You’ve counted down the clock and sang “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, so now it’s time for the annual rite of self-reflection and exploration of the new year’s potential. If you’re coming up blank, heed the goals and advice of some of the greatest American writers. Take the pressure out of your list making by instead considering my top ten resolutions to kick off 2018.

 

  1. Find your inner strength like Susan Sontag:

“Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”

 

  1. Have the body confidence of Mark Twain:

“My health did not improve, because it was not possible to improve health which was already perfect.”

 

  1. But stay modest like Stephen King:

“First New Year’s resolution in some ten years that night: Never write anything bigger than your own head.”

 

  1. Evaluate your relationships like Toni Morrison:

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

 

  1. Don’t let the haters grind you down like Walt Whitman:

“Re-examine all that you have been told . . . dismiss that which insults your soul.”

 

  1. Chase your goals like Jack London:

“Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.”

 

  1. Challenge authority like James Baldwin:

“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”

 

  1. But avoid pettiness like John Burroughs:

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.”

 

  1. See the glass half full like Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

 

  1. And most of all, generate your own joy like Alice Walker:

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”

 

– Jennifer Draper

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