A New Year’s Resolution for EVERYONE

I wrote this post a couple of years ago but apparently, not everyone was paying attention because we still have issues… big issues. Here it is again with a few updates… I hope it works this time.

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 intentions, 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.

So, rather than come up with resolutions 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, like me, you aren’t stupid at all, so your part will be easy. Just make sure that everyone else doesn’t mess up.

Here is a 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. Even if it wasn’t, the task of piloting a vehicle that weighs over 3,000 pounds 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 a secret child-trafficking ring operated out of a Washington pizza parlor was stupid. Thinking that there are random people following you on Facebook and that you can block them one-by-one from your search bar is stupid. Reposting these fake stories (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. Don’t equate the accumulation of things with the building of happiness. We all like a certain amount of stuff, but chances are the good feeling we get from acquiring something new will not last. Think about acquiring experiences and accumulating memories instead. Travel, spend time with family and friends, learn a new skill.
  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. The controversy over whatever color or design is on the seasonal Starbucks cup comes to mind, as do many stories reported on cable news. Over-inflating creates cultural distortion and promotes misinformation.
  6. Don’t miss out on glorious vistas or the witnessing of actual events 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 physically to models and celebrities. Chances are that they don’t even really look like that. Photoshop and good lighting can do wonders.
  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).

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

  1. Hi, Janis – This is BRILLIANT! And just what I needed to read (how did you know)?
    I’m off to share this on my SM.
    Wishing you and Paul a happy, healthy and peaceful 2018.

  2. This year-end post has a good pile of sound of advice. If all people would only half of your recommendations for good living, the world would be a better place. I liked the one warning against over-inflating. Over-inflated egos need a prick every once in a while to let the hot air. Best wishes for 2018!

  3. Let’s hope more people pay attention this year, Janis, because this is great advice. And the world would be a whole lot saner and safer if people would only listen to you!

  4. really great list –
    I especially loved 3 cos I think we are living in a society that is being dumbed down – maybe stupid is the word afterall – per your post – but esp when it comes to issues of health – we trust in doctors who are pushing drugs to manage symptoms and people have stopped asking for root causes cos they think (conditioned to think this way) that the experts know all – when they don’t – the US is ranked 37th in health care and yet we have thousands of folks in bankruptcy for medical costs and no cures. but the pharm companies grow richer as people grow sicker –
    and getting back to your list – love the don’t inflate – hah!
    but 9 was the closing heart tug – so true – let’s lavishly offer those verbal affirmations and terms of endearment – life is too short not too and those words can be spinach for the soul and mood.

    happy new year

    1. I’m with you about our dysfunctional healthcare system (love “spinach” for the soul and mood). I can be one of those dummies who doesn’t verbalize my affirmations enough, a shortcoming which I need to work on. And, speaking of that, thank you for your smart and generous comment. Best wishes for a wonderful, healthy 2018!

  5. OMG too perfect and so simple. Thanks for the tips and I’m definitely sharing. Happy New Year to you, Janis. Glad we connected this year.

  6. I’m printing this one out, Janis, so I can share it with my non-Internet friends and refer to it often. If anyone gives a prize for best resolutions post, you should win it.

  7. Great post Janis! I believe you and I are on the same page. Here’s to less stupidity in 2018. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  8. I remember this one! And you’re right, hardly anyone followed your instructions. So all of this madness is your fault, Janis????!!!! Good, I like having a scapegoat. Great post, thanks again for sharing (and updating). Happy New Year! – Marty

  9. Happy New Year Janis! And yes to NOT BEING STUPID!!! Instead be SMART 😉 hahahaha! Actually very SMART advice for us all. And especially, as you say, “Don’t forget to live your best life. Always. It’s the only one you’ll get.” ~Kathy

  10. I just sit and shake my head as I read these, and know (and have seen so many like them) that they are all true and continue to be. Nothing like road trips in holiday traffic to see driving stupidity in action. And why do people think they can’t be seen looking at their cell phones while either driving or sitting at a red light (or green for the REALLY stupid ones)? You captured these wells with your wit and wisdom, Janis! Can’t wait to see you and Liesbet in a couple days 🙂

    1. We were in holiday traffic too and witnessed the craziness first hand. I wish there was a way to automatically disable all cell phones as soon as the car engine starts. How did we ever live without being able to stay connected AT ALL TIMES?

      See you soon, Terri!

  11. You ought to tweak and post every year because we all need the reminders. And, as you pass cars going 75 mph you glance over and there they are with the propped against the wheel while they are trying to text. I’ve never figured out what actually happens if a text isn’t answered immediately. Does the phone self destruct? Does Scottie beam you up? What? And, how many selfies does the world need? Anyway, I’m off track here – great reminders. Happy 2018 to you and yours. 🙂

  12. Perfect, Janis! I remember reading your similar post the end of last year. We should all be screaming this resolution off the roofs, because, you are right, no improvements seem to have been made, especially on the road. Can I add the part “Use common sense”? Because that seems to be missing often these days as well.

    One of of the home owners Mark and I house sat for this past year had a sticker on his car saying “Don’t be stupid”. It can be interpreted in many ways. We all hate to be called stupid, and, even if we are not, we have to watch our backs, or our side view mirrors. 🙂

    Wishing you and Paul a safe, healthy, happy and resolution-free 2018!

    1. As they say, “there is nothing common about sense.” I need to get that bumper sticker… for everyone in the world (I wonder if Amazon would give me a bulk discount?). Best New Year’s wishes to you and Mark too!

  13. Janis, This is about the best post I have EVER read! I LOVE it! When I got to this phrase…”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” – I fell in love with you all over again!!! Yep, I’m pretty dang sure now that we could be besties, as I am forever hounding my friends – please, please, please consider media bias! Maybe I’ll just put it your way! How about we all “Don’t Be Stupid!” Thanks again for the Best.Post.Ever! ~ Lynn

      1. I especially appreciated the one about enjoying the glorious vista. I love music, when I go to a concert, especially an outdoor one I want to see the stage or at least the big screens and dance and clap and join in with the songs I know. These days it’s just a sea of cell phones held up so high that it feels like I’m a lone wolf dancing in a tunnel. I really wish the artists and promoters would ban them like they do at some comedy concerts, forcing the audience to be in the moment, participate and really enjoy the performance

  14. I’ve not made a NYR for 30 or more years, but from this point on I will make an exception: to reduce the amount of plastic I buy/use and to be more ‘earth conscious.’

  15. Your thoughts could be included in a category I plan to create on the Benefits of Aging. They are so good that they are totally worth recycling, hopefully with tweaks to keep them current as you have done, year after year!

  16. This is a great post filled with common sense and wisdom. I especially like #4, been there, tried that and it definitely isn’t a key to happiness. I would also add to #7–don’t compare yourself with anyone. We are all unique and should celebrate our authenticity without making comparisons. Ive lived in a variety of cultures from China to the Middle East and now Larin America and its always interesting to observe the priorities set by each different culture. Thanks again for timely post!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Your addition to #7 is a good one… if I run this post again next year (assuming everyone doesn’t smarten up) I’ll make sure that’s included. I’m off to visit your blog… curious to find out where you are currently ex-patting.

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