Wisdom//

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Will Bring You Joy

Happiness happens while we are busy doing things that make us happy.

Happy New Year! You’ve heard that many times this past holiday season — and throughout your life. It may feel a little like wishful thinking by now. After all, happiness is an elusive term — it’s out of our grasp and we are often waiting for it to happen to us instead of taking charge. I believe happiness happens while we are busy doing things that make us happy. I like to think of my own happiness as living in accord with my best self, pushing my best self forward… understanding and listening to who I am as a person and how I want to live in this world.

A few years ago, my childhood friend Aurelie and I took the time to reflect on our past year. We spoke about what we did well, what we want to do more of, and equally importantly, the goals to set for ourselves in the new year. We basically made a to do list together. It has become a yearly ritual for us now.

Doing this with a close friend is a good way to keep yourself in check and shed light on what matters to you. Just to give you an idea, below is a sample list I’ve made for myself (I will keep refining it throughout the coming week).

Professional goals

  • Continue to work as a team and share ideas openly at work
  • Write a full feature screenplay
  • Make a new short film
  • Find a writing partner and future creative collaborators
  • Write more songs and make an album with a friend

Personal goals

  • Learn to take things less personally
  • Be more assertive and believe in my own ideas
  • Fall in love again
  • Don’t waste time on social media
  • Find ways to sleep better
  • Strengthen my neck
  • Catch myself when I’m about to speak ill of someone. (It usually doesn’t help.)
  • Travel to an exotic country and learn a new culture and way of thinking.

Time delegation goals

  • Meditate once a day
  • Take guitar lessons
  • Hike or play tennis once a week
  • Do yoga twice a week
  • See two old classic movies or TV shows per week
  • See one movie in the theater per week
  • Read one book per week
  • Keep going to concerts (once a month)

In the next month, please find a friend and make an inspired to do list. Have a great you year. There’s so much to look forward to!


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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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