It's the most aspirational time of year, as people cast about for their resolutions — often resorting to the same old standbys they've tried, and abandoned, before.
This year, why not try something new? We happen to have a few suggestions on hand ...
For the Ads for Nicer Living project, NPR listeners are writing short ads pitching life's little joys, five of which will be produced by NPR.
Most of the submissions so far are about appreciation — for children's laughter, dogs, sunsets, warm socks, balmy breezes.
But a few were calls to action.
So, while we're still weeks away from picking the scripts to produce, we figured we'd offer a sneak peek for some New Year's Eve inspiration. And if you're inspired to write an ad of your own, enter it here!
Without further ado, here are some suggestions to bring more joy to 2017:
*Heads-up: The last entry includes slightly coarser language than we usually run on the Two-Way.*
From Rain Marie I. Davis in East Stroudsburg, Pa:
Are you tired of being stressed? Do you wish you could achieve some form of inner peace? Well, you can — with the new revolutionary product MEDITATION™.
MEDITATION™ is an easy affordable means of relaxation. MEDITATION™ will ease your stress, bring you peace, and improve your health; improving your quality of life and extending your lifespan. All that for the affordable price of zero dollars. That's right — all this for free.
To use MEDITATION™ all you need in a relaxing location and YOURSELF™. (YOURSELF™ is not included in the purchase and takes at least nine months for delivery and 18 years to reach maturity).
In your relaxing location assume a comfortable meditation posture and clear your mind, focus on a positive feeling and voila — MEDITATION™ is already improving your quality of life.
Just call 1-800-notarealnumber and order MEDITATION™ today! Also look into a YOURSELF™ package for a future love one ... give them the gift of life!
From Philip Perin of Chester, N.J.:
Have you ever wanted to make someone's day? Have you ever seen your friends and thought, "They could really use a pick me up"? Try compliments as your daily non-habit-forming confidence booster. Compliments are perfect at work --
Janet: Those TPS reports were amazing, Brad, you do great work.
Brad: Thank you, Janet! I couldn't have done it without your help.
Compliments go a long way at home too ...
Armond: I can always depend on you, Albert, you are the love of my life.
Albert: Armond, you know just what to say to make a girl's heart flutter.
Try compliments today.
From Sarah Tuft in California:
Imagine a mirror that doesn't reflect back your weight gain ... your hair loss ... your wrinkles.
Imagine a success that's measured by what you learn, not what you achieve.
Imagine a world where there's no one to compare yourself to, because you are enough.
Self-acceptance ... it's everywhere, 'cause it's right inside.
From David Ellwanger of Chattahoochie Hills, Ga.:
Are you stressed out? Tired of Fast food? Try cooking!
Not the frozen or canned junk, but real fresh food! Cooking can take you away from the negativity of the day. Chopping, seasoning, and sauteing can wash your cares away.
Start with simple recipes, talk to other cooks, watch some cooking videos, and your are on your way to a happier and healthier you! Cooking — it's about food!
Try it today ... maybe with a glass of wine.
From Carl Halford of St. Louis:
[An owl "who", an owl "who"]
A long day is over. Sleep beckons.
[city sounds, traffic, kids ...]
But the day lingers, and peace is fleeting. Now there is an answer.
Taken once a day, "Gratitude" puts everything in perspective; one dose and you see across the plains, valleys and summits, to your real life.
Studies have shown that brain function improves, heart health rejuvenates, muscles recover their youthful energy — and the soul, quietly, sings.
Now available in a time-release capsule.
And last — but not least — from Antonia Yost of Lincoln, Neb.:
Feeling adrift in a sea of assholes? Think you're the only person in the world with any sense?
Self-awareness may cause you to look at life in a larger context and understand that your words and deeds influence those around you! It's the sure-fire path to being less annoying to the people you love and to finally maturing emotionally past a sixth grade level.
Self-awareness may also result in emergence from some of life's larger existential quandaries. Side affects may include an increased sense of humor and drastic increase in your enjoyment of life.
If you suffer from being an asshole, use self-awareness with caution, as it may result in a long, hard look at the terrible, terrible life you have led.
Self-awareness: Improving society, through improving yourself!