New Year’s Resolutions Inspired by Shakespeare

I debated over whether to make this funny or serious, but there’s so much to be learned from Shakespeare that I just had to make it serious. These aren’t resolutions the characters might make if New Year’s resolutions were a thing in their time. They’re personal resolutions inspired by the themes of Shakespeare’s plays.

Henry V: To pursue my goals. No, I’m not interested in conquering a kingdom, but there are things I want in life that won’t come to me if I wait for them to fall into my lap. This year, I’m resolving to get my teacher certification, to finish at least one of the unfinished novels I’m writing, and to keep practicing my foreign language skills so that they improve rather than decaying over time.

King Lear: To keep my loved ones close. King Lear is perhaps my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays, but its view of family is one that I’m grateful my own family is nothing like. This year, I want to figure out who I am as an adult, but without letting go of the people who have supported me thus far, especially my mother.

Hamlet: To appreciate life’s small blessings. It’s so easy to get bogged down by life’s difficulties and lose sight of all the things that make it worthwhile. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet becomes so consumed with grief that he questions whether it’s worth it to go on living at all, allows him mother’s actions to poison him against Ophelia, and finally, loses sight of himself in his revenge. This feels all too immediate at the end of an emotional roller coaster of a year. I’m hardly the first person to point out how crazy 2016 has been on a thousand different levels. But that doesn’t mean nothing good came out of it. Pandas are no longer endangered, there’s a vaccine for Ebola, and did you see they’ve figured out a way to shrink brain tumors? That’s pretty incredible. On a personal level, I graduated from college, started two blogs, and saw substitute teaching open the door to a full-time job this coming semester. In 2017, one of my resolutions is to never let the bad in life overshadow the good.