Review and Resolve

I know a lot of people who are against New Year’s resolutions. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing immediately. No need to wait for a new year.”

But you probably don’t take a large-scale evaluation of your life on a daily basis. You don’t stop every day and think through the past year of your life. You’d be neurotic if you did. But there would also be a problem if you never stopped and reviewed your life on a bigger scale.

New Year’s is nice because it provides a natural prompt to do that. You’re more likely today to think about the past year of your life. What you regret, what you celebrate, what you’ll remember. And after that, you’re also more likely to think about how you want to do anything differently in 2014.

So if you haven’t already, why don’t you quickly take stock of the past year. What did you learn? What will you remember? What do you wish you had done better or differently?

And why don’t you also make some resolutions for yourself in 2014. If you don’t want to tell anyone you made a resolution, fine… but resolve to do something. Some of the themes that have come most consistently for me throughout 2013: show more gratitude, read lots of books, wake up early and get your best work done before noon, commit to small, daily practices that will make their effect over the long-term. All of those would need more specificity — how will you do it, exactly — but they’re all worthy goals for a new year.

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