New Years- Choose happiness over resolutions

New Year’s isn’t just a time to dress up and drink too much, but rather a time to reflect on the previous year and a chance for new beginnings.  I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions, however, I do think it is a time to look back at the last 365 days and ponder what I want for the upcoming year. I’ll be the first to admit that 2020 just plain sucked and I had high hopes for a better 2021. However, for me it turned out to be not much better.  Unfortunately, it was plagued by the never ending COVID record on repeat and some very heartbreaking loses. 

But, as we close in on the end of another of a year, I feel myself having this overwhelming sense of dread. Is 2022 going to be any better? What catastrophes await me in this next year?  Well, this sounds promising doesn’t it.  NOT!  I don’t want to have this dark cloud settling over 2022 when no one knows what is going to happen.  So, what can we do to make 2022 great? Most people make resolutions to try and better themselves, to make it a good year, but is this the answer?

Instead of setting resolutions that we know will be dead by June, let’s figure out a plan for making 2022 a success.  If self-improvement goals were so easy, we wouldn’t need to make resolutions in the first place – we would just change.  But let’s be honest, the reason these resolutions so often fail is that they don’t actually align with our true goal of greater happiness.

If we look at the ancient Romans, they dedicated January 1 to their god, Janus.  Now I’m not saying we have to worship gods, but stay with me. This was a god that the people would send a promise to, to be a better person in the new year than they had been in the previous.  Now this makes sense to me.  Instead of promising to buy a house, lose weight, make more money, take a luxury vacation etc.  They simply said, “I’ll be better.”   You may not know exactly what that entails, but simply putting those words out into the universe, could be just the thing.  I will be a better person this year than last.  I like it.  It is not dependent on the things going on around you, it is a simple promise to yourself. 

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” ~Germany Kent

Happiness is more simple than knocking off a list of material desires.  Why does happiness come so easily to some and evade others?   When we think about goals or resolutions, what is the end result?  What are we truly looking for?  The answer is easy, happiness.  So, how can we find this happiness?  There is a German author, Florian Langenscheidt who became obsessed with happiness and began to study the principles or the recipe for true happiness.  He has come up with a list of 10 guidelines to help us along this journey.  

A simple guide to happiness

  1. Happiness is up to you
  2. Stay alert for the small moments
  3. Happiness is past, present and future
  4. Be grateful
  5. Forgive
  6. Make others happy
  7. See the positive beyond the negative
  8. Accept disappointments
  9. Embrace friendship and love
  10. Live your own life

Being a better person will mean something different to everyone.  If we choose happiness above all else, it would be pretty tough not to be a better person.  For me it’s all about the little things.  Remembering to appreciate family and friends, taking the time to connect with people, smiling, saying thank you, and remembering that this life is a gift.  So, no matter what the world has in store for 2022, I am still in control of how I act and feel in this upcoming year.  I am capable of making it a great year, despite outside influences.  So, I vow on New Year’s to look in the mirror and promise myself to simply, be a better person, to just be happy.

“The best is yet to come.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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