A New Year’s Resolution for EVERYONE

I gave up writing New Year’s resolutions for myself years ago. As a kid, it was kind of fun to put together a list every year but, as I got older, I came to realize that they really never amounted to much. In the end, and despite my good intensions, there were few pounds lost and no better habits gained. Yep, I was pretty much the same old me after a month or two into the new year.

This year, rather than come up with a resolution just for myself, I have decided to make one big resolution for EVERYONE to share. I figure that, with us all working together, supporting each other, and gently nudging those that falter back on track, maybe, just maybe, we can succeed.

My resolution for the masses:

Don’t be Stupid

The best thing about this resolution for you is, because I’m sure, like me, you aren’t stupid at all, your part will be easy. Just make sure that everyone else doesn’t backslide.

An Allegory of Folly (early 16th Century) by Quentin Massys
An Allegory of Folly (early 16th Century) by Quentin Massys


Here is list of 10 ways your fellow humans can avoid being stupid. It’s far from complete.

  1. Don’t text or talk on the phone while driving. Competent multi-tasking is a myth, and, even if it wasn’t, when the task is piloting a vehicle that weighs over 3,000 pounds, that task requires complete attention. This level of stupid could end up killing someone.
  2. Same goes for drinking and driving.
  3. Don’t believe everything you read, hear, or see on the Internet – check things out. Develop a healthy skepticism. Believing that Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $4.5 million to random people is stupid. Reposting it (even with the caveat “this could be a hoax, but I’m posting it just in case”) makes the poster’s stupidity evident to all 1,000 of their closest friends. Snopes.com and Factcheck.com are your friends. So are critical thinking skills.
  4. Especially in an election year, #3 also applies to politicians. Even – maybe especially – the ones you agree with.
  5. Don’t over-inflate. I’m not talking about weight here (although, it could be argued that not properly nourishing and caring for the only body we have is kind of stupid), I mean the tendency to take a small incident and inflate it into something much greater. Red Starbucks cups come to mind, as does Donald Trump. Over-inflating creates cultural distortion and promotes misinformation.
  6. Don’t miss out on glorious vistas or the witnessing of actual events or because it seemed more important to take and post selfies. The magnificence of the Grand Canyon isn’t improved with duck-lipped faces in front of it.
  7. Don’t compare yourself to Photo shopped models. The models don’t even look like that.
  8. Don’t dig your own grave. You’ll get there soon enough as it is. Stop maintaining habits that are self-destructive, staying in relationships that are toxic, and dwelling on negative thoughts. If you like digging around in the dirt, better to plant a garden.
  9. Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to pay a sincere compliment or tell someone that you love them.
  10. Don’t forget to live your best life. Always. It’s the only one you’ll get.

Have a wonderful, safe New Year’s celebration! And, please watch out for stupid people (especially those mentioned in #1 and #2).

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

34 thoughts on “A New Year’s Resolution for EVERYONE”

  1. Excellent words to live by! I cannot express my aggravation enough with those people who talk and drive, and I’m glad you listed that one. I have had more than my share of people talking on their phone and try and merge into my lane without bothering to look first. SCARY.

    1. Even though he denied it, I am convinced the guy who took the front of my car off when he ran a red light was on his phone. I still, two years after the incident, feel a little discomfort when I enter a major intersection. There are too many distracted drivers out there. Stay safe!

  2. Janis, these are marvelous tips for better and easier living. I hope we can live up to the ideas. Best wishes in 2016 and peace be with you, Keith

    1. Thank you Keith. I am looking forward to this new year… except for the election part. I know that the changing of the calendar is mostly just symbolic, but there is something very inspiring about starting a bright, shiny new year. Peace be with you also.

  3. You hit on all my hot buttons here. My bestie kept posting that Zuckerberg thing. I kept telling her it was a hoax and she said, well just in case it isn’t. Seriously? The politicians! I am so dreading this year. I have been Trumped out already (and everyone else too — way too early). Stupid looking selfies (my step kids do that all the time — btw they are pushing 50 so it’s not just the kids). Starbucksgate! My SB is back to the white cups. You hit them all!

    1. I’m not surprised that we are driven nuts by the same things! Really?… your bestie did that too? I worry a bit about people who are taken in so easily. A harmless FB post is one thing, but there are a lot of bad actors out there looking for people to scam.

      1. A friend’s father (very sane smart man) got taken in by the IRS scam. Fortunately he figured it out fast enough and canceled the money transaction. Scary.

        1. I just remember how trusting my father became as he grew older (he used to be more of a skeptic than I am) and I was so grateful that I was there to protect him. I’m glad your friend’s father got out unscathed.

  4. Great tips, Janis! I especially abhor stupid drivers (not the texting, drunk ones, because that goes without saying) that literally do not know how to drive, on the freeway. They simply do not know the rules of the road (thanks to taking drivers ed out of schools 25+ years ago), or they cannot see or read road signs. As much as we drive, this is such an annoyance. Hope your New Year’s was fabulous and great to see your well-written and timely post!!

    1. The major problem with stupid drivers, of course, is that they can do some real damage. I remember when I first got a car that offered integrated hands-free calling. I tried it once, but never again once I realized that I was no less distracted then if I held the phone in my hand. Driving is serious business and needs our full attention. Please be safe out there!

  5. Well said. I’d be rich if I had a dollar from everyone who has sent me an email that I debunked on Snopes.com, even after I have asked them to verify an email before sending it to me.

  6. What a great list, Janis! Love #3 especially. I’m fairly new to Facebook and some of the stuff I see there is astounding in its stupidity. Let’s hope for less stupidity and more intelligence in 2016. Happy New Year!

    1. I sometimes wonder if they teach critical thinking skills in school anymore. I have always felt that having a healthy bit of skepticism is a good thing. If it’s too good to be true…

      Happy New Year to you also!

  7. So much wisdom (and great humor) in this post. I am with you! Number 10 is especially a mantra I live by! I didn’t even know about #3 – feel lucky to have missed that one 🙂 Happy New Year. Wishing you a 2016 full of fun and adventure. Looking forward to hanging out with you here in the New Year.

  8. I love this post … every single point in here is spot on the mark all encapsuled beautifully under the label of “don’t be stupid”.
    #3 and #5 drive me insane. Really people? … just stop!

    … and #7? Guilty, guilty, guilty. I’m constantly measuring myself against someone else and finding myself lacking. Sigh.

    Very wise words to start the year 🙂

  9. Hi Janis! This one is really, really good! I think the only thing I would add to your “don’t be stupid” list is to #11 Don’t even attempt to argue with people who see things differently than you do. What makes us think we can change other people’s minds when they clearly don’t want to change? Thank you for reminding me not to be stupid in 2016! ~kathy

    1. Oh, that’s a good one! Sometimes I make the mistake of reading the comments following a news article. No matter how innocuous it starts out, pretty soon people are hurling insults and arguing their position. Yikes! And, I don’t think you ever need a reminder to not be stupid – you are definitely one of the brilliant ones.

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