Recently there have been several “Top Ten New Years Resolutions” posts floating around. Since this is the last day of 2014, I’ll put my two cents in on the subject. However, I won’t offer wishy-washy resolutions like praying more, or eating less gluten. Rather I’ll offer some ideas that are more beneficial than harmful, more helpful to others than callous, and unrealistic.
- Brush up on Logical Fallacies. Unless you are a teacher of logic, you’ll get rusty on spotting logical fallacies. There are many resources to find them. Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies, and Logical Fallacies are two good sites to use for reference.
- Forget prayer. If you see someone starving, buy or make them a sandwich. If you see someone naked, give them clothes. If you see a child abused, call the police. All prayer does is make the praying person feel better about doing nothing. Instead, do SOMETHING!
- Exercise. The only way to lose weight is to burn more Calories than you consume. Flush the fad diets, and get on a treadmill. For myself, I like this one, as I know it is what I need to do!
- Recycle more. Recycling is not just a way to make our civilization more sustainable, but recycling can also help the household budget. Some places offer a deposit for aluminum cans, make sure to collect it! Another way to recycle is to re-purpose. Twisted Sifter and Bored Panda both have great lists for ideas on re-purposing what would normally be trash.
- Learn to redirect. Redirection is a mental trick that you can do that can help with minor stress. I learned this in a Classroom Management class as a way to maintain and build relationships with students. Basically, when someone, say a stranger, does something rude, say cut you off in traffic, redirect your thoughts from “I’m offended/how rude/how dare he/etc.” mind-set to a quick question: Why would you act the same way? Maybe the person is desperately late for a job interview, or is trying to get to a hospital. The rude person who bumps into you at the store and acts oblivious to your presence is probably not trying to insult you. They had more important things on their mind: a sick relative, a troubled teen at home, etc.
We’ve all been there. Sometimes we’re rude because there’s too much going on inside. If a stranger makes a minor break in etiquette towards you, just redirect it. Besides, you’ll probably never see them again. If it is an acquaintance, or friend, then a minor slip up is best redirected. If a major one, or many over time then you should have a talk with them.
- Laugh more. This is the only spin on this planet, so we should do more to make ourselves laugh, and make each other laugh.
- Give up superstitions. Certain numbers, salt over the shoulder, black cats on a trip, all of it is just superstitious nonsense. Make it your goal to try to rid yourself of as many as possible. The only thing we have of intrinsic value is time, and it is time to stop wasting it on silliness. Unless, of course, keeping it will increase number 6 more.
- Help your fellow man. Do good things because it eases the suffering of another life. This goes hand in hand with number 2 above. If you want to help someone, or a charitable organization, then do so.
- Play. Hobbies, games, sports, etc. are never wastes of time. These are things you do for yourself to grow as a person. These are the things that makes you interesting. If you are lucky, you can make a living at something you would do for free as enjoyment.
- Remember to hold nature in awe. The natural world is far more awe-inspiring than any fairy tale people could ever concoct. Learn more about the world around you by picking up a science magazine. Scientific American is still around and going strong. But don’t forget about the James Randi organization, Skeptic Magazine, Discover Magazine, and National Geographic… just to name a few. The Smithsonian Institute also has an online publication that includes more than just science.
So, that is it, the Show-Me Skeptic’s Top Ten New Years Resolutions list. Please feel free to leave your resolution in the comments, as I enjoy reading them. 2015 begins tomorrow, and I cannot help but look towards the future in wonderment. What will 2015 bring? No one can know, I just hope we can all enjoy it together.
I hope you all have a good new year, and a great 2015.