New Year. New Path. Even I can do this.

The New Year. A time to reset and declare our intentions that this year is the year we will make changes.

I’m no different. It’s funny, because inevitably during the year I get sucked into lists (according to Tim Cigelske there’s a reason for that) that tell me how to change for the better, save more money, be a better husband, father, employee, etc. Of course this leads to my coming up with lists to remember the lists I’ve read.

While I think there’s a lot of value in evaluating where we are and where we want to go there’s a problem. I know me and what sounds good now isn’t always what seems to make it come April (somewhere I’m sure I saved a list about sticking to your resolutions. . .).

So this year I’m trying something different. No joining a gym or learning Mandarin for me. 2016 will be simpler. Boring even. In 2016 there are only five things I want to do.

Here we go:

1. Write more.

I love to write. I always have, but I never make the time. Lazy? Probably. Although I’d like to believe some of it has to do with a teenager, a wife, work . . . never mind. This year I’m going to write something, anything, once a week. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but I’ll write for 52 weeks; surely I can handle that, but stay tuned.*

*Write not publish, let’s be realistic.

2. Be healthier.

I’ve already told you I won’t be joining a gym (besides, I’ve seen the lists and people who actually go to a gym are NOT happy when their special space is flooded with new members). By healthier I’m talking about getting out more. Oh, I throw the ball around and play a pick-up game of football or soccer with my son and his friends, but that usually leads to a heating pad of some sort. This year I’ll just walk. Around the block. On a trail. Anywhere, just to get outside and wander.

3. Be happier.

I’m an optimist. Sure I get stressed out, probably worry too much, but in the end I always hold to the idea that things will be ok. They’ll work out. However, lately I’ve started catching myself complaining more and more about silly things. Am I becoming crotchety as I get older? I certainly hope not. But I find that it’s the little things-traffic, a line at the grocery, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, that are making me nuts. This year I’m telling myself to get a real problem and be happier. That’s it. If I spent half the time appreciating the weather (or anything else) as I do complaining about it I’m sure it will do wonders for me.

4. Be grateful.

It’s easy to assume that what we see online is real-that every one of our friends’ lives are perfect. They don’t have a care in the world. In fact, I’ve convinced myself that everyone I know is a millionaire, who loves their work, never argues with their family, and is effortlessly riding an easy, glorious wave called the good life.

Obviously I don’t wish any ill will toward my friends or anyone else for that matter. I hope everything is perfect for them; however, odds are that’s not the case. But I’m not doing so bad myself. I have a job, my health, a roof over my head, and most importantly a wonderful family. Cliché? Of course. Yet, for some reason it’s easy to overlook. I want to change that.

And finally.

5. Play more.

I’m not sure what’s happened as I’ve gotten older, but I nailed this when I was a kid. Nonstop. I’d go until I passed out. This year I intend to get back to it. Outside, inside, doesn’t matter. Some of my beloved favorites (D&D or video games) or start a new adventure. Whatever it is I’m making room for more fun.

So that’s my year ahead. Doesn’t sound too daunting.

If you’re making resolutions and you don’t mind sharing I’d love to hear what you have planned. Good luck and Happy New Year.

Like what you read? Give Joshua Van Den Berg a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.