New Year’s Resolution: Seek Happiness in Simplicity

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They’re easy to make, but not so easy to keep. Last year was a real eye-opener for me, clarifying what I always suspected. Happiness can be found in simplicity.

“What is the good life? In my view, you can find it by following a startlingly simple path. The ‘pleasant life’ might be had by drinking champagne and driving a Porsche, but not the good life. Rather, the good life is using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification. This is something you can learn to do in each of the main realms of your life: work, love, and raising children.”

– from the 2002 book, Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD

While I never longed for a champagne and Porsche life, the value of simplicity took time to gel in my mind. It was a combination of midlife, major health challenges, and tidal wave of changes that clarified the concept. For me, simplicity is a streamlined work life; an uncluttered, pleasant home; and maintaining a deep connection with the people I love.

When those three things are in balance I am freer to create, to play, and to do good wherever and whenever I can. It’s that simple.

I recently posted this on my personal blog and thought I’d share it here.

As we close out 2011 and welcome in 2012, it’s a good time to take stock of life. I’m not a new year’s resolution maker, but I do like to think about the previous year and where I hope the next year will take me. 2011 was a bittersweet year, one of tremendous highs and lows.

When we welcomed 2011, I wondered if I’d be around to see 2012. As it turns out, I look and feel healthier than most people I know. Aside from my still faint eyebrows and eyelashes, and my boyish haircut, there is no clue that I survived triple-negative breast cancer and ten months of very aggressive treatment, or that I have multiple sclerosis. Life is funny that way. Despite the difficulties of the year, I am truly grateful to have lived it — life is a roller coaster and I’m happy to take another turn on the ride in 2012.

Wishing you and yours all the best in the new year.

May you find your version of simplicity and happiness.


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Berny P.
Berny p.3 years ago



Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy3 years ago

Peace and better health be with you.

Peace D.
Peace Dolphin3 years ago


Carmen S.
Carmen S.3 years ago

thanks for sharing this

Claire V.
Claire Vickery3 years ago

It's interesting how ill health can make you have a special insight into what really matters in life. I've also found this to be true, with my own struggles. Seeking happiness in simplicity is a wonderful new year's resolution