Happy new year everyone!
I wanted to share an article that came in my inbox on Saturday from the NY Times. "Words to the wise" has several great tips on living a happy fulfilled life. You can think of them as resolutions, or just receive them as the great life lessons they are meant to be. I followed the advice of the author in our New Year's Day class. (Thank you to all who attended. It was fantastic to have such a lively, large group the first day of the year!). Each of us wrote our intentions for the new year on a slip of paper (so we were clear), put them in a basket and then everyone took an intention as they left. This way each of usl had a partner to help support our intention and we are also supporting another. Often that is what makes us shine our best selves, when we can support someone. Don't you find that to be true? I didn't have a chance to poll everyone after they took their slip, but I am betting someone pulled out an intention that was the same or close to their own. This is another benefit from this practice, we see we are not alone in our desires to move forward.
I hope you enjoy the list below. I did! I am curious to know which ones you might already be doing, or the ones you intend to adopt.
By Melissa Kirsch, posted 12/21/22 New York Times
Words to the wiseOne of my favorite New Year’s traditions is writing resolutions for other people. Tonight, if you’re with a group of friends or loved ones or strangers who are down for one last New Year’s Eve reindeer game, hand out slips of paper and instruct the assembled to write a resolution for the year. Put the papers in a hat, pass the hat, everyone draws one.
One year I received the resolution to always put my clothes away at the end of the day, rather than letting them pile up on a chair. A friend was to rise from bed every morning, waggle their fingers and say, “It’s showtime!” The resolutions can be whimsical or reflective. They can be things the author would like to resolve themselves or things they think would be good for others to try. It turns the rather dreary exercise of making (often self-punishing) resolutions into something exciting: an exchange of gifts, a gesture of community.
A resolution for all of us: Take some of the good advice below. These words of wisdom came in response to my request for your nontraditional, highly specific bests of 2022. (Read Part 1 of readers’ faves here.)
Best advice you gotIn your closet and your life, subtract whenever you add. — Mary Shanklin, Winter Garden, Fla.
From the “Ten Percent Happier” podcast: Stop and recognize happy moments when you’re in the middle of them. Literally stop and say out loud, “This is a happy time.” It’s a way to ground yourself in the joyful parts of your life. We do this with moments of trauma and crisis all the time. Maybe we should flip that script. — Mary Guzzetta, Pittsburgh
You don’t have to identify with your feelings. — Rori Quinonez, Toledo, Ohio
The best advice I received this year was to stretch my calves regularly. It cured my mild knee pain. — Nicole Byer, Simsbury, Conn.
Parent the child you have. As a parent of a child with special needs, this is my mantra. But this is also true of any child. Stop trying to make your child quieter, louder, more outgoing, more interested in things their sibling likes and appreciate the unique and individual small person you’ve been given. — Sue Lanigan, East Aurora, N.Y.
Everyone is going through something. — Rose Fischietto, Macedonia, Ohio
Dance often, host parties. This advice occurred to me and my friend after a million hours of discussing our pandemic depressions and dating lives. We made lists of the best bars with non-pretentious dance scenes we wanted to try out and themed parties we wanted to host. — Emily Kennedy, Brooklyn
If there is an issue bothering me, I think to myself, “Will this still be an issue in one week or in one month?” If the answer is no, it’s a small problem so I let the stress go and move on. — LaNae Williams, East Lansing, Mich.
If you didn’t have to keep working, would you? — Tom Myers, Holden Beach, N.C.
After my son and his fiancée were involved in an automobile accident in Spain, a friend told me I would need to learn how to practice “powerless mothering.” Following several spinal cord surgeries and six months of challenging rehabilitation, my son’s sweetheart has slowly regained strength and mobility in her upper body, but she remains paralyzed from the waist down, and my grown son has become a loving caregiver. My friend’s advice has helped me see that I can still be a supportive mother without any power to change their new world. — Candice Dale, South Portland, Maine
The best marriage advice: Binge shows and movies in separate rooms. — Juli Leber, New York City
When the wrench is on the nut, tighten it. In other words, if you’re already touching a piece of mail, deal with it. If you see a thing you’ll need soon, buy it now. If an uncomfortable conversation comes up, have it rather than deflecting it. — Kasia Maroney, Trumansburg, N.Y.
The best way to make a decision: Does it light me up? — Robyn Pichler, Weaverville, N.C.
I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100 percent, and that’s pretty good. — Hudson, San Diego
Put 10 pennies in your left pocket. Find something for which you are grateful. Move one penny to your right pocket. You should find all pennies have moved to the right pocket at the end of the day. Celebrate. — Mike Wilson, Sedona, Ariz.
Stop reaching for people who aren’t reaching back. — Katya Davidson, Portland, Ore.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it, or that it’s good for you. — Divya Rao Heffley, Pittsburgh
Be where your feet are. — Submitted by both Pattie Saunders, Portland, Ore., and Kelly Kammerer, New York City