I want to lead a movement to skip New Years. In my opinion, it brings nothing but grief, and I am not even considering all of the folks that wake up on New Year's Day with a hangover. New Year's brings reﬂection and introspection, neither of which is pretty if we want to be honest about it.
New Year's also brings resolutions. I like to think of myself as "medium portly". I am relatively happy with that but for some reason at the end of every year I make a resolution that the next year I am going to eat better and exercise more. By noon on New Year's Day I am propped up on the couch, where I will stay for the next twelve hours, watching football and eating junk food. I blew my resolution before it ever had a chance. I could resolve to work harder in the New Year, but I am semi-retired and one of my eventual goals is to erase the semi and make it fully retired. I could resolve to become less frustrated with politicians but that would take their cooperation.
So let's make some resolutions that we can keep and that really mean something. First, is I am going to make at least one new friend every month. I don't mean acquaintances, I mean real friends. I have come to the conclusion that you cannot be happy in a vacuum. Now don't confuse the vacuum with periods of solitude. Periods of solitude are great... but if you do not have someone to share your happiness with, you aren't really happy. That said, few of us have as many friends as we would like to have, and the pool of potential candidates is pretty deep. Consider the people in your neighborhood and the folks at your place of worship or work. If you have children, the opportunities to make new friends are unlimited. One new friend a month is certainly something you can achieve without too much eﬀort and at the end of the year you will have twelve new friends, which for some may be more than double the number of friends that they now have. If you do not have as many friends as you would like to have, the fault is yours.
You could also join a service organization and become active. It doesn't matter whether you join the Lions Club or Rotary or Kiwanis, but if you are not already a member of a service club join one and become a productive member. It will take some of your spare time that you are now wasting and turn it into something productive. This is also an easy resolution to keep because once you get involved you may ﬁnd that you really enjoy your membership.
Next resolve to make the organization you work for a more pleasant place to work. Become a blanket of harmony rather than an instigator of conﬂict. If you have an unpleasant relationship with a co-worker, resolve it. If you hear a rumor or something distracting, keep it to yourself. Remember the words of wisdom of Thumper's mother, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Have a kind word and a pleasant "Good morning" for everyone. You will ﬁnd that congeniality is contagious. Eventually, it will thaw even the iciest personality.
Finally, resolve to make the organization that you work for more proﬁtable by either suggesting ways to increase income or to decrease expenses. Even if they are small ideas, the cumulative impact can become signiﬁcant. Here is an example; one company I worked for did not supply employees with pens, pencils or paper clips. Everyone has a pen and a pencil already, so why provide more? Half of them congregate in a drawer and the other half go home with the employees. Similarly, if you have a stapler, what do you need a paper clip for, other than to bend and make necklaces out of?
We don't need New Years to make reasonable resolutions. We ought to be making those all of the time regardless of the day of the year. New Years only brings resolutions that will never be kept. "I am going to control my temper better". Baloney. Like the resolution to improve your eating and exercise, that resolution will be blown when you team loses on New Year's Day. My limited eﬀorts are not going to cause New Years to disappear, so I hope you make only worthwhile resolutions that you can keep and from all of us at Temenos I hope that you have a great start to the New Year.