Truly, a person could make a New Years resolution for ones-self on any day of the year. Groundhog Day, say, or the third Thursday in August. But there’s something about New Year’s and the weight it’s freighted with expectancy for the stretch that lies ahead, that make is a prime calendric choice for enacting change.

And so New Years’s it is. Let’s call it the month of January, to make it easy. This first month provides a clean white sheet of foolscap upon which to pen our reinvented selves.

This year, most of us probably took the same path we usually do, loading our plates with pledges to eliminate bad habits, eat healthier grub and make good on our gym memberships. Par for the course and fair enough.

But let’s make the dawn of 2013 the time we make a different kind of promise to ourselves, Let’s step away from the material-things miasma, shall we, and make this year the one we resolve to make meaningful spiritual change in our lives.

To that end and to prompt your own thinking along these lines, there are 10 ready-made Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions:

For 2013, I resolve to…

  1. ask for forgiveness from our people whom I feel I’ve wronged in some way, to relieve the burden of guilt that has too long dragged down my soul. Oh, and to remember that forgiveness begins at home. To stop being hard on myself for perceived failures and problems. To let go.
  2. put my God-given talents to some use. What’s the point of being a fantastic public speaker or a dab hand with a needle and thread if I don’t improve someone’s life with the stuff?
  3. make time to play. Yes, we need to work. Yes, we need to make money. Yes, we need to feel productive. But how wonderful a treat to the soul is a spell on your tummy pushing trains around a track with your nephew, or a spirited bout of lunchtime Pictionary in your company caf.
  4. be thankful. To start each day with an internal inventory of my blessings.
  5. be kind. To eradicate the prevailing mood of suspicion, fear and mistrust that characterizes too many human relations today. To teach strangers and children that generosity, graciousness and warmth are better choices. To encourage a practice of performing regular acts of kindness.
  6. listen. To rewrite the current standard in collegial encounters that too often sees each party keeping mum only in order to collect the thoughts that will form their own story.
  7. laugh. The past year was a tough one for lots of folks, what with all the doom and gloom that so copiously populated it. The power of a good belly-busting guffaw cannot be underestimated for the gifts it has to lend a weary spirit.
  1. choose the simple life. The guys in Silicon Valley are seeing to it that our existences are fettered enough with technical complexities — we needn’t add anything to the fray. Better to focus on stripping down whatever parts of our complicated lives that we can.
  2. live in the present, to stop obsessing about the past, to stop worrying about the future.
  3. cultivate the art of making connections. To become more aware of how complexly all of our lives are woven together, and to make this vast and intricate quilt of interlocking threads a genuine virtue in our days.