Ready? Set. Go!
• Inhabit the moment. You can’t rewrite the past. You can’t be sure of the future. All you really have is now. Make the most of it.
• Sidestep the buzzkills. You know what we mean — the friends who make you feel “less than”. Like the ones who, intentionally or not, have you convinced their grass is ever greener. Or the friends who not only have to be the star in their own movie, but in yours as well. Wise, wise Bernie used to call them the folks who needed to be the bride at the wedding and the corpse at the funeral.
• Exercise. To quote Tweety (and Shannon, too), working out is the one thing in life that after you’ve done it, you’ll never be sorry you did.
• Expect good things. When it’s equally likely that the outcome of a given situation could go either way, think positive rather than negative. Similarly…
• When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras. Which is another way of stating Occam’s Razor: The simplest solution is often the most likely.
• Don’t judge. And don’t worry about others judging you. Both, equally destructive. And let’s face it. Who knows for sure what goes on in someone else’s head.
• Make your bed. Thank you, Gretchen Rubin and “The Happiness Project.”
• Call out the bullshit: policies, comments or jokes that are sexist, racist or likely to perpetuate marginalization. Done well, you might change some minds. And while you’re at it, call out the knee-jerk nonsense, too, whether it comes from the right or the left. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Love it.
• Put yourself out there. Kiss a frog (or a prince), cut bangs, take a tough class, cook a soufflé, or apply for a job/assignment that takes you outside your comfort zone. You’ll always get over a failure, rejection or a bad haircut. But as one of our sources told us, what you’ll always regret is never having taken a risk. Or, as Lucille Ball once said: “I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
• Spend time alone. Reflect. Get to know your best friend — that would be you — and she will never lead you astray. Find your enthusiasm, and notice what you love: that’s what will make you happy. Take it from Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined.” Or, for that matter, Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
• Count your blessings. (Thanks, everyone’s mom and the Dalai Lama) But by the same token, if something needs changing, fight for it.
• Drink water. It does a body good. Really. And while you’re at it, ditch the jammy wine. It’s as bad as the punch.
There you have it. Have a great 2011 — and pass it on.