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It's New Year's Eve, traditionally a time for taking stock, for resolving to do this or that to make ourselves and our lives better, or at least more tolerable, as we greet a brand new year. For some, these resolutions may not survive the night's revelries. Others, we venture a minority, may manage to keep them intact from year to year. Still others will avoid the whole business.

Whatever your practice or pleasure as we tick off the hours and minutes to midnight, we wish you and yours a happy 2013, and sincerely hope you find it an improvement over 2012.

To help you through this festive rite of passage, be it welcome or not, we offer these words of wisdom and not a little wit:

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves — Bill Vaughn

New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time — James Agate

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year — Ralph Waldo Emerson

New Year's Day ... now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual — Mark Twain

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will — Jonathan Edwards

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to — P. J. O'Rourke

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties — Helen Keller

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account — Oscar Wilde

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go — Brooks Atkinson

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man — Benjamin Franklin

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty — John Selden

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me — Ana├»s Nin

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul — G.K. Chesterton

Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year's resolutions, and I've stuck with it ever since — Dave Beard

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice — T.S. Eliot

New Year's Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive — Jay Leno

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions — Mark Twain

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential — Ellen Goodman

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols — Thomas Mann

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling;

He who makes one is a fool.

— F.M. Knowles

Why won't they let a year die without bringing in a new one on the instant, can't they use birth control on time? I want an interregnum. The stupid years patter on with unrelenting feet, never stopping — rising to little monotonous peaks in our imaginations at festivals like New Year's and Easter and Christmas — But, goodness, why need they do it? — John Dos Passos

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions — Joey Adams

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