Brace yourselves. New Year’s Resolutions are upon us.

Just yesterday, it seems we were enjoying Christmas and a little vacation with rest and relaxation. But now the pressure is building to come up with deep, profound, insightful, inspiring New Year’s resolutions.

At the start of the year, content with egg nog and football bowl games, anything seems possible.

A modest notion of losing 5 pounds turns into registering for CrossFit and planning to run a marathon.

The nagging feeling (or spouse) urging you to paint the dining room turns into sketches to build a deck.

The typical trip to your in-laws next summer turns into plans to chart the great American road trip.

It’s a New Year and anything is possible!

But while the gym will be empty by March, the deck might be a project for next year, and you’ll spend summer vacation camped out in your in-laws’ basement, there’s another popular resolution we really, really ought to stick to.

A lot of us set out in the new year to “learn something new.” Mountain biking, archery, yoga, French… all good activities to pick up and keep your mind and body sharp.

How about learning something new about… ideas?

Hold on to your seats. This isn’t exactly volcano boarding, but ideas are what create change. They’re what started Apple, Google, Star Wars and America. They’re what democracy is built on. They’re the foundation of art, music, technology and yes, even Family Guy.

Granted, this probably sounds less exciting than going to bed early on New Year’s Eve. And where to even begin?

How about starting with politics? For example, there’s an idea out there being promoted by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that socialism is a good idea. To hear him talk about it, it does sound great. Even dreamy. But is he right? How do you know, if you don’t explore the idea? To get you started, we have a handy starting point right here.

Maybe you took a couple of history classes in college, but in an election year, it’s an especially good time to learn about the ideas behind America’s founding. America had a unique start because our founders put ideas to paper that said all people were to be treated equally under the law, and we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At the time, those were pretty radical ideas. They’re also ideas we should take another look at today. We have lots of ways to learn about these ideas on

Politics is full of bad ideas. Sometimes people are just yelling at each other so much, you can’t figure out what the ideas are that they really care about in the first place. And if we don’t ask, they probably won’t tell us.

If you keep one New Year’s resolution, learn something new about the ideas behind today’s political campaigns. Look past the rhetoric and try to find the principles behind the candidates and parties. Which ideas pull us towards a bigger government, more regulation, and less opportunity? Which ones pull us toward more freedom and more opportunity? Which creates the future that you want for your children?

Would you keep that new year’s resolution? Let us know what’s on your resolutions list on Facebook!

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