Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions,” said Mark Twain. “Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

It’s that time of year when everyone gets a clean slate and many pledge intentions to make a better life. Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street was recently named one of the best intersections in Oak Park by this newspaper and here’s what passers-by were vowing for their New Year’s resolutions (A few people who were also reached by phone):

“Help my teenagers become independent young adults and contributing members of society,” said Becky Brofman of Oak Park. “This just made my day; I can’t wait to see it on Wednesday.” I bet her kids can’t either.

“We’re holding ‘The Biggest Loser’ contest,” said Jo Anne Plumb, a longtime employee of a professional answering service in the Medical Arts Building. “About seven of us-all different ages-are playing. We’re making a really good pot-$5 per week-and we’re going until June 1st to make sure everyone has a chance to succeed.”

“I resolve to apply for a job writing at the Wednesday Journal,” said the young woman behind the counter at Caribou Coffee. “I am taking a few years off before grad school and miss writing.”

“I want to be on time-not that I’m late, put that in-it’s just that I’d like to arrive 10 minutes early,” said the other Caribou Coffee employee. Both chose to remain nameless but they live in Oak Park, and you know where to find them.

Deirdre “Dee” Brennan, executive director of the Oak Park Public Library, vowed to “read the classics-well, read more good books this year and to be the best executive director of the Oak Park library I can possibly be.”

“Savor life,” said Velna Kolodziej, an Oak Parker with an “I’m Straight But I’m Not Narrow” button on her coat.

“I resolve to not make any more resolutions,” said her husband, George. “It lowers my self-esteem.”

“My first is to try to be more prompt, especially at family gatherings (my mother, sister and brother all live in Palatine). I am routinely 45 minutes late. No matter what time we decide to gather, I usually find myself leaving Oak Park about the same time that I am supposed to be in Palatine. I resolve to be more thoughtful of others and plan accordingly!” said Jessica MacKinnon.

“My second resolution is to act more often upon my good intentions. I think that so many of us have good intentions-because most of us are basically good, well-meaning people (especially in Oak Park!), but as my mother always used to say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The world would be a better place if all of us actually did the things that we know are right. I resolve to be more pro-active this year, and to carry out the good intentions that I contemplate in the middle of the night.”

“Find more time,” said Tina Reynolds, director of BRAVO at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, “for myself, for my family.”

“Improve my nutritional habits,” said Richard Petrizzi of Chicago. “They are good, but I want to work with a nutritionist and make some twists.”

“Go to Jamaica,” said Amy Clark-Williams visiting Oak Park from Wheaton. Her husband, Dan, said his resolution is “to go with her.”

“To practice kindness in every single form possible,” said Cathleen McCluskey, formerly of Oak Park and now a resident of Washington State.

“Stay in good health,” said Kevin Carson. “Keep exercising.”

“I am going to make a solid financial plan,” said Dwight Stewart, a chaplain at West Suburban Hospital.

“Get more organized and stay on top of things,” said Kate Arnoldt, manager of the retail store FlyBird.

“Buy a new car,” said Matt Johnston, morning manager of Buzz Café.

Alma Washington, an associate at Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, said, “Get closer to God, get more in touch with The Word.”

“Party like it’s 1999,” said Jeff Schlueter, a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

“I resolve to make sure that every one of my customers knows that I appreciate them,” said Val Camilletti, of Val’s halla Records. “Since the move to Harrison Street, I have felt so much love and support from people, and I want each and every one to know that I will never forget their loyalty.”

“I believe every day is a New Year,” said a man who chose to remain anonymous. And that just may be the key to making everyone’s resolutions successful.

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