaginable.  Food was not always available, but on those rare occasions when the stars were aligned and my Aunt Mattie Ida was in the house, life seemed so good.  There was nothing better than dining on her wonderful deep-fried chicken, collard greens, homemade potato salad, cornbread and peach cobbler.  Of course, those meals also included a refreshing jar of Kool-Aid.  The sugar sweetened beverage poured over ice cubes just hit the spot!  My siblings and I felt as if we had died and gone to heaven.  Then one day a terrible thing happened that changed the way I would look at Kool-Aid forever.

 Are you confused about what diet advice to follow? Trying to keep up with discussions about the science of food and metabolism, the environmental impacts of our food system, and the influence of politics and food policy makes my head spin.

Here’s a suggestion for a New Year resolution that will have a positive impact on your family: make it your mission in 2017 to inspire the love of reading in the young learners of your family, says David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize.

I hope 2017 can be a good year for you. Whatever you can do to assist with the success of your year will be very helpful. A local businessman remarked recently, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." All of us are recipients of some bad luck throughout life. Often some of our bad luck is because of people we are associated with in our lives. What other people do greatly impacts us. A spouse, a parent, a child or work associate all affect us for good or bad. It's good for us when people we are close to are successful and not so great when they mess up.  However, the bottom line is that we must all individually take ownership of our lives.

Don't want to bend in the shape of a pretzel? Think you aren't flexible? Do you fear the downward dog? Don't worry — yoga is about more than contorting your body into strange shapes. And that means anyone can try it.