In the middle school where I work, we are constantly redirecting our special needs students.

It’s a fancy word for asking them to correct their behavior so they can get back on track.

That’s exactly what all of us adults do every late December as New Year’s Day approaches. We perform an honest self-evaluation to see if we are indeed where we want to be, and where we need to be. We try go figure out if we’ve strayed off-course and if so, how we can get ourselves back between the white lines on this journey we call life.

Most of us, if not all of us, have to admit we have some work to do. And that’s understandable, for it’s been an entire year since we popped the hood and did a 100-point inspection of or engine – our soul.

For some of us, the redirections – the resolutions – we need to make are, while possibly difficult to do and keep doing until the problem is solved, with issues that aren’t terribly serious and are pretty common.

The old standby is that we want and/or need to lose weight. And since we’re in the midst of the holiday season, where over-eating at parties, dinners and other get-togethers is a present we all open up and embrace, it’s probably the worst – or, as it were, the best – time of the year to do it. We don’t want to be a size this or that. We want to be skinnier, healthier and, with it, happier. Less is more, as they say.

Or we want to spend less money, which, again, is another issue where it’s the worst/best time to examine it since we’ve all not just pushed the envelope on our budgets, but busted them open wide trying to make those around us happier. Attempting to give to others we love and care about is a blessing but, as we find out, trying to give way too much is … well, way too much. Again, less is more.

Most of us, too, want to be kinder and gentler toward others. We just want to be better people. We think back to all the times we spoke before we thought and the pain that it caused our family members and relatives, and the embarrassment it caused us. That, as well, is a noble desire, for we can never be too kind and considerate, too gentle, too patient, too understanding, too generous, too selfless. After all, why did we ever think in the first place that we were both judge and jury anyway?

Perhaps we want to find a better job, one that makes us more money or that we don’t despise. The goal is to be paid well for doing something we love to do. It’s a hard combination to find, and if we find it, we’re fortunate. We’ve struck gold. Many of us have to make some sacrifices with either our satisfaction level, or wallet, or both.

Then, too, it could be that we just want to be happy, whatever and however we define that to be. Indeed, happiness comes in many forms. It is never a thing where one size fits all, so we look high and low for what fits us perfectly – for what is truly us, or what we want ourselves to be.

Or it could be that our problems are much more serious, with addictions and terribly self-destructive behavior. Maybe it is that these issues are so grave and complicated that we can’t find the right answer all by ourselves. We need help, and that’s OK because many of us have been there, done that at one time or another.

Whatever our redirections this year as we close the book on 2018 and start writing our story for 2019, we hope you make good decisions on the issues that need your attention, and how to fix them.

In any event, a very Happy New Year to you and yours. May the coming year be all you want it to be.