More, more, more

It occurs to me that for many of us, New Year’s resolutions are wrapped around what we want less of – less weight, less stress, less information about what Martha’s doing in prison…

I know enough about the Law of Attraction to know that trying to push something away only results in pulling it closer (thus the “Martha Loses Prison Holiday Decoration Contest” headline).

Therefore, I’ve decided it’s a good idea to approach 2005 by figuring out the answer to the question, “What do I want MORE of?” It’s much more fun to figure out what you want to add to improve your life than what you must painfully cut away.

Here is a partial list of what I want more of in 2005:
• Exercise that feels like play
• Toe-tapping music that makes me want to get up and dance
• Movies with happy endings
• Books so good I can’t put them down
• The sound of children giggling
• The sound of adults giggling
• Scented candles around the house that I actually light
• Fresh flowers
• More concerts and live theatre
• Luxurious bedding that makes me sigh with pleasure
• Health so good, it’s an embarrassment
• Time spent on projects that are fun
• Charitable work that feels like a privelege
• Appreciation for all I have

What do you want more of in 2005? What’s on your list? It’s important to know. Many people complain about not having what they want. Yet, when you ask them, “What do you want?” they usually can’t answer beyond the old “tried and trues” – more money, more vacation, more reality TV shows.

Results of a happiness study were published recently. 900 women participated and it turns out that, at the top of the list of what makes them happy is “time spent with friends.”

Think about the significance of that. “Time with a spouse or partner” wasn’t first, nor was “time with children.” It tells us just how important a sense of community is for all of us.

When we are with friends, we are usually not working on our relationship or agonizing over whether we’re behaving appropriately or making the right decisions. We’re simply warming ourselves in the glow of camaraderie. There’s usually nothing to prove and no hoops (real or imagined) to jump through. We can just enjoy the moment.

Think about children. They’d MUCH rather be with their friends than with their parents or siblings. We think that’s normal and natural but, for some reason, think it changes when we become adults. It turns out (at least for the 900 studied) that it doesn’t.

So if you want to be happier in 2005, top of the list might be “spend more time with friends.” Hey! You can include your family if you want. Some of the happiest married couples I know have very strong social lives. Rather than go out to dinner alone each week, they go out with another couple or several couples. Families join other families on outings. It makes for a much more interesting conversation and enriches all the relationships.

So make your list of what you want more of in 2005. Visit it often and take action. I’m guessing the result with be a very Happy New Year indeed!

I’ve enjoyed spending this time with you, my friends. See? I’m already off to a good start!