A New Year’s Resolution for EVERYONE

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixaby

It’s hard to believe that I last posted this back in 2017 because, clearly, the last five years have shown little improvement. 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 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 (and not only with your favorite confirmation bias source). Develop a healthy skepticism. Believing that a microchip would be inserted into our bodies while receiving a vaccination was stupid. In fact, anti-science conspiracy theories floating around in the midst of a pandemic are not only stupid, but they are also dangerous and, in many cases, deadly. Reposting questionable 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 outrage du jour on cable news (remember when Starbucks issued – gasp! – all-red holiday cups?) and many Facebook rants come to mind, but faux outrages are everywhere if you look for them. Don’t look for them. 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, celebrities and “internet influencers”. Chances are that they don’t even really look like that. Photoshop and good lighting can do wonders. In fact, don’t compare yourself at all; no one’s life is perfect. Find things about yours to be grateful for.
  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).

Copyright © 2023 RetirementallyChallenged.com – All rights reserved.

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).

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

  1. Great advice, Janis. As I’ve aged, I have lost all tolerance for stupid people. I’m sure we all do stupid things in the heat of the moment, but your list describes serious results when people are stupid! Anyone over 60 now realizes that life is short and that having a positive attitude goes a long way toward happiness. Enjoy a peaceful new year!

  2. Hi, Janis – This is an awesome resolution for each of us to take up wholeheartedly. If we all committed to this one simple resolution imagine how much difference we could collectively make!
    Wishing you and Paul a wonderful year ahead!

  3. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! ‘I see stupid people’ is a meme I wish would go away, but unfortunately, it never will. #5 is something Malcolm needs to remember – ‘don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.’ He tends to overthink everything, making little inconveniences seem monumental. My area for improvement is #9. That one is too important to take for granted. Thanks Janis for your ‘reverse resolutions.’

  4. This is stellar. I need to work harder on being smarter to myself. Otherwise, I think I’m not in any or those other categories. I can see why you reposted it. Happy New Year. Bernie

  5. Excellent resolutions! Do you own a magic wand that will make all that happen? It’s rather sad how many people I know that honestly couldn’t/wouldn’t want to fulfill even half of the things on your list. Have a happy celebration Janis!

  6. What a spectacular post, Janis! I’m thinking I wasn’t yet following your blog at the time you originally posted it because I think I would have remembered a piece like this. Coincidently, one of the Christmas gifts our daughter gave her brother this year was a sign that read, “Ryan’s Shop – I can fix anything but stupid.” Thanks for re-posting this “wish for a better world! “

    1. That’s a great sign! Funny, I looked at my 2017 post (so I could cut and paste my updates) and was struck by how many comments I got from people I don’t see commenting anymore. I think many bloggers fade away after a few years. Those of us who stick around 5+ years are in the minority.

      Have a wonderful New Year, Mary!

  7. Janis, Might be somewhat a reprint, but it’s an oldie but goodie! I winced on #5. Definitely need to work on that one myself as I overthink, rethink, beat myself up if something isn’t perfect (a mistake can be the end of the world as I know it), and do it all over again.
    Happy New Year to you!

      1. I’ve decided that #8 and #9 round out the Top Three for me, and in the interest of honoring #9, I wanted to tell you that I was so impressed by your list that I read it to the husband. Not only did he share my feelings on your list, but it sparked a nice little conversation, so thank you!

  8. This is a great list Janis and I agree with each point you’ve made, especially #1, having lost a friend in May because he was killed by a texting driver. My friend was stopped at a red light in his car when a texting dump truck driver rammed into him. A crane had to be used to pull the dump truck off Kirk’s vehicle and he was air-lifted to a hospital with multiple broken bones (neck/back and more) and internal injuries and he passed away two days later. If you’re on Twitter, you can see people get stirred up about the COVID vaccines … one comment and then everyone seizes the opportunity to jump on that bandwagon. The vitriol that is spewed on Twitter (as well as other social media) amazes me more every day. Happy New Year to you Janis!

    1. I’m so sorry about your friend. That is horrible. I was t-boned by another driver on their phone but, fortunately, he just totaled my car, not me. I wish there was a way to stop ALL phone use while driving.

      I’m not on Twitter, but, if I was, I’d delete it. Although I enjoy some of the funny Twitter threads people post (like the latest from Greta Thunberg), there seems to be a lot of ugliness and misinformation there.

      Happy New Year to you also!

      1. I felt badly Janis. He lived in Florida and had no family, but his good friend found his address book and let us all know. I’d like to know the final outcome of this tragedy; I hope there is more than just a slap on the hand for the truck driver. Lots of accidents these days due to smartphones.

        Last week a 61-year-old woman in my city, was enroute to work, when a police chase ensued and the criminal t-boned her car at a high rate of speed, killing her instantly. He was not a murderer or bank robber, just had outstanding warrants – why the big chase?
        He, of course, lived. You were lucky Janis – it was not your time. People are driving like maniacs anymore – stop signs and red lights don’t mean anything anymore.

        Yes, the grown-up Greta Thunberg surprised me. Twitter is great for weather and news and I like to know trending topics, but Twitter leaves a lot to be desired sometimes.

        All the best in 2023 to you.

  9. I had to laugh when I read your very first paragraph because I was reading through some of my old journals and realized that I still struggle with many of the same things I did ten years ago. Good grief.

    This was such a fun post to read and an excellent list to live by for 2023. I am in!

  10. Now that Esther and I have moved to sunny and warm Arizona, I need to update my old resolutions: stop licking frozen flagpoles, only eat white snow, etc. How about I start smoking to lose weight? Happy New Year!

  11. Janis, I think you covered all of the important points here! I’m always tempted to make resolutions but remind myself that I’m not going to stick to anything that feels restrictive, LOL. I do much better with a positive approach. Numbers 4, 9., and 10 on your list pretty much sum up my approach to life. Here’s to a wonderful year!

  12. This is an excellent list to remind us how to live well with others. As I read each one it occurred to me that there would have been a time when such a written list would not be as exceptional. Public courtesy was expected. And we have devolved considerably from where we were when you first posted this. Let’s hope that trend changes! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, Janis.

  13. Don’t equate the accumulation of things with the building of happiness. This sums up the major issue with modern life and a finite world, doesn’t it Janis. Good on you for suggesting we all take up these resolutions.

      1. We have been born in a fortunate age, but then it still doesn’t equate to happiness and contentment. I think of the Hilton heiress who had everything, never had to work, and despaired. Desperately unhappy during her short life. Struggling and yearning is part of the satisfaction we feel we we earn something. If it arrives or comes too easily, there is no value in it. Sort of like the handout mentality but in a different sense.

  14. I especially liked 6, 8, and 9. 6 because the duck lips thing was hilarious. 8 because the plant a garden line was also excellent. 9 because preach it, sister, but truly, they were all terrific. Well done. If only the whole world could keep these resolutions!

  15. This is great advice, Janis…even for those of us who aren’t stupid! I hope this year, your joint resolution gains traction.

  16. I like your list. I like the idea of encouraging yourself and other people to not be stupid. What I don’t like is that the common sense idea of not being stupid seems to baffle the very people who need to understand it the most. Happy New Year, Janis!

  17. I love your list, Janis. So true and plainly obvious, and yet here we are. I will do my best this year to avoid being stupid and to discourage others from running pell-mell in that direction. It would be so nice if we could have a smart, thoughtful, logical, and honestly, a respectful new year. Thanks for sharing this again and for #10. It puts everything in perspective.

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