If it’s possible, 2018 was a year in which it felt like everything was changing, and also like nothing was. While we set our global expectations for the next one, teeming with significant political, social and economic volatility, we’re also considering more local possibilities — changes within our own communities, homes and bodies. Some call them resolutions, others goals, and others still simply cosmic wishes for whoever may be listening.
I reached out to some newsmakers, colleagues and friends to see what they hoped for in 2019:
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: Life in 2019 is going to look a little different than the past 20 years spent in Congress. I plan to spend time with family skiing, climbing, hunting, fishing and coaching basketball and track.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., author “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal”: Less multi-tasking. At work and at home, with family and with coworkers, on my most important projects and on smaller but urgent ones, I increasingly think we allow ourselves to be so distracted that multi-tasking causes us to accomplish less, not more. I am still grateful for many of our digital tools, but I think I need to correct the balance back toward more focus. Ultimately, being more effective is more important than being marginally more efficient, and I hope to get better at saying “no” to constant frenzy.
Rep. James Himes, D-Conn.: Oppose less, persuade more.
Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.: Try more earnestly to live Micah 6:8. Its words are simple: That we are to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. These ideals are in short supply in Washington today, which makes it that much more important that none of us wait on Washington for their application… particularly in the admonition to walk humbly.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, U.S. Navy (ret.): I am resolved next year to renew my optimism about my country and my fellow citizens, to remember that — while much of what we are seeing and hearing and feeling is unprecedented — what is certainly not unprecedented is the capacity of Americans to compromise, to solve problems, to show compassion and to summon moral courage. I will not surrender to shrill entreaties or to fear.
David Axelrod, “The Axe Files,” CNN: My resolution is to break my addiction to the infernal, insidious device in my hand right now. It claims far too much of my time that would be better spent thinking, writing and communing with actual human beings.
Meghan McCain, “The View”: To live in the moment and try to sweat the small stuff less.
Van Jones, “The Van Jones Show,” CNN: Increase my gratitude and shrink my waistline.
Glenn Beck, BlazeTV: To listen more to those who feel unheard, those who have something to say with nothing to gain and to listen less to those who are the loudest. It is a goal almost better stated as a mission — do not add to the chaos and to speak firmly but with kindness.
Ron Klain, Democratic strategist: My resolution for 2019 is to do three things less often — eat, tweet and be downbeat — and three things more often —see friends, make amends, enjoy weekends.
Jesse Kelly, “The Jesse Kelly Show”: If possible, I intend to get even more handsome this year.
Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst: Keep reporting the facts; keep a sense of humor; eat fewer Twizzlers on election nights.
Ashleigh Banfield, TV host: I will say three “ohms” before turning on cable news.
Jimmy Kimmel: My New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to toss a meatball off the Empire State Building, race down the stairs and catch it in my mouth.
Bill Maher: To do the ones I made in ’85.
Mark Cuban: Lose five pounds, run 10 miles, play with my kids more.
Thomas Sadoski, actor and activist: This year I’m aiming for Emerson: I want to know that one life has breathed easier because of service I have done.
Rob Morrow, actor: To worry less, give more, stress less, love more, hate less, laugh more.
Andrew Zimmern, chef: Tolstoy once said that “…everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” As a long-time recovering alcoholic and addict, I look at everything through the opposite lens that Tolstoy peered through, trying to grow where I am planted and work the world, and life, from the inside out.
This coming year I am leaning into the idea of more risk-taking and experimentation. By doing that I can let go of the high expectations associated with outcome-based thinking. Letting go of the results, focusing purely on the doing takes a ton of pressure off. Losing the attachments I have to outcomes works whenever I really work it. I like to think of it as investing in the loss, not the gain. The practical side of it requires more mapping of tasks and projects, it’s a small change but a great new resolve for the new year. And when I change me for the better I change the world around me. Tolstoy would like that, I think.
Ross Matthews, entertainer: Stop thinking the worst of our leaders and lawmakers and, instead, believe that heroes still exist! Pessimism is so 2018!
Thomas Roberts, CBS Atlanta: I will be focusing on forgiveness. I am always in awe of people who can focus on the now instead of being hung up in the past. My resolution is to focus on the now/future and forgive the past. Oh, and eat better!
John Edward, medium: I look at New Year’s Eve as the day/night/day of honoring my feelings about all those I’ve lost…really honoring in a conscious way their impact on me — dare I say the one day I allow a bit of a wallow (about the physical loss) to reinforce how they are still with me energetically (spiritual gain) starting a new chapter and new year.
Contact S.E. Cupp at thesecupp.com.
This column first appeared in the New York Daily News.
Send letters to: email@example.com.