10 Tips to a Happier 2012
Written by
Jill Starishevsky
December 2011
Written by
Jill Starishevsky
December 2011

For the past twenty years, I have shared one of my favorite guides, Life’s Little Instruction Book, as part of my New Year’s Eve celebration.  The book is made up of tips and advice that help one lead a fuller, happier life.  Some of my favorites include, “resist the temptation to buy a boat” and “compliment three people a day.”  Traditionally, each person I am celebrating with adds a tip to the end of the book.  One year, my brother-in-law added, “conserve water, shower with a friend.”  Unfortunately, this year, I am out of town and left the book at home.  I know I will miss nostalgically flipping through on New Year’s Eve and reading the entries added by family and friends.  I decided to start a new list in hopes of others adding their favorites so I can reflect on them this New Year’s Eve.  Here are my 10 tips to a happier 2012:

1.      Enjoy the food you eat, worry less about getting fatter

2.      Make an effort to stop cursing, for words do really matter

3.      Volunteer once a month for a charity close to your heart

4.      Have dinner as a family, once a week is a really good start

5.      Speak of others as though they can hear the words that you say

6.      When having a conversation with a friend, put your cell phone away

7.      Decrease your usage of microwaves, it robs the vitamins from your food

8.      Wake up every morning with the hope of putting someone in a good mood

9.      Eliminate one hour a week of TV, internet or your favorite vice

10.    Don’t buy water in bottles; to save the earth it’s a small price

In case you are wondering why the tips are in prose, my alter ego is “jill - the poem lady” and I tend to think in rhyme.  Happy New Year and I look forward to reading your tips.

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  • Mary L. Holden

    I chose 8 because it starts the day and if I put MYSELF in a good mood first, then all things seem to flow from there.

  • Jill Starishevsky

    It is interesting to me that 5 and 8 seem to resonate with people.  They both are about treating other people better.  I wonder why those two are so meaningful.  Any thoughts?

  • Jill Starishevsky

    Reading something every day is a terrific tip.  I will try to keep that one in mind.  Thank you all for adding to my list. Please keep them coming!

  • Regina Y. Swint

    I love these tips.  I really like the ones about making an effort to compliment people, and your brother-in-law's tip about conserving water.  :)

    Here's one:

    Make an effort to read something every day, preferably from a book.  It's like food.

  • Rabihah A. Mateen

    These are wonderful!  I'd add: Trust your gut and listen to your instincts. That's one of many on my list.

  • Darlene Foster

    Jessica, your Mom's a wise woman.  I will keep that in mind as well.

  • Mary L. Holden

    I like 8. First, I'm happy to just wake up. Second, I ask to do all things with love. That puts a smile on my face and then 8 has a chance!

  • Jessica Vealitzek

    Love #5, too. Something I'm trying to do more of is follow advice my mother gave me: Treat everyone a little kinder, especially those you'd rather not, for everyone is enduring some sort of hardship.

  • Darlene Foster

    Great advice.  LOve No. 5

  • Grace Peterson

    Numbers 2 and the latter part of 9 cancel each other out. Wait. I can give up swearing for one hour a week. Kidding. These are great tips. Attitude is everything, isn't it? I believe 2012 will be a very good year. Best to you Jill.

  • Bridget Straub

    I was thinking hopes and aspirations but sleep with great dreams would be nice too!

  • RYCJ Preparing to Publish

    Awl...another great post. Yes, I'm with no. 8 as well. ...And too funny Penny! My first thought after reading your comment was to run that one OVER my husband, but then I would be disregarding Jill's wonderful list! Good One.

    Thanks Jill... Happy New Year to you...and all.

  • Penny Estelle

    Great words to live by Jill!  I'm going to run that #8 by my husband.  He needs to know that one! LOL!  Have a great New Year!

  • Jill Starishevsky

    Thanks Bridget. Great addition. I am wondering if you mean dreams while you sleep or hopes and aspirations. Perhaps both would be a good thing.

  • Bridget Straub

    I really like #8! If everyone did that we would all have a better year. Corny as it is, I'll add dream more!