12/31/2014 12:16 pm ET Updated Mar 02, 2015

RESOLVE: (noun) Firm Determination to DO Something

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I dislike resolution lists. But every single year, I compose a list of all the grand to-do's that I am convinced will make me a better person. I can tick off the usual suspects -- lose weight, quit drinking, don't swear, volunteer more, organize my house, take up whatever hobby that is trending on Pinterest.

This year, I'm not writing that list. For starters, blogging is my hobby and I hardly have time for that, and so making wine racks out of pallets or wall art out of toilet paper tubes is clearly not in my immediate future. Furthermore, if the last decade has taught me anything, it is that I love food, the F word and wine. I'm not likely to kick those because I had to buy a new calendar.

But I do want to be a better person. Sincerely. With all my heart. I have two small children who are watching my every move and who mimic me with their tone of voice and timing for meltdowns.

So, for 2015 I am RESOLVING to do a few things. I am firmly determinted to get a few things right.

1. Moderation in Everything
I don't need to give up my favorite stinky French cheese or a beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir. I resolve to indulge in moderation. I need to eat to live and not live to eat. And while I am eating to live, it is true that that may include a lovely cheese plate with water crackers on occasion, but it doesn't mean that I have to eat all the things all the time. I cannot just stop there, I should throw some moderation on my impatience, impulsivity and even laziness. Eliminate the excess.

2. Volunteer
I do not have the luxury of time or an affordable babysitter so that I can clock some hours at the local soup kitchen (which has been on my resolution list every year for the last decade). But I do have a lot of knowledge and skills in the worlds of art and writing that I am willing to share. In 2015 I am resolving to donate my time to proofread, edit, council, chat with, assist with making connection, whatever it takes to help other bloggers the way a few kind souls helped me.

3. Loving Kindness
I preach loving kindness at every turn of every day, and yet I am human and I most definitely have days when I am a grouchy you-know-what. I fret over loving kindness in every single interaction with my children. But I am human and I fail at least a thousand times a day. If I snap and yell, I spend the next few hours berating myself for being the worlds worst mom. In this new year, I resolve to start with myself when it comes to loving kindness. I can't give it out if I don't feel it.

4. Flexibility
I resolve to not be so stuck in routines and schedules and preferences. My day is so boring. I wake up, get the kids dressed, make breakfast, turn on PBS, vacuum, do dishes, start the laundry, prep homeschool lessons, turn off PBS and teach for a few hours, make lunch, yearn for earplugs and wine and move into the afternoon. No more. I will break with routine this year and let us experience new and spontaneous adventures no matter how dull or exciting they may be.

Four. Just four ways to resolve to do some things in order to make a new year distinct and beautiful. 2014 was a marvelous year for many reasons. It was also tragic and heartless for many more reasons. I hope beyond hope that 2015 will bring you many wonderful new chapters.

Happy New Year!