The time is here, where we make promises for the new year only to (on average) forget our resolutions within weeks, if not days. I’m proud to have finally completed a New Year’s resolution: one year of reading ‘The Greats’.
The Past Year
Around December of 2019, I discovered the 1952 Great Books of the Western World (GBWW) set and decided 2020 would be the beginning of a lifelong journey to read the foundational works of the Western world, which had been largely absent from my now decades-long education. This 2020 New Year resolution to re-educate myself came in tandem with the idea to begin ThinkingWest as well. Here I am one year later, still reading and writing.
Over the past year or so, I’ve read well over 20 books spanning Plato to a few modern day political works; some, like Plato’s Apology and Crito, I even read twice to get deeper into the philosophy behind the works. Wisdom has been dwelling in my mind all this year, likely inspired from my initial readings in Plato and the Biblical books on wisdom (e.g. Wisdom, Sirach, etc.).
In my writing, I completed 20+ articles published here, touching on both the works that I’ve been reading as well as other areas I’ve felt compelled to speak out on (e.g. the efficacy of homeschooling).
Altogether, I’ve learned a lot both through my readings and through my contributions to ThinkingWest, and I’m more motivated than ever to continue studying and writing in 2021. I hope my brief reflection of my 2020 New Year resolution success will inspire you to pick up the great books of the world, start a blog like I did, or otherwise complete whatever resolutions rest on your mind.
The best advice to completing your 2021 New Year resolution is to schedule whatever needs to be done first. For me, I read two meager pages of the Bible before beginning my day job every work day, and now I’m halfway through the Bible, on track to finish at the end of 2021. My other readings were scheduled immediately after my kids went to sleep. Some days I read only a few pages; other days I read twenty (these are some very dense pages by the way – one drawback to the GBWW set). The important thing was I read (nearly) every day, such that these resolutions have become a part of my daily habits. Praying before world was a third resolution that has become a daily habit now as well. My best advice is to make your New Years resolution morph into a habit.
My 2021 Resolutions
So, what are my 2021 New Year’s resolutions? Concrete goals are best, of course. My goals for 2021 are 1) add another prayer to my morning prayer routine, 2) continue reading the Bible every work morning and finish it this year, 3) write another 20 ThinkingWest articles, and 4) release 12 episodes (~ one every month) of my new podcast project that breaks down each classic book I read. (Podcasting will be a major learning curve.)
These goals are a bit ambitious, given I have many things going on in 2021, namely the arrival of my third child, the completion of my Ph.D., and a probable relocation for a new job. However, all my resolutions are well defined and connected to my overall goals of growing ThinkingWest, re-educating myself, and improving in personal virtue.
Drop your New Years resolutions in the comments below; I’d love to hear your plans.
Good-bye 2020. Hello 2021!
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