It's 8:09 PM here in Hawaii - hours until we say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. We're one of the last to experience the ushering in of the new year, and thus I have had a lot of time to think about my new year's post. I wanted to sum up 2011 in a grandiose manner. More than just a tally of the year's accomplishments, I wanted this post to be a resonating last word. But every time I tried to sit down and write, I found myself blocked. That's the funny thing about writing - the more complete, profound and impressive you want your words to be, the more totally inept you become at writing them.

Well, here I am anyway. I've spent the past few days reflecting on the past year, and thinking about my hopes for the next one. In accordance with proper US traditions, I feel obliged to write down some resolutions. It's probably a silly endeavor - the science has found that new year's resolutions are indifferent at best. Still, it can't hurt to try. So here are my hopes and goals for 2012:

  • Take at least 10 minutes every week to reflect on the positive. No matter how bad things are, or how stressful life might get, studies have shown that taking time to focus on what you're thankful for can improve your health and happiness. So I resolve to take that time and truly contemplate the things in my life that make me happy.
  • Read. I have a number of books that have been gathering dust on my bookshelf for the past few months because I 'don't have time' or 'have so many more important things to do.' Well screw it. I love reading - it's my personal escape from the rest of the world. So, I resolve to read more. A lot more.
  • There's this great song by Sara Bareilles, and in it, she has this line that always hits me: "I'm not the girl that I intend to be. But I dare you darlin', just you wait and see." I think we all are like that to some extent; we have all these high hopes or ideals that we strive to live up to, and end up falling short because we simply don't care enough to push for it. Well, I resolve to be the person I intend to be, at least as much as I can. Nothing extraordinary, just the best version of me that I can be.

So there you have it. My three new year's resolutions. What about you? What are your hopes for the new year?

Happy 2012 everyone, and have a wonderful year.