A resolution worth keeping for the new year

Here it is.

Three days into 2013, and statistics say plenty of people have already broken or are very likely to break the New Year's resolutions they made.

They picked out something they wanted to change or improve upon in their lives and vowed to make good on it in the next 12 months.

For some, it was to get fit. For others, it was to quit smoking. For others, it was to save more money and spend less.

But, then the next day dawned, and an extra hour of sleep in the morning was more desirable than heading to the gym. A major report at work was due, and a cigarette or two helped steady the nerves, or there was a stylish dress on sale. It was on sale, but the matching purse, shoes and jewelry weren't.

Life happens, and while intentions were good at the outset, New Year's resolutions are broken left and right. In fact, a University of Scranton study showed that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolution.

A big reason why resolutions fail is because they come up against old habits and, as the saying goes, old habits die hard. It's difficult to undue years of patterned behavior - years of grabbing a doughnut for lunch instead of a salad and years of whipping out the credit card when something catches the eye.

Amid the pledges to lose weight or to quit smoking, there's a New Year's resolution we don't hear very often: to be kinder to one another.

Making good on that particular resolution isn't hard. It may very well be the easiest resolution to uphold.

Grand gestures aren't necessary. Don't underestimate the little things. It can be as simple as smiling at someone who looks as if they're having a bad day; it might be the only smile they see. It can be as simple as holding open the door for someone whose hands are full or sending a thank you card when someone does something nice. You may never know how much those small gestures are appreciated.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is quoted as saying, "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."Be kind to someone today and for the next 362 days of the year.

We'll all be better for it.