New Year's Resolutions are a nice concept, but whether you live by them or — to borrow from Pirates of the Caribbean — consider them to be more like guidelines, resolutions can be hard to come up with when the clock is ticking. What encompasses who you want to be in 2016, and is actually achievable on top of that? So in order to set some goals for the new year, I turned to The West Wing for 2016 New Year's resolution inspiration.
Who better to take inspiration from than the staff of a President, who all speak with the cadence and highbrow references of one Aaron Sorkin? The characters are all so lovable and good at what they do, it's impossible to watch an episode and not feel inspired. I think I've been trying to model myself as some kind of mix between CJ, Donna, Amy, and Josh (though on most days I'm definitely a Toby) for years.
There are definitely a lot of lessons to take away from The West Wing. Here are some New Year's resolutions inspired by the show to consider implementing into your 2016. Of course, resolving to re-watch the entire series on Netflix should already be on your list.
1. Be There For Friends
Leo came through for Josh when he was struggling with PTSD, because Leo cared about his friend and has dealt with it himself. We should all strive to be reliable friends like this.
2. Fake It 'Til You Make It
Donna became Josh's assistant because she walked into his office on the campaign trail and just started assisting him.
3. Take More Risks
Sure, it's not a risk for us to call the Butterball Hotline as "citizens," but the Bartlet Administration was always taking risks in their work and general lives. It's something to strive for.
4. Be A Good Sport
This is one time President Bartlet was an example of what not to do, as he won the staff pickup game by hiring former Duke basketball players.
5. Have Fun At Work
You know, unless the President of the United States might drop by your office unannounced...
6. Travel More
Season 4 opened with one of my favorite plot lines — Josh, Donna, and Toby get left behind on the campaign trail and have to navigate their way back to Washington.
7. Make Bold Career Moves
Sam Seaborn is never afraid to dive into a new career. He leaves his well-paying office job to work on the Bartlet campaign, and ends up leaving his job as Deputy Communications Director to run for office in California.
8. Go After Your Crush
Danny Concannon never gave up, and it all worked out in the end.
9. Take One For The Team
When faced with a major political scandal, Abbey Bartlet took the fall and sacrificed her medical license. It was the right, and admirable, thing to do.
10. Learn A New Talent
May C.J. Cregg's lip-sync performance of "The Jackal" live on forever.
11. Make Time For The Small Stuff
The West Wing's "Big Block of Cheese Day" was all about making sure that fringe organizations had their day to be heard by White House staffers. In our daily lives, it's important to focus on the big picture, but I think in 2016 we should also try to devote a day or two to the stuff that gets overlooked. Even if that's episodes of The West Wing you may have forgotten about that deserve to be revisited.
Image: Warner Bros. Television