Another 365 days gone and we all anxiously look forward to another set of 365 days with a somehow new resolve. Forget about new year's resolutions and let us dive into New Year's Commandments.
Here are my personal 10. Let them be yours too.
1. I will Throw a dart on the map and go there.
Everyone knows that Miami or Bahamas are breathtaking getaways from an unrelenting winter freeze, or the struggles of an everyday Malawian but do they really enrich your life beyond a sense of relaxation?
The confines of a luxury hotel resort might afford you the comforts of shamelessly stuffing your face at the buffet, but they won't challenge your ideas about the world and your place in it. What would you bring home with you other than sand in your suitcase and tacky t-shirts for your friends? If you have the means and the funds, go somewhere off the beaten path in 2019. Live as the locals do for a bit; you just might be surprised with what you discover about yourself. I did that when in Lesotho in 2018, I will do it again in 2019.
2. I will Get out into nature more often.
"The galling harness of civilization drops off," wrote naturalist John Muir, "and the wounds heal where we are aware." The venue needn't be the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, but work to stay in touch with the exalting beauty of nature. Stargazing will smooth you out, keep your blood pressure down and your spirits up. Stay out often, or go to a park all alone once in a month and just observe nature.
3.I Will Learn to appreciate the people around me.
Find somebody to admire. No, not Beyoncé or Christiano Ronaldo, but a regular human being with whom you're actually acquainted and who goes to work every day and does it right. Your partner. Your kids. Maybe even your next-door neighbor! I find myself guilty of this as people around me do not feel my appreciation often.
If you can't find somebody to look up to without reservation, then savor small slices of several people - a colleague whose work is always terrific, even a creative buddy who had the guts to rebuild his workspace. And then tell them - straight on, no irony - that you admire them. Respect keeps you hopeful, and being impressed by others will tune up your own performance.
5.I will Invent and host a yearly event.
It doesn't matter what it is - a cook up at your house, a quarterly pizza outing, a drink up with a purpose. "How but in custom and in ceremony are innocence and beauty born," wrote William Butler Yeats. It feels good to be a shaper of life, not just a shapee.
Will finally bring FuckUp Nights in 2019.
4.I Will Find someone to mentor.
If you've got kids, the little dopes are practically required to think you're a stellar grownup. Let that happen. But even if you're not a parent, once you've got a few miles on your odometer, find a kid who could benefit from the painful lessons you've learned along the way. Remember, while the rookie benefits from your wisdom, it also does you good to feel big in someone's eyes.
I plan to work with 30 specific persons in 2019.
6. I will Stand for something, a cause or a belief?
Twenty-five years ago, one of the central tenets of the Japanese business miracle was kaizen, the idea that constant small improvements in process were a better bottom-line bet than the lightning-bolt breakthrough. Bring kaizen into your life, especially if you've been in business with the same belief and for years.
Sure, eureka moments are tough to come by. But little innovations in thought, as minor as new perceptions about your religious beliefs or resolve to stand for a cause regarded as culturally not right. Defend your position and be spontaneous. Something lime, everyone deserves access to clean and affordable lights.
7.I will Make a new friend (or two!).
In our 30s, lots of us stop making new friends. In part, we're too busy for the holding-cell bull sessions that forged early friendships. And we tend to disqualify guys and gals for quirks - say, a mad gambling addiction - that just weren't deal breakers back in college. Resist the sense that your roster is full; draft a new player.
To speed up the vetting process on a potential friend, confess to a disappointment, to something that hasn't worked out for you. A good individual knows how difficult this is to do, and will respect the trust you've bestowed and work to reassure you that you're not the world's only loser - he or she has had setbacks, too.
8.I will Reconnect with old friends.
We tend to lose touch with the people back in our hometown or from college. New is good, but continuity deepens life. Reach out to someone you liked long ago and update them on your transit. They don't have to become uncle or auntie to the kids, but just knit some threads back together. Friendships come in all sizes - from the guy you call when you need a loan to the gal with whom you shared some good times back when you were kids.
9. I will Find a shared hobby with my spouse.
In 2019, make more of an effort to explore new hobbies and spend time with your significant other by finding an activity that both of you enjoy partaking in. Whether it's taking weekly cooking sessions or learning a new language, this shared experience will strengthen your marital bond and finally allow you to expand your horizons like you've been meaning to for years.
10. I will Invest in a business I believe in.
You've been setting money aside from every paycheck for years (or at least you should have been..), and now it's time to put those funds to good use. This year, find a business that you really believe in and use your discretionary funds to support whatever it is they're doing.
Even if you're not business savvy, you can still make a huge difference by investing in your favorite clothing brand or a talented artist you enjoy - and if these businesses aren't available for investment, then just vow to buy as many things as possible from them to ensure that they're around for years and years to come.
What are some of your commandments for the year?
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.