It’s that time again – a New Year.

We humans seem to have an almost universal list of resolutions: lose weight, eat better, drink less, stop whatever bad habit we know we should stop.

All those intentions are fine and good, although most of us tend to abandon our resolve by mid-February.

What would happen if we tossed that list out the window and approached the New Year with a different perspective?

What if we focused on who we want to be rather than what we want to do? How might we improve, change, enhance our lives? How might those positive changes affect others?

Let’s think about this for a bit. What kind of person do you want to be in this New Year that’s different from who you are now?

Don’t answer right away. Let yourself relax, clear your mind, maybe sip a cup of tea, and try to visualize the new you. Then, grab a pen and paper, or a handy keyboard, or an audio recorder and document your thoughts.

Let’s start with the phrase “I want to be …”

Here are a couple of my own thoughts:

  • I want to be more creative. I want to make time to revisit some former hobbies or try new ones. Sewing is at the top of my list.

I learned how to sew in seventh grade. I made most of my own clothes through high school. I’ve sewn curtains, pillows, blankets, and wedding dresses. But, until last month, my sewing machine had been gathering dust for newly a decade.

In mid-December, I saw something on Pinterest that I thought would be a great gift for my son’s girlfriend, who is a wonderful baker, and I was inspired.

I dragged out the machine and made an apron for her – out of one of his old Oxford shirts. It felt good to feel the fabric in my hands, to manipulate it into something useful. It was challenging, in a good way, to recall how to load a bobbin, how to line up stripes.

The finished apron was adorable, and she squealed with delight when she opened it. It felt good to see her joy in something so simple and homemade. It was fun!

  • I want to be a better storyteller. And to accomplish that, I want to be a better listener.

I write a lot of these columns – about 24 a year. And sometimes I feel like I’m “talking” too much about what I observe or experience or think.

Lately I’ve been reminded that we have two ears and one mouth, indicating perhaps we should listen twice as much as we speak. That could apply to my writing as well.

I know there are some wonderful stories “out there” in our community, about fascinating people who do amazing things. I want to find them, sit and listen to them, watch and learn. Then I want to tell their stories.

I’ll be happy to share them with you, our readers. Perhaps we might all learn something from other smart, thoughtful, funny, wise, engaging, talented, well-read, compassionate, active people.

So, how about you? With this sparkling fresh New Year just starting, who do you want to be?

Maybe yours will be one of those intriguing stories I’d like to tell.