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Start a New Year the Right Way

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Do New Year’s Resolutions Last?

Each new year, many people make a list of New Year's resolutions. Then, by February, 80% of these resolutions have failed. Typical resolutions include getting healthier by weight loss and exercise; saving money is also common.

I quit making resolutions years ago, but I have decided I want to keep downsizing this year. We simply have too many things we just don’t use anymore. I don’t consider this an actual resolution since I slowly worked on this process last year. The progress I am making is slow but steady.

What Do Medical Studies Reveal About Happiness?

Mayo Clinic conducted a clinical study of 450,000 people on happiness. It found that happiness did increase with income up to $75,000, but not with higher incomes.

Thoughtfulness and sincere kindness activates a portion of the brain that increases pleasure, therefore, being kind to people makes you feel good. Using at least one hour a week in a loving-kindness meditation promotes a feeling of contentment and even joy as well.

Regular exercise, which can be just a brisk walk, makes people happier. Another study found that people with high-stress jobs benefited from some intervention over a 12-week period. Gratitude and forgiveness was included in this intervention. A gratitude journal was helpful for some.

If you are going to make some New Year’s resolutions, the result of these studies might give you some insight into resolutions that would be beneficial.

10 Easy Resolutions to Begin the New Year in a Positive Fashion

  1. Get a good night’s sleep: get 8 hours consistently. Lack of sleep can contribute to obesity. Buying a new bed pillow might help you sleep better.
  2. Add some spirituality in your life: meditation, church, spending time enjoying nature, listen to uplifting music, etc.
  3. Devote time to family and friends.
  4. Exercise at a gym, play a sport you enjoy or take a brisk walk 3-5 times weekly.
  5. Eat breakfast and eat healthy foods.
  6. If you don’t know, find out how much money you need to retire and make a plan.
  7. Watch less TV overall.
  8. Turn off the TV and eat dinner at a table. Put your fork down between bites.
  9. Strive to maintain an optimistic outlook on daily life.
  10. Take a daily time out. Take 10 deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, and enjoy the feeling of relaxation.

We must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

— John F. Kennedy

Other Ways to Increase Happiness

  • Avoid worry and realize you cannot please everyone—so don’t try.
  • Live in the moment, but that does not mean stop making plans for the future.
  • It is important to appreciate what you have, and if you have too many things then clean house.
  • Clean off your desk, which will help clear your mind and let you get to work with a fresh view. This also allows you to focus on your priorities.
  • Volunteering at a worthwhile organization can be satisfying and also give you some new friends. Joining a club is very worthwhile. I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution a few years ago, and I really enjoy the meetings and all the worthwhile projects they complete.
  • Work to strengthen all your social and family relationships. Spending time to just listen to those you care about is so important. Communication is everything in a relationship.
  • Make learning a lifelong habit. This is a good way to maintain your mind as you age, and it is often stimulating. Take an evening class at a local college, high school or senior center. Learning a new language is great for keeping the brain working, but there are many less difficult classes of interest. Read a stimulating book that is not typical of your casual reading choices; the book choice may be a biography, a historical novel or a myriad of other choices.
  • While eating healthy is important, drinking plenty of water is also very important. Adequate water avoids dehydration in hot weather, it avoids constipation and other types of disease. Tea, sports drinks and juices also count. Read the labels for added sugar, caffeine, and artificial flavors.
Happiness and Success

Happiness and Success

Other Helpful Tips

Find out about the medical history in your family if possible. Some diseases have a genetic component. Being informed is always wise.

Wash your hands frequently, which will keep you healthier. When you are out, wash your hands as soon as you return home to prevent diseases.

If you have concern about how you are coming across to others, try recording yourself for an hour daily. Words are so powerful. Listen to your words and decide if you are moving in the right direction to achieve your goals. If you find you are often talking about problems or limitations, seek out solutions.

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Read More From Remedygrove

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

— Anne Frank

What a Wonderful World—Louis Armstrong

Do You Want to Set Goals?

The first of the year can be a good time to set goals. Good goals require specifics to work, and they include:

  • The goals must be specific.
  • The goals must be written.
  • They must also be measurable.
  • A time limit is important.
  • The goals must be your own, not your boss's or your mates.

Be Realistic With Your Goals

If you setting New Year’s resolutions, realize they are always tied to happiness. If I could just lose some weight...if I could just earn more money...if I could just figure out a workable budget—these are so typical of common resolutions. There is nothing wrong with resolutions, but they must be realistic. We all evaluate our lives as we age and the goals change accordingly.


View on New Year’s Resolutions

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Pamela Oglesby


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 05, 2019:

Hi Paula, My attitude is about like yours.I appreciate your comments and I wish a happy year for your too.

Suzie from Carson City on January 04, 2019:

Pam.....Lots of great suggestions here. I put the Kibash on resolutions years ago. My personal life's habits are pretty much ingrained and most are healthy, sensible & beneficial.....although I'm always looking for more ways to improve & make life easier. Bad habits probably can't be avoided, here & there....we are humans, after all. As long as we keep trying!

Thanks for the helpful ideas...and have a really wonderful year! Paula

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on January 02, 2019:

Nell Rose, I am good about washing my hands also but I think that comes from my training as a RN. I appreciate your comments and hop you have a wonder New Year!

Nell Rose from England on January 02, 2019:

I love all your sensible ideas compared to the usual goals. I always wash my hands every single time I go out and come back in, and I do it after opening letters, lol! Happy New Year Peggy.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 30, 2018:

Hi Peggy, A new year tends to make people at least think about making changes. Thanks for tour comments.

