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Simple resolutions can bring joy to life

Columnist Charlotte Lankard suggests a few small resolutions that will make life more enjoyable.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: January 7, 2014

Ah, it is time for those New Year's resolutions, like “lose weight and exercise more.”

In addition to those two biggies, there are some small things you might consider that will make your life more enjoyable. Try a few.

Avoid tight clothes.

Get help with jobs you dislike.

Think of your difficulties as challenges, rather than problems.

Smile more.

Walk slower.

Stop talking negatively to yourself.

Quit trying to fix


Stop being surprised at the way difficult people act. Rather than fuss at them — or about them — limit interaction with them.

Look at the stars.

Notice the shape of the moon.

Whistle a tune.

Read a book. Read or write a poem.

Write in a journal.

Listen to a symphony. Watch a ballet.

Try something new — maybe a hobby or a new route to work.

Buy flowers for yourself or someone else.

Join a support group or enlist a friend you trust to be a “vent-partner.”

Doodle. Clean a closet. Go on a picnic. Walk by a lake. Teach a kid to fly a kite. Eat a meal by candlelight.

Unhook from mobile phones and iPads when you walk in your door to greet your family in the evenings. Turn off your mobile phone or leave it in your car when you are sharing a meal.

Talk less.

Listen more.

Tell other people what you like about them.

Before you go to sleep, think back over your day and take note of those things for which you are grateful.

Learn to laugh at yourself, because people are more comfortable with you when you're not perfect.

Don't be afraid to be silly, i.e., say “have a good day” in pig Latin.

Wishing you moments of joy in 2014.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at


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