Sunday, January 2, 2011

For 2011 and Beyond

When I was going through a drawer in my childhood bedroom last week, I found an old newspaper clipping that I think my mom once gave me. A local journalist had put together a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions – “take long walks nowhere . . . get out of your comfort zone . . . floss.” Here’s some of what I would add to it:

1. Live/spend considerably below your means.

2. Be mindful of who your real friends are and never take those deep, authentic, reciprocal bonds for granted. Don’t expect much from or get too emotionally invested in the more superficial relationships you’ve accumulated.

3. Read (novels, short stories) more fiction than you watch (TV shows, movies).

4. Eat out less, cook at home more often.

5. Keep your own version of a regular journal. Before you go to bed every night, write a few paragraphs or sentences about something that happened to you or how you felt that day. Years later, when you read all about where your head once was, you’ll be fascinated.

6. Separate your professional life from your personal life, and remember that your life outside of the office (or the classroom, or the factory, or wherever you work) takes precedence.

7. Smile at strangers.

8. Lift weights several times a week, instead of purely focusing on cardio routines - women in particular don’t realize the physical benefits that come from strength training. For about $20 you can buy a set of hand weights that will last forever.

9. Always listen to your loved ones’ unsolicited advice, but never blindly execute their expectations for you. Have enough self-respect to think for yourself.

10. Find something funny about every bad situation you’re in.


  1. As difficult as living below my means and working out and eating at home can be, I think the thing tha is most difficult is keeping the journal. I used to like to write, but now if I organize my thoughts and actually write them on paper, it makes the thoughts and feelings all the more real.. And some of those feelings are not comfortable to face or cope with..

  2. Good advice all! Living below one's means is especially valuable. I'm amazed when I think how much more money I used to make in my previous profession, and how I frittered it away. Now I live closer to the bone , but am no less happy for it...probably more so!