It’s almost that time of the year. It’s been a rough year for me, my diary’s full until the last day of this year. My journal’s filled with a lot of sad thoughts about the things that went wrong for me during the year. Its human nature, I’m afraid. And I confess that my sense of worry about the bad things in life tended to override those few wonderful moments which should be recorded as this past year’s highlights.

I’m already composing my notes for my new year’s resolutions. Are you? This is not the time to ditch such noble and well-meaning exercises. I’m guilty of this too. I gave up making resolutions for the New Year a few years back because there was a tendency for me to break them so quickly within the first few days of the year. I’ve thought about this for a while now. You know, I’ve never really taken seriously the exercise of making New Year’s resolutions.

I never took to heart the making of New Year’s resolutions because they were so easily broken. But did I ever try to put this to the test. As personal experience has shown me, no, I have not. Today, and you should try this too if you haven’t done this either, I’m going to take very seriously the making of big plans for the New Year. I’ll be starting with simple, manageable chunks in my personal life. I’ll try and make adjustments to some of the things that I’m quite good at already. And then work my way up from there towards bigger and greater things which I previously thought were unimaginable and unachievable.

Not for the first time did I read that if we take care of our body, health and personal hygiene, we’ll end up being happier than we ever thought possible. Earlier, I wrote about comfort foods and what that entails. With a little bit of reading and research, you can find a list of healthy, natural foods that will make you feel good inside. It’s also possible to self-profile yourself on the internet by finding and matching the colors that go well with your unique personality.

So, before I reassess my life in a big way, I’m going to focus on health issues and personal wellbeing exercises that are well within me to effect. I’ll be looking more intently at the food I eat everyday and see if any changes need to be made in the kitchen. Will an additional walk and longer walks during the week help to vitalize me more? This will be an experiment and it’s something that I’ll have to put to the test.

Doing things you enjoy that cost you less

You know, when you think about it, you end up feeling regret and a sense of loss after a great night out with the girls has ended. Of course, this could have happened while you were dining out alone or splurging yourself at your favorite mall. The biggest regret is knowing that you’ve spent far too much than you could have afforded and instead of feeling happy, you’re now worrying about how you’re going to make next month’s credit card payment.

So in the New Year, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make a list of the things that I enjoy doing and that won’t even be costing me a bean. I’m feeling optimistic about this idea and I think that after a few weeks a sense of peace will come over me. Nothing to pay for, nothing to worry about.

Seeking inspiration in the things you see and read

A very nice neighbor, not bad looking, in his well-meaning way and without any ulterior motives, gave me a file of movies and TV shows to watch at night when I really need to unwind before hitting the pillow. The problem with these shows was that they were inherently morbid. They are tales of woe, on death and destruction, serial killing and vengeful acts. There’s no joy in that. Thought-provoking it may be but I’d much rather read and watch something that is not just thought-provoking but inspirational as well, leading to a renewed sense of optimism and positivity that goals and dreams in life can be achieved.

Be nice and smile more often

Smile awhile. Even when you’re feeling sad and smile your best smile at the girl across from you at the checkout counter. You know, she’s had a rough day too, and your smile will make a world of a difference to her day, telling her that, actually, it’s all been worth the while. You’ll be surprised how it makes you feel when someone beams across his or her positivity to you. Doesn’t that make you feel glad? Come on, admit it, of course it does.

Good food, good life

Good life will start with taking good care of yourself emotionally and personally. This will entail a realistic check on the things you can achieve in the short term and focusing a little more attention on looking after your health. Exercise and plenty of physical activities around the house and outdoors is part of a job well done. But what happens when you’re starting to feel drained. This happens a lot already, doesn’t it?

I’ve personally experienced this. I’ve got the message loud and clear. First port of call, well, as far as I’m personally concerned anyway, is checking what foods I need to be eating. It also means never making any excuse to skip meals. That’s an emotional horror story waiting to happen. And then this thought. Good food takes time to prepare. So, take your time. No need to rush.