The calendar is about to flip and many of us will make resolutions for the new year because that is what we do.

Some of us will resolve to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Some of us will resolve to get out of debt.

For some of us, the resolution will be to try something new, something a little crazy, out of the ordinary.

I’m not big on setting resolutions, but I set a few for myself last year and have a few more I’m going to set this year.

I’ve done all right on a few of my resolutions for 2011 (I’ve started to live healthier and lose weight) and thankfully didn’t try a few others (What made me think it was a good idea to learn to ride a motorcycle?).

In 2012, I have two resolutions: To continue to live healthier and to run a half marathon. Wish me luck.

As sports fans, we would be wise to set a few resolutions for 2012 that will make us better fans and help us enjoy the games we love even more.

Here are few suggestions.

* Stop overreacting.

There is nothing more annoying than sitting down to watch a game and having your phone blow up with text messages or your Twitter timeline blow up with Tweets about how awful your favorite team is because something went wrong five minutes into the game. Really people, it’s OK if the Patriots have to punt on their first possession, or if the Red Sox give up a run in the first inning. The beauty of sports is things can change in a hurry. Don’t let one play, one quarter, one half inning ruin your day.

And if it does ruin your day, keep it to yourself.

* Think before you shout at an official.

I covered a high school football game this fall where fans on both sides of the field yelled at the refs, “There are two teams on the field today, call it both ways.” Chances are, if people on both sides of the field are making that demand, that is exactly what the officials are doing.

Some officials are good and some are bad, but rarely do they decide the outcome of the game. Not every travel is going to get called and not every hold is going to get flagged. It’s not going to be the difference in your team winning or losing.

And if you don’t know the rules, please zip your lip. It will make the game much more enjoyable for everyone.

* Participate.

Join a baseball or softball team. Go to an open gym to shoot some hoops. Shovel the pond and play shinny. Sign up for a couple of 5Ks.

Most of us got hooked on sports when we were kids, playing baseball in our front yard or shooting hoops in our driveway. As adults, we are too quick to hang up our spikes and let the basketball go flat in the closet. We let our lives as workers, parents, home owners keep us from playing the games we love.

Don’t. Make time to play. With the right crowd, sports are as fun to play now as they were then. No, you won’t recover as quickly, but those aches and pains are worth it.

* Get involved.

Coach a youth team. Volunteer to do fundraising or keep score. Help with maintenance on the local ball field.

Every town can use volunteers. Without people willing to give their time and effort, opportunities for young athletes don’t exist.

And keep that in mind the next time you want to rip your child’s Little League coach. More often than not that person is doing their best to give each child on the team a chance to play and learn the game. Be thankful someone made the effort and don’t be afraid to make an effort of your own.

There you go. Four simple New Year’s resolutions that will help you enjoy sports a whole lot more in 2012. Give them a shot. I’m adding them to my list.

And I’m scratching “Learn how to ride a motorcycle” off.

Scott Martin is the Executive Sports Editor for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. Reach him at [email protected], @scottamartin on Twitter, or 621-5618

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