There is nothing truly magical about Jan. 1.
It’s an date on an arbitrary calendar centered around the time it takes the spinning orb we call Earth to spin around a bigger orb that we call the Sun — which itself is just an ordinary, boring star in the scope of the universe.
But we make the date magical with how we treat it. It serves as a stark dividing line between what was and what will be. It’s a day to put away bad habits that hold you back and pick up the good habits that will propel you into a brighter future.
You could, of course, make any day the day to do that, but this time of year seems to unlock a special reservoir of willpower that comes with joint action.
Everyone is trying to be better than they were the day before.
For some that means getting more exercise, eating healthier, making better choices — but this resolution, if not anchored by achievable and realistic goals, often founders before winter gives way to spring.
So, too, financial goals often go by the wayside when they are amorphous and ill-defined. It’s not enough to say that you want to spend less and make more.
You need to have a plan to do that. A goal for why — vacation, retirement, big purchase — also can help.
But there’s one resolution that we should all try and embrace as we head into what will be a hectic and divisive election year.
Try and be kinder.
It doesn’t require you to put down the donut or climb on the treadmill. It doesn’t mean you have to skip coffee or save pennies.
Kindness costs nothing.
Adopting a resolution like that will not only make your life better, it will make the lives of those around you better as well.
So make this year the year that you listen more and consider kindness and the feelings of others before hitting that keyboard, picking up that pen, or opening your mouth.
In your own little way, you’ll be making the spinning orb whirling around a boring little star in the Milky Way galaxy a better place.
And when you think about it? That’s a pretty big deal.