Every year I make a few New Year’s resolutions. This year is no different: I have yet another chance to get it right. But in addition to the usual lose 10 pounds and exercise more litany that has been part of my resolves since I was old enough to step on a scale, I have also committed to continued self-improvement.
My brother-in-law writes a list of 100 resolutions every year and then at the end of the year tallies his scorecard for a personal evaluation. His goals are modest: read six books, go to the movies five times, clean out the basement, paint the upstairs bathroom. But I’ve always admired his clarity of purpose and his ability to articulate a model for living a good life through a list of 100 simple good things.
In the interest of brevity (and mostly because I don’t want to clean the basement or paint the bathroom), I’ve come up with a list of 10 great things I want to do this year to improve my life. I present them to you here in the hopes of inspiring you too to live 2014 as fully as possible.
- Stop with the worrying. My ability to worry is near limitless. My wise mother-in-law told me not to worry because I would always end up worrying about the wrong thing. She was right.
- Sleep better and longer (see previous resolution about worrying). I am very good at falling asleep, but not so good at staying asleep. I do not have the answer to this one, but I will before the year is out.
- Read more. I used to read 50 books a year; that number has dwindled to about 15. There is plenty of room for improvement.
- Turn off the TV. My capacity for mindless television is insatiable. I have been known to sit in front of a marathon “Say Yes to the Dress” broadcast for hours. It needs to stop.
- Hike farther. 2012 was the year of the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey — all 72.2 miles. 2013, we tackled the AT in NY. This year? Who knows? But it has to be better and longer.
- Let my children live their lives (see resolution #1 – again). I have three great kids who have shown themselves to be great young adults. Let them live their lives the way my folks let me live mine. Enough said.
- Take up Mahjong. I used to play when I was a teenager and I can’t remember a thing about it except that it was a fun and relaxing way to pass the evening with my friends.
- Have an excellent adventure. Every year must have adventure, especially the older I get. Last year, I went to China. It was the adventure of a life time. This year? Stay tuned.
- Start crocheting again. Thirty years ago, I made an afghan for everyone I knew. Those blankets are old and smelly. It’s time to do it again.
- Be a better person. Gossip less, be kinder, pray more often, give generously and love expansively.
Just ten little things. Try it. It could change your life. Let’s hope it’s a great year.