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When writing resolutions, I always think most people write, lose weight, or get into better shape for the new year. This list isn’t exactly what you might expect, but it is about getting into better shape in the new year.

There have to be changes in this world for things to be better for all of us. We have to have a forum to hear both men and women on important issues like healthcare, schools, war, taxes, reproductive rights, poverty, wealth, hunger, human rights, marriage, etc. But half of the population is still under-heard and under-represented. Until this changes, none of us is as good as we could be and the world goes on unbalanced.

This list of resolutions is to help us work to move women into a more equal place in the world and to change the system of patriarchy that hurts us all. Let’s make 2012 and beyond- awesome!

1. Every day, at least once a day, out loud or to yourself, appreciate one woman for something other than her looks. You can appreciate her looks too- women are beautiful- but what else about women is cool? Notice those things. This could be the manager of your apartment does a good job managing, the teller at your bank is good at customer service, the writer of a book you are reading writes well, a woman in a play or movie you watch is good at acting, the postal worker is efficient, your friend is a good driver, your mother-in-law is loving. This resolution is to build positive ideas in all of us about women and our strengths. Do it often.

2. Be nice to women, even in your head. Don’t think negative things about women. Keep those thoughts positive and if they stray to any negative zone, bring ’em back.

3. Don’t make it about her being a woman. If you do have negative thought or things to say about a woman, don’t link the fact that you don’t like her or whatever she did that makes you mad to a gendered word like bitch or even one that is connected to women, like catty.

4. Observe yourself. If you notice yourself speaking about other women in a negative way, even in your head, examine in yourself why you are speaking of her like that. Did you say or think she’s a bitch or stupid, or slutty or fat? Why do you need to think about women that way? How does  it make you feel? Why are you saying this or thinking this way? Explore for yourself, in yourself, why you are thinking this way.

If we can learn to understand why we put down women and correct ourselves when we do it, we can stop doing it and think more positively about ourselves and each other.

5. Recognize one woman out loud at least once a week for something other than her looks.

This might be a compliment directly to a woman about her work, an idea she has, something she says, or something she does. It could be a comment to another person about another woman that is positive.

6. Expect us all to be human not one-dimensional. Neither women nor men are stereotypes. Work to recognize the stereotypes of men and women, girls and boys, and work to not always go with the stereotype. Men don’t have to be unemotional, feelingless, superheroes and if they show emotion, they are not weak. Women don’t have to be timid, quiet, emotional dolls and when we are strong, we are not bitches and when we are quiet, we are not submissive or child-like. Boys can like playing house. Girls can play with cars and toys that aren’t pink. Allow for all people to enjoy all things and be who they are rather than trying to fit us into stereotype boxes.

What other resolutions would help the world.

Let’s make 2012 a good year and make these resolutions for the entire year, not just until February or March. We want to be in better shape for the whole year and beyond.