A Lucky Seven New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

New Year’s Resolutions can be deeply personal—they are promises you make to become a better, healthier, and wiser person. As for most goals, they should be specific and measurable and have a time limit. But there should also be some accountability to others. Therefore, this blog is a way to share and let others know my resolutions so I am held accountable.

Here’s my “lucky seven” resolutions for 2020.

Teach better, serve better

Maybe I write stuff, make stuff. But my main thing has to be teaching. I teach hundreds of students. I need to be more patient. I need to know how to better help them—in language and in values. Maybe that will aid in my “teaching” done through writing and inspire me to write better.

Develop my two new websites

With my first novel completed, I know I must continue writing. Writing in the vacuum that is a book—a long-term project without regular feedback—can be deflating. So, I want to have more fun by writing blogs, and I want those blogs–a writer’s blog and a joy quest blog–to have meaning, to inspire or help others.

Say goodbye to “writer’s block” and go do that next novel

Publishing a book is both a high and a low. While somewhat pleased that I finally have followed my dream and written a fun suspense novel that has some good teaching values, I know I can’t stop now.

Take care of my brain (and body)

I’m developing a website, thejoyquest.com because I know we can’t take our brain (and body) for granted. I know I must get better sleep, a better diet, better brain input, and many more things. I’ll blog about what I learn. But contrary to the past, I’ll must focus on the “doing,” more than the researching and writing!

Preserve the earth

I hope that most people with any spiritual sense would see the value of taking care of the earth, our beautiful home. In my tradition, God has made us responsible. We aren’t doing a very good job. And I’m not doing my part well. I used to do better. No excuse. This year I’ll refocus to improve, personally, and through helping the fledgling Ly Son/Sa Huynh UNESCO Geopark here in Vietnam.

Develop better, deeper relationships

Whether in person or virtually through Internet communication, I will work on more meaningful relationships with friends and family. There’s a time for “shallow” talk (how’s the weather?). But I want to go deeper with many interesting people so we all gain something of value, whether it’s information and sharpening of our brains, or much better, a touching of souls.

Think more about others, rather than myself

I’m not 100 percent self-centered. But I think of myself more than I should which, in my philosophy of life, is not healthy. Thinking about self often means thinking about problems or challenges. That makes the problem even bigger in the mind until it dwarfs all things. One should think of solutions. One solution is to give “problems” to God and focus on him and on other people.


I hope this blog encourages you to look back on your past year, and consider how you can take charge and make 2020 your best year ever!

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Scott Douglas Martell is a writer, teacher and coach. His most recent novel is The Hyena Man, an African romantic suspense. His blogs often focus on Ethiopia and Vietnam, world traveling, and counseling for a more joyful life, with topics such as brain health and spiritual awareness.

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