Did you make any resolutions for 2013? I always do. I don’t always write them down on paper or put them in my daily journal, but there’s always some kind of a resolve to do better in life in some area. I did some research this week on the top ten resolutions made by individuals in America. Many of the sites listed those resolutions that are common to us all: lose weight, get fit, spend less – save more, and get organized. I was surprised that nearly every list I saw included quit smoking in the top ten. I thought that smoking was primarily a thing of the past. I guess that’s pretty egocentric. Since it’s in the past for me, it should be for everyone. Well, my search revealed exactly what I thought it would reveal. Most of us want the same things in our lives. But there were some surprises also.

I found “help others” on the list more often than I expected. One commentator said, “Many people commit to doing more for their family, their place of worship or their community. Volunteering is always a high rater on the resolution charts.” This surprised me! Another good resolution was to learn something new. “Lots of people want to enhance and broaden their lives in the coming year: whether it’s taking up a new hobby, learning a computer program or going back to school.” A third one that surprised me was to simply enjoy life more. It seems, according to one writer, “This means living more in the moment, and spending more time doing what you love. Life is chaotic and more and more Americans are making choices to cut back on work hours and increasing their leisure time and personal time.” In the “gitter done,” “check-list,” accomplishment driven world we live in that sounds like a very noble resolution.

Finally, the one that struck me as most unusual and worthwhile is to spend more time with friends and family. Another writer commented, “Recent polls show that Americans really do want to have more time with those they love whether it’s going out to movies, spending time at the dinner table together, or just laughing with friends. The key to success is making the time for your number one priority. It’s all about committing to your goal and sticking to it.” The only disappointing thing I saw was not one list included the resolution to “get to know God better.” The two most important commandments given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ, are to Love God and to love others. Spending some more quality time with God always results in more quality time with others. Let’s resolve in 2013 to love God more and to love others more. To paraphrase Jesus’ words, “these are the two greatest resolutions in life” (Matthew 22:40, Mark 12:29-30).