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In thinking about this year’s resolutions I’ve decided that I don’t really plan to make new ones so much as I’d like to apply things I already do in one area of my life to other areas.

As an example, I love to cook. Each New Year’s Eve I choose a cookbook I’ve never cooked from and we invite some friends over for a meal I prepare from that cookbook. The husband and I have been friends for twenty-five years and the wife and I have known each other forever (there’s a picture of her at my second birthday party).

I want to have a relaxing evening and at the same time serve really good food. The trick to accomplishing this is easy. I am a very organized cook. I prep what I need before I head to the stove and I have a general idea of the order and the rhythm I’m going to need to prepare the meal. The second trick is even more important: I clean as I go. When I finish with a pan or a knife or a bowl, I wash it.

Just those two practices – preparation and continual tidying – make cooking easy and enjoyable.

This year’s resolution, therefore, is to try to apply those two practices to other activities in my life.

Instead of looking for new practices to embrace, take a minute as 2009 ends to identify things you do pretty well in one area of your life and ponder whether they are applicable in other areas.

Happy New Year.

This post originally appeared in the Pragmatic Life blog.