We at FEE and The Freeman recently discussed our resolutions for the New Year. In addition to the personal and the practical, some of our resolutions work well for advocates of the freedom philosophy and the economic way of thinking.
Below, we share with you our thoughts for improving our lives and those of the people around us. Please share your own resolutions in the comments.
1. Reduce my time preference.
2. Increase the marginal productivity of my labor.
3. Make decisions with more focus on my next-best option.
4. Decrease my reliance on geographic location.
5. Expand my options by avoiding debt and paying myself first.
6. Think of my employers as clients of my own personal firm.
7. Care daily for my mind and body.
8. Live with more intention.
9. Read books: dedicate time every day to reading books, not just social-media feeds. Read not only what already appeals to me but also what I think does not.
10. Write: take time to collect my thoughts and challenge my own understanding.
11. Smile: promote compassion, cooperation, and goodwill through simple actions like showing courtesy to strangers and smiling. (It will make me feel happier, too.)
12. Be grateful: feel thanks and wonder.
13. Be optimistic: despite the barrage of negative news, there is so much to be positive about.
14. Avoid getting too enamored with the political horse race: societies are reformed from the bottom up, not from the top down.
15. Don't just hate oppression; love liberty even more.
16. Be tolerant toward different ways of living; if it is not a threat to life and property, it is not a threat.
17. Appreciate commercial culture and all those who work within it; they are part of the solution.
18. Shop not only as a consumer, but also with the mindset of the merchant; our relationship should be one of mutual cooperation and understanding.
19. Be humble concerning the shape freedom should take; the job of freedom is to reveal, not to conform.
20. Do nothing to make society more violent: remember that every law, regulation, and legislation is enforced at the point of a gun.
21. Open my heart to the spontaneous orders that surround me; the beauty of human association is everywhere for those with eyes to see.
22. Delight in the surprises of life; the more events are unexpected, the less power anyone can exercise over them.
23. Seek to learn something completely new, something that stretches my mind beyond what I believe is my capacity.
24. Never regret; the past is data I can't control, but the future is mine to make.
25. Embrace the world of ideas; nothing comes into being without first being an idea.
26. Understand that every uncertainty is an opportunity.
27. Remember and take comfort in knowing that it is a gigantic world out there that no one can fully control.
28. Confront hate through love.
29. Counter violence with peace.
30. Develop my own moral sense; don't let it be defined by the civic religion, which distorts ethics above all else.
31. Cultivate good habits, manners, and humane etiquette; a free people must learn to govern themselves.
32. Live the freedom I want to see in the world.
33. Use my best ideas as soon as I have them, with full confidence that there are more where those came from.
34. Understand that nothing is inherently uninteresting: discover and research with passion.
35. Show, don't tell: be an example of liberty and character, not just an advocate for it.
36. We resolve, each of us individually, to personally (and quietly) target at least one person per month, introduce them to the ideas of liberty, then mentor and nurture their intellectual development so that a year from now, we can each say, “I assigned myself 12 (or more) people who weren’t previously committed to liberty and helped them join our ranks.”