Happy New Year!

I know in the first few days of the new year, there’s a lot of hubbub about resolutions.

I used to be really good about setting resolutions. I would set a half dozen, some attainable, some not so much — and then slowly fail.

Then I went through a phase where when anyone would ask me my resolution, I would tell them that I had resolved not to make resolutions and it was the only resolution I had ever kept.

But, now I’m more realistic about what I can or can’t do. If I want to focus on my health, I’m not going to resolve to run every single day because I know that won’t happen. I’m not going to say I’ll stop taking in sugar completely, because again, that’s not realistic for me.

Last year, I set a resolution to not engage in any social media arguments. I had a bad habit of arguing with people in comment threads who weren’t willing to change their minds — which is just an exercise in futility. It’s a waste of my time and theirs, as I learned that “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

I made the mistake of thinking that because data and facts are what I use in making decisions and that my mind will change based on those things that other people thought that way too. Wrong.

Sometimes I felt the need to argue and would even start typing thoughts out, only to delete them and remember my mantra. So that’s a win.

I do take part in the Goodreads (an online site for readers and book recommendations) reading challenge, where I set a goal for the number of books I want to read in a year. Last year it was 26 — one every two weeks plus a few extra because I try to increase my goal each year. I finished my 26th book on Christmas Day, so I even had a few days to spare.

And for the last few years, instead of keeping a bulleted list of things I want to do, I try to choose a single word that I want to focus on. This word isn’t a task to complete, it’s more about how I want to live my life. There are so many things to work on.

I want to be gracious, kind, loving, patient, humble. I want to be smart and continue to learn as much as I can. I want to be a good mother, wife, sister and friend.

I am sensitive. I don’t want to lose that, but I need to learn to control it a little better. I need to set better boundaries in some areas of my life. I should take better care of myself — eat better, sleep more and figure out a way to find balance. I need to talk less, listen more and give people my full attention. I need to forgive.

These aren’t things that are unique to me and they’re definitely not things that if I find that I fail, I can’t keep trying.

Whether you set resolutions or not, a new year is a good time to reflect and, if needed, to get a fresh start.