It’s almost the new year, which means it’s time to make some resolutions. At Everybody’s Invited!, we’re focusing on play-related resolutions for 2013. Feel free to steal these. We don’t mind.

Resolution #1: Make more mistakes

One of the reasons play is good for us is that it allows us to gain mastery. In fact, some scientists believe the evolutionary reason for play in early childhood is to provide practice for adult life. Through mistakes made while in a playful environment, we master new skills safely. Since this mastery can apply to adults as well, we’re making all the blunders, faux pas, and slip-ups we can in 2013!

Resolution #2: Seek out the novel

Novelty gives us a hit of dopamine, and activates the brain’s reward center. Basically, we’re programmed to like new things! That’s why we’re planning to take new classes, go to new places, and try new foods all next year.

Resolution #3: Tell better stories

According to the National Institute for Play, storytelling is “the unit of human intelligibility.” It’s what makes us human! Seeing as how important it is, we figure we ought to tell more and better stories in 2013. We’re talking about telling tall tales, spinning epic yarns, and even skillfully weaving a bit of suspense into an otherwise bland account of what happened at the grocery store earlier. We want our stories to move people to tears, cause side-splitting laughter, and trigger brilliant new ideas. We want our stories to become legends.

Resolution #4: Cultivate lightheartedness

A lighthearted attitude is a powerful weapon against the unavoidable sorrows we’ll face in our lives. Approaching the new year with cheerfulness, optimism, humor, and an appreciation for the absurd won’t prevent bad things from happening, but it will allow us to be more resilient if they do. Play is a tool for cultivating lightheartedness. As if we needed another reason to play!

So, bring it on, 2013. We’re ready to play.