New Year Resolution

For many people the tough economic times have made this past year stressful and even made some people feel downright depressed. A new year is right around the corner. So how do you guarantee that this coming year will be happier than the last?

None of us can control everything that happens to us. But we can control how we act and how we react to the things that happen to us. No matter whom you think is to blame for the economy and the state of the world, the power over how you feel still remains within you.

Don't depend on the economy to feel good about yourself. Of course we all need to deal with the realities of paying for utilities, rent, food or mortgages and other practical matters. But it's important to realize there is more to life. Look for joy in the non-materialistic parts of your life. Enjoy your family, your pets, your hobbies and all the things that don't depend on money. Take walks in the fresh air, hunt, fish, work in the garden, leaf through catalogs or go watch wildlife.

Take a few moments every day for thanksgiving. List your blessings. They will help you focus on the good things in your life and make you feel more positive.

Do at least one small thing each day that makes you feel productive or useful. It doesn't matter if you make someone laugh, surprise a stranger with a 'random act of kindness' or rescue a stranded worm from drying on the sidewalk. Make a difference in the world – no matter how insignificant you may think the action is.

Do something nice for yourself each day. You are here and now. Take a moment to think about all the things you take for granted like your body and mind and do something nice for you. It can be a warm bath, a break to meditate or read a frivolous book or a chat with a friend. Enjoy the moment of being alive.

Make New Year resolutions this year that you will enjoy keeping and you are likely to stick to them. And if you practice any of these tips mentioned above, you can pretty much guarantee you'll be restoring an element of control to the feel of your life. Yes, you can make New Years resolutions that will assure you of a happier year next year.