Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions: A New Year Brings New Opportunities for Happiness

The beginning of a New Year is traditionally the time when we make New Year’s resolutions. Of course, you can make resolutions, set goals, and vow to improve yourself at any time of the year. But when the calendar page turns to a new year, that’s when most of us take time to reflect on the year just finished and consider what we can do to make the coming New Year even better.

With that in mind, I thought I would share my New Year’s resolutions for 2014—and beyond. Perhaps they will give you an idea of something you’d like to do to make your new year brighter.

New Year’s Resolution #1: Be happy, and seek happiness in everything I do

Every day is full of opportunities to be happy, but sometimes we forget how much we have to be happy about. This year I will seek and recognize happiness in even little things. This year I promise to wake up with a happy thought. I will take a moment to be happy to be waking up in a warm, comfortable bed. I will ponder at least one happy moment to look forward to that day. I will appreciate my first meal of the day, and the clothes I am wearing. I will appreciate the sun on clear days and the clouds on rainy days. I will especially be joyful and thankful for my loving family and friends. I have a lot to be thankful for, and the natural result of gratitude is happiness.

New Year’s Resolution #2: Enjoy the small moments

It’s easy to enjoy the big moments of life—the birth of a child or grandchild, the triumph of a new job or promotion, the thrill of a major vacation. But what about the small everyday moments? There can be great joy in a sunset, in the first morning cup of coffee, in receiving a friendly email or Facebook message that you didn’t expect. This year I promise to enjoy the small moments that happen throughout the day—every day.

New Year’s Resolution #3: Be more friendly, and be a better friend

This year I will be the first to introduce myself to a stranger at a party or a business event. I will be the one with the smile on my face and the outstretched hand, welcoming a newcomer who is standing alone by himself. I will look for new opportunities to make new friends, and I will be more friendly to those people who I already consider my friends.

New Year’s Resolution #4: Cut myself a little slack.

Most of us are too hard on ourselves. I am certainly more critical of myself than I am of other people, and I expect more of myself than I do of anyone else. So instead of trying to walk on water, I promise to be content with walking through the puddles. I don’t have to be perfect at everything I do. I don’t have to beat myself up about every little mistake I make. I am going to cut myself a little slack and not sweat the small stuff. I’ll bet this goes a long way toward making every day happier. (See New Year’s resolution #1)

New Year’s Resolution #5: Look for the positive

This year I am going to do a better job of looking for silver linings. When that work project that I bid on doesn’t come through, I will tell myself that a better offer is on its way. When a friend disappoints me by being unavailable for lunch, I will take that as an opportunity to call someone else who I haven’t talked to in a while. When my kids don’t return my calls, I will be thankful that their lives are blessedly busy—and I will call them again with a smile on my face.  Our attitude about the things that happen every day has a major impact on our life experience, so I am going to make sure that my attitude is as positive as possible.
One of the things I learned while writing Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet was that we are all responsible for our own happiness.

New Year’s Resolution #6: Practice random acts of kindness

I am going to do some nice things for people for no particular reason. I have never in my life paid for the guy’s order behind me in the Starbucks drive-through. Well, this year I am going to randomly do some nice things for people I don’t know—as well as for people that I do know. I am going to give a meal to a homeless person. I am going to take magazines to a nursing home or hospital waiting room. I will support inspirational websites like And I won’t expect anything in return. The warm feeling in my heart and the hope that I might inspire someone else to practice a random act of kindness will be all the reward I need.

How about you? What are you going to do to ensure that this next year is better than the one before?
Chad Stone is the author of Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. Like his Facebook page!



No comments:

Post a Comment