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Welcome 2020 with a new look at an old proverb

A new year. A new decade. A time for both reflections and resolutions.

For reflecting, consider the familiar proverb that “Hindsight is 20/20.” And, from those reflections, you may find some valuable help in developing resolutions for 2020.

When we hear the saying that hindsight is 20-20, we recall that’s just another way of saying that hindsight helps us understand past events and can lead us to new knowledge and understanding.

A dictionary defines hindsight in this way: “…perception of the nature of an event after it has happened. In hindsight, it’s clear there were alternatives.”

As we welcome in this new year, we should consider both personal and professional experiences from 2019 in improving our chances for success in 2020.

Making resolutions at the start of the year has become a tradition among many families. Keeping them is not always easy. Often those resolutions are lost within a few weeks or a few months. We forget. We are busy. We are paying more attention to new issues or unforeseen dilemmas.

When we use hindsight effectively, we can do better as we try new approaches to both problems of the past and promises for the future. Counselors and teachers advise us to prioritize and set goals for the year. Be realistic in the process. Decide what is most important and limit your efforts to a short list of new year’s resolutions.

And, if you choose not for formalize a list of resolutions, consider the designation of “2020: The Year of Kindness.” Surprise yourself and your family and friends with simple acts of kindness on a regular basis during these next twelve months. The results may be as rewarding as a list of resolutions, some of which might never be fulfilled.

Researchers say about 60 percent of us makes New Year’s resolutions but only about 8 percent are successful in achieving them. Nevertheless, the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one seem like a great way to take stock of the past and set goals for the year ahead.

And finally, here are a few unsolicited tips that you might try in 2020: Give at least one compliment a day; read a book a month; do random acts of kindness; call a relative or friend you haven’t contacted in months or years; and, one that might be most difficult for some of us is “Go a whole day without checking your email!”

Whatever your decision, we’re at a point where it’s time to welcome 2020 into our lives, and our lives might be a bit better if we take another look at the old proverb “Hindsight is 20/20.

William H. Baker is a Claiborne County native and former Middlesboro resident. Email: wbaker@limestone.edu