Happy New Year!

Yesterday I heard it repeatedly: “Happy New Year!” We’re all getting ready for the annual big crossover. A new year, filled with potential because the days are blanks, so far. We can’t believe 2011 has already come and gone…the months fly by. How is it possible?! I say these things, hear them all around me from others. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. But everyone is subject to the calendar. The change of year impacts the whole planet.

So beginning tomorrow, I’ll start reminding myself to date my documents with “2012.” I’ll roll over the pages in my calendar and look ahead to the commitments already pencilled in for January. And I’ll be thinking of the changes I want to make this year. New Year’s resolutions are right up my alley. A list maker by nature, and someone who’s always inspired by challenge, it’s easy for me to come up with a plethora of items: “Next year…”

But here’s a twist on the whole resolution thing. What if resolutions were not just about making myself better? What if I use some of the space on my resolution list to include others? I do that already in a non-specific way. But this is a challenge to make it official.

Here’s some inspiration for you, if you’d like to make your resolutions more outwardly focused. Visit Resolution Twelve, a blog that posts and celebrates reaching out to others…groups, individuals, causes, you name it. This blog is not a charity or service that connects volunteers with needs. It is simply a vehicle for sharing goals for the coming year.

Obviously, you don’t have to post your outward-focused plan on this site to make it official or effective. But I think the value in posting somewhere, even on a list that lives at your desk or beside your kitchen sink, is accountability. Statistics say that most new year’s resolutions only last a few weeks. Wouldn’t it be nice if goals to reach out lasted longer? Maybe even changed your life?

Tomorrow I’ll be serving black-eyed peas with our dinner. Southern tradition says these peas bring good luck when you eat them on new year’s day. Not sure about that, but it’s an easy nod to heritage to serve a dish at dinner. As for that other tradition of sharing resolutions…well, there are some that are standard. Watch my weight. Be more productive. Be more organized. Listen more effectively. This year I’ll be adding a few other items, based on some of the suggestions from Resolution Twelve. I doubt that anything I do will make headlines or impact the world. But that’s not the point. The point is to make a difference, and that I can certainly do.