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Noble Efforts

Every January my exercise routine often has to wait for a treadmill to open up at the YMCA. The gym stays crowded like that until mid-February as the weeks rub the thrill from New Year�s resolutions.

I used to privately grumble at these newcomers for their predictable lack of follow-through. But watching the pattern over the years, I�ve come to admire people�s willingness to try. Improvement starts with a desire to do better.

For many of us, getting our finances in order provides a regular supply of resolutions. Kentucky Living�s 2011 Financial Planning Guide offers advice to help you do better.

That guide started this summer when Kentucky Living met with a group of experienced financial planners who talked about a wide range of topics, from the national economy and changes in tax law, to people�s knowledge about credit and budgets. We boiled that discussion down to the six top strategies you need to know about financial planning.

You can find more general advice on getting your affairs in order by going online to and clicking on There you can learn about the difference between cleaning and organizing, and get ideas for how to get started on bringing more order into your life.

Efforts across the ocean
You can travel across the Atlantic in this month’s Future of Electricity where Portugal offers some key cautions to keep in mind when trying to develop energy policy. That coastal country�s drive to use more renewable energy is succeeding in part because of several differences with the United States, including the fact that it�s a lot smaller�about the size of Indiana.

This month’s cover story travels even farther, to the war in Afghanistan. The story features the unique and heroic efforts of agricultural experts in the Kentucky National Guard. Those specialists are giving new meaning to the phrase �doing their best.� They are using their skills and knowledge, and risking their lives, to help people on the other side of the world, and to protect those of us here at home.

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