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January 1st, 2014

Listing New Year’s Resolutions has been a family tradition as far back as I can remember.  My mom was big on the list.  She would ask us kids (at least four and sometimes six, if you count the “steps”) to sit quietly and list ways in which we could better ourselves.  I remember the hour or two that it took to compile a list of 3-4 resolutions seeming like a torture session.  When you’re eight or nine, there are not a whole lot of things that you feel like doing or changing that will make you a better person.

One thing that many years of New Year’s Resolution lists makes me realize is that the older I get, the easier it becomes to make a longer list – at least for me, anyway.  It’s funny, but shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve made a comprehensive list of New Year’s Resolutions.  The last few years I’ve chosen to focus on one or two tasks usually associated with health such as: going to bed earlier/sleeping more, not eating as many “sweets,” or quitting chewing tobacco (I know – gross).

However, on the eve of 2014, it feels like a more ambitious list is in order.  There are many reasons for this feeling.  Among them, the milestone of celebrating 50 years of life, the contemplation of what 20 years of marriage means, and the knowledge and perspective that comes from 12 years of parenting.

But there’s a bigger reason.  Resolve is an important quality and tackling a comprehensive New Year’s Resolution list strengthens one’s resolve.  Over the last few years my resolve has faltered.  The fear of failing to follow through on a long list has caused me to take the easy way out – the safe way out.

I wasn’t as afraid when I was younger because I had less to lose.

Life seems to work in cycles and for whatever reason (I’ll figure out why, later), I’m getting my nerve back.  I realize that a long New Year’s resolution list presents conflicts – to work on one item, sometimes takes time and focus away from others.  But that doesn’t mean I need to shy away from going big.  So here’s my list for 2014 – The Year Of Resolve. 

  1.   Be a better husband
  2.   Be a better father.
  3.   Be a better coach.
  4.   Be a better referee.
  5.   Be a better friend.
  6.   Be a better son.
  7.   Be a better sibling.
  8.   Don’t be afraid to try ideas/dreams.
  9.   Be kind(er).
10.   Laugh more.
11.   Eat more veggies.
12.   Exercise more.
13.   Race!
14.   Go to bed earlier.
15.   Live more.
16.   Be a better businessman.
17.   Listen better.
18.   Be neater/more organized.
19.   Read more.
20.   Write more.
21.   Get more sleep.

Happy New Year to everyone reading this.  I hope 2014 brings you happiness and success and love.

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