It Was the Stone Age, But We Were Happy

Occasionally I try to remember what life was like back when we had no mobile phones, no email, no social media, no internet, and no home computers.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those “back in the good old days” rants. And it’s not going to be a screed about how Facebook and other social media platforms, texting, selfies, junk journalism, and the internet as a whole have led to the decline of civilization. (That’s Twitter’s fault.)

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10 Ways to Make This Your Best Year Yet

Regardless of whether or not you embrace the practice of making new year’s resolutions, the start of each new year presents an opportunity to reflect upon what went well and not so well during the past year. 

Of course, any time is a good time to assess your life in its current state and make adjustments. You don’t have to wait until one year ends and the next year begins to consider what changes you would like to make and what new projects or adventures you would like to embark upon.

One reason many people don’t make new year’s resolutions is that most of them tend to fail – usually within a few weeks. So rather than making idealistic and overly optimistic resolutions, try evaluating your daily and weekly routines and consider what you’re willing to change. 

After all, your level of satisfaction with your life is determined more by how you spend each day than by the occasional big trips or special events you experience. 

In this article, I will offer ten ideas for how you can alter your approach to your day-to-day life in order to make this new year your best year yet. Some of these suggestions will resonate with you and some won’t, and that’s fine. I hope you find a few that will be valuable.

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The Adventure List: What it is and Why You Need One

By now, you have almost certainly heard of the Bucket List. That’s a list of things you hope to experience before you pass away or “kick the bucket.” Perhaps you even have one.

I do. I think they are a good idea.

But while the concept of the Bucket List is good, it has its limitations. You probably think of your bucket list in grandiose terms. Your list is probably filled with big-ticket items and stretch goals, like taking a trip to Japan, visiting every national park, or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but the reality is that unless you are diligent in your pursuit of your bucket list items, you will probably run out of time, money, or ability to achieve all of them before you actually kick that proverbial bucket.

The time you spend experiencing your bucket list dreams will comprise a relatively small percentage of the rest of your time on Earth. And while major events are memorable and satisfying, your overall happiness is going to be determined more by how you live your life on a day-to-day basis.

As writer and cartoonist Allan Saunders said (and John Lennon later sang), “life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” And one of my favorite quotes is this one by Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So how can you ensure that your life is enjoyable and fulfilling during all that time between each of your bucket list experiences?

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