Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 1, 2013

Five New Year Guidelines

JanusIt has only been a few hours since we stepped across the threshold into the first day of the first month of the new year. The month of January is named for Janus, the Roman god of doors and gateways. Janus was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions — one to the past and one to the future. January beckons us to look back and take inventory of the previous year and to look ahead to the opportunities of the coming year.

The start of a new year offers us the opportunity for fresh starts, second chances, and new beginnings. Fresh starts have a way of giving new meaning to life. Second chances can invigorate us with the resolve to do better and go farther than we ever have. And, new beginnings can infuse us with purpose, energy, and the determination to walk through doors and gateways that lead to exciting new challenges.

Although I am not a new year resolution-maker, I have developed my own list of guidelines that govern my decision-making throughout the year. Perhaps these could be considered resolutions, of sorts. That’s ok. The important thing is that these guidelines help me to make good choices, to take inventory of my life throughout the year, and to make course corrections along the journey. I offer them here for your consideration and wish you a Happy New Year.

Honor God. | To honor means to give weight or consideration to another. I don’t always get it right, but my intent is always to love and honor God — to take seriously His instructions and to walk in a way that pleases Him. I am thankful that He is patient with me and “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Ps. 103:8).

Love others. | Mother Teresa is one of my heroes. She modeled what it means to truly love others without condition. Serving at her homes in Kolkata has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. The best lesson I have learned from Mother Teresa’s example is the importance of looking for Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor and, when I find Him, to do what Jesus would do to help that individual.

Take risks. | Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” She was right. We must keep in mind that we are always taking risks in life, no matter where we are. The late Dr. Rudy Hernandez, one of my mentors, often told me, “I am immortal until God is finished with me.” I often reflect on those words. They have given me the courage to walk down many roads less traveled.

Excuse the excuses. | I don’t like excuses. In fact, I hate them. Excuses may make us feel better but they do not change anything. When I fail I prefer to get up, evaluate, and move on. I would rather focus my energies on finding solutions than nursing excuses.

Don’t waste time. | I have reached that age when I can’t afford to kill time because time is killing me! So, I prefer to get things done. Henry Varley, a British revivalist, said: “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully devoted to Him.” I want to strive to be a man through whom God can accomplish great things.


  1. Thank you, Omar, for those guidelines! I’m going to print them and share them with the girls. Looking forward to another year of your “words of wisdom” in your blogs! Happy 2013!

    • Thanks, Carla. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you Omar for such words of wisdom! I wish you a very blessed and Happy New Year!

    • Thanks, Valerie. I appreciate your readership. Best wishes for a great New Year.

  3. Thanks Omar, truly words of wisdom. My resolution is to follow these examples! I gave up on losing weight years ago. LOL
    Happy New Years to you and your family!

    • Thank you, Beth. Hope 2013 is a great new year for you. I’m with you on the weight thing. I think my metabolism fell out of my luggage years ago in Bangladesh or some far away place 😉

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