New Year's resolutions are nowadays considered gauche, and yet the similarities between all our wishes tell us something important. We all want to eat better, exercise more, be smarter with our money, make better choices; we all want to find partners, or keep them, or be better for them, or to reconcile ourselves to their absence; we all want to be better children, siblings, parents, colleagues, citizens. We all want to be better human beings.
For most of us, the new year comes during a time when our normal routines are temporarily suspended, where we achieve some critical distance from which to question our everyday behaviours, so it's not surprising that we come to think that our efforts over the last year have not been those of our best selves. Our days are long and full of compromise; our short-term desires are incompatible with our long-term goals; we long to live with clarity, to trace a straight path between decision and action, to live without frustration or regret. What better time than now to encourage ourselves to live the lives we think we should?
Wanting to be a better person is a resolution worth making.