30 Lifelessons We Absorbed in 2019 to Bring into 2020 and Beyond

  1. Enjoy experiences not stuff; the memories are far more permanent
  2. Be kind(er) than you think necessary; practice little acts of kindness that cost you nothing
  3. Mix up your friendships to be more diverse. Also, make friends of various age groups—it makes your life more interesting
  4. Get out of your comfort zone not just thinking about it but doing it. Make a change. Declutter, eat or cook something new, travel to a new place, collect what you really want, try a hobby or activity you’ve never done before, make a new friend or two or extricate yourself from a toxic friendship, collect what you really want and ignore Marie Kondo if that gives you great joy
  5. Say “no” and mean it. It’s worse if you backpedal
  6. Say “yes” and mean it; do what you say you’re going to do and be on time
  7. Tell white lies to be kind (see above). There is a way to say something without being hurtful or avoid certain topics
  8. Tip more generously
  9. Say “thank you” more often
  10. Say “I’m sorry” less unless you really mean it and are seeking forgiveness or to let yourself let go of the negative energy it takes to be angry or hold a grudge
  11. Forgive yourself so you don’t have to keep saying “I’m sorry”
  12. .Be more independent; do more things on your own. Learn to enjoy your own company
  13. Be thankful every day in some way by writing it down
  14. Do something good for planet earth
  15. Volunteer by going deep rather than shallow; find a passion and pursue it with gusto
  16. Say “I love you” to those you love or like a whole lot more often, sometimes every day
  17. Read a good book more often and share it; read more to your kids and grandkids
  18. Turn off your screens more—whether your computer, iPhone, iPad or TV and have face-to-face conversations
  19. Look for the joy rather than the sadness of each day
  20. Live in the now--don't keep looking back at loss or worrying about what's ahead; you will see and feel it when you face it head on
  21. Be a better listener/friend and sometimes offer no advice unless asked. Be open to others’ opinions and if you disagree you could say: “I might look at this another way”
  22. Keep opinions to yourself unless you really want to share
  23. Be more authentic and you’ll feel healthier and more liberated
  24. Do something, if only one thing, to make the world a better place--and something without a payoff other than just feeling good about giving to others
  25. Find a community where you feel comfortable and accepted whether through a support group, congregation, college, library reading group, any group and if it doesn’t fit don’t stay with it but try another…and another
  26. Take better care of your body and health; you have one chance, which may mean less of something such as liquor/wine, sugar, carbs, red meat. But don’t beat yourself up as you try changing your way of eating or exercise
  1. Walk every day, even if up and down stairs, around your house, your block, from your car in the parking lot to your destination, in the gym. 20 minutes is the new mantra
  2. Keep a secret, which means telling nobody, not even one person!
  3. Find the joy of silence in the morning, midday or evening and think about absolutely nothing. Perhaps put on some classical music
  4. Save more money and spend prudently; old age is expensive, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to do so. Just give up some things that are wasteful—the magazine you skim rather than read, the hard copy of the newspaper when digital is less pricey, the gym membership you never use, the expensive latte that you can make at home

Even if you try just one of these suggestions, you’ve made a change forward to a happier and healthier you in 2020. Hooray!

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