Happy New Year!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2018:

A new year ahead gives many people a space of time to look back as well as look ahead and perhaps make some changes if needed. Your suggestions are all excellent ideas for daily living. Happy new year Pamela!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 29, 2018:

Thanks for sharing all of the great advice, Pamela. Happy New Year to you!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 29, 2018:

RTalloni, I do think being realistic is essential, or you set yourself up for failure. I know that personal experience!

Good luck with your projects, and thans so much for your comments.

RTalloni on December 28, 2018:

Nicely done with straightforward info that can be tremendously helpful to any who want to start the new year with serious intentions of improving their life in any way. I especially appreciate the "be realistic" reminder as am trying to quickly finish a couple of projects that have spilled into the coming weeks.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 28, 2018:

Pop, I appreciate your stopping by and commenting.

breakfastpop on December 28, 2018:

Thanks for this very smart thoughtful advice.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 28, 2018:

Alyssa, Cheking in monthly and evaluating where you stand with regard to your goals is an excellent idea. I also did not think of retirement in my 20s either. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Happy New Year!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 28, 2018:

Yves, I think writing the goals state your intentions so clearly that you are more likely to succeed. Thank you so much for your comments.

Happy New Year!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 28, 2018:

Maria, I also think intentions are important as your thoughts are so powerful, and having a positive attitude is essential for happiness and peace. I always appreciate your comments, wise woman.

I wish you a wonderful, healthy 2019 too.

Hugs, Pam

Alyssa from Ohio on December 28, 2018:

What wonderful tips! It's important to practice gratitude and appreciate all that you have. I love that you added a tip on planning for retirement, something I never thought much of in my 20's. Something else I found helpful this year in sticking with goals is to take time each month to check in with yourself and see if you need to readjust your goal. Great article! Happy New Year!

savvydating on December 28, 2018:

I didn't realize goals should be written and time specific. Now I know, due to this article. All of the measures you suggest are truly sensible and simple. We can do most, if not all of them if we have the will. Thank you, Pamela, for such a well-written and straightforward article to help us get the New Year off to a good start!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 28, 2018:

Wise and realistic insights, dear Pamela.

I believe in intentions over resolutions. Like you, I am slowly chipping away at decluttering. I'm happy there is a GreenDrop station that I can donate to - a good feeling all around.

Happy, peaceful and healthy 2019 to you, dear Pam. Hugs, Maria

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 28, 2018:


Publishing two books is great, and I wish you sucess in your publishing more in 2019.

I love that song also. Thanks for your comments.

Happy New Year!

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on December 27, 2018:

Wonderfully refreshing article, nice work Pam! I love that song by Neil Armstrong. ❤️

I do believe in goals for the new year, and making them realistic. I self-published 2 more books in 2018 and I’m working on lots more for the new year.

All the Best To You in 2019!


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:


I think the thrid goal is one of the most important ones, so I wish you well. I wish you a a peaceful, prosperous, productive New Year as well. Thank you for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:


I am blushing with your praise! I am glad that you have a sense of satisfaction with the choices your have been making. That is the goal for everyone I think. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing.

I hope you have a spectacular, peaceful 2019. Happy New Year!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:


I appreciate your comments.

Happy New Year!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 27, 2018:

Pam, thank you for these helpful reminders. Number 3 in your list of 10 is on my priority list for 2019. You have a peaceful, prosperous, productive New Year!

Suzie from Carson City on December 27, 2018:

Pam.....These suggestions & ideas for a healthy, realistic New Year are absolutely the BEST! You are one smart woman, girlfriend! I am in complete agreement with your common sense attitude, for giving ourselves beneficial, pain-free motivation.

As I read through, I am pleased with my little old self, to realize that so much of the actions & behaviors you mention, are & have been a part of my life-long constitution. Seems to me I'm fortunate to be on the right path and can simply add to or alter a few of my goals & practices to insure personal success in 2019! Hallelujah!

Wishing you a Bona-fide, Spectacular New Year, sweet lady!! Peace, Paula

Aldene Fredenburg from Southwestern New Hampshire on December 27, 2018:

All wonderful advice, and uplifting ideas. Happy New Year!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:

Bill, I am glad you liked this article, and I wish you much happiness in 2019 also. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Happy New Year!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:

Ann, It sounds like you have many reasons to keep smiling. I appreciate your comments. I wish you a wonderful 2019, and good health as well.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 27, 2018:

I love the theme and spirit of this post. Wishing for you happiness throughout 2019. Happy New Year, Pamela!

Ann Carr from SW England on December 27, 2018:

Lovely uplifting hub with lots of sensible suggestions.

I find music makes me smile and boosts my morale, especially if I dance to it too. Playing with the grandchildren never fails to lift my mood (which is usually not bad anyway). A brisk walk along the prom here makes a huge difference and I usually do that every day; it blows away the cobwebs - it's usually breezy if not gusty!

You're spot on with the 'being kind in deed and word' to others. A smile, too, when I'm out, brings a satisfying return of smile or greeting - instant communication which is great.

Hope 2019 is happy for you and full of good health!


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 27, 2018:

Flourish, Your charity sounds wonderful. I have thought of my genealogy research as a legacy to the geration that will follow me. I think the people that have written books are also creating a legacy. That is an important point when we consider life. Thanks so much for commenting.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 26, 2018:

I enjoy donating to my favorite charity, a non-profit low cost spay neuter clinic. I see that giving as a potential legacy.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 26, 2018:

Clive, So true. There are many unresolved issues, but we keep trudging along doing our best. Your comments are always appreciated.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 26, 2018:

So many unsolved issues people will start 2019 with. But then again time doesn't really exist.

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