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What’s a late-December blog post without a few words to take with you into the new year? Nothing, I tell ya! Nothing. So, here are mine:

Like Los Angeles and cocktails on a Sunday afternoon, I have a definitive love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. Go to the gym, eat healthier, drink more water, be kinder to your friends and family … it’s always a somewhat banal collection of convictions, which if adhered to with any kind of seriousness would probably make us all skinny, dewy-skinned, boring human beings.

Still, there’s a sweetness to fresh starts that cannot be denied, a latent expectancy that this will finally be the time we don’t mess up, when life gets happier, richer, more full of the what we should do’s and depleted of the excuses for a better tomorrow.

With this in mind, I made 10 resolutions for the new year and want to share them with you now. Will I stick to all 10? Maybe. Or maybe not. The best part about New Year’s resolutions isn’t making them or even keeping them; it’s the intoxicating possibility that from here on out, everything could change.

My resolutions: 

  1. Be present. Take more photos with your mind and less with your camera.
  2. Be positive, even when (and especially when) things don’t go your way. Remember people want to be around someone with good energy. It’s as infectious as sunshine.
  3. See everything—yes everything—as an adventure.
  4. Work hard. Hustle. Don’t relent. Accept success as an inevitability and not as a goal.
  5. When you do win, stay humble.
  6. Be classy. There’s a bold serenity in sophistication.
  7. Focus on the good. The bad will only drag and weigh you down.
  8. Be kind. Find wisdom in this ancient Buddhist saying: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
  9. Take care of your body just as you take care of your mind. Go outside, exercise, walk, swim, surf, do something physical at least once every day.
  10. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior without your consent. (Yes, Eleanor Roosevelt said it first.) The minute you put too much focus on someone who isn’t focused on you is the minute you give up all power and confidence in the amazing person you are.

So that’s my list! What resolutions are on yours? Whatever they are, I think you’re pretty awesome right now, (hey, you’re reading something I wrote) so here’s to being even more awesome in 2019. 

Happy new year, 

Melissa (@melissakandel)


  • garrystafford says:

    My gosh, you even knock me out with a list! That’s awesome! And here’s the obligatory reply that notes my favorites.:-) Well, they all are! But I think number nine is foundational. Especially as we age–I may know a thing or two about that–it’s absolutely necessary to take care of yourself. Otherwise so much else, the other resolutions, become challenging, if not impossible.
    But what really grabbed me emotionally was number one. That choked me up. We have so many distractions, often created, that keep us from the beauty and sometimes discomfort that can accompany being in the moment.
    Well I didn’t plan on writing all that but you always get me thinkin’!

    • melissa kandel says:

      Aw, thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I’d glad this resonated with you. I’ve missed posting on here. Glad to be back at it. Happy New Year to you and your family!

      • garrystafford says:

        Yes, I’m glad to see you back on here too. Looks like you’re doing some exciting things! I wish you all the best this next year and look forward to all that you do! 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

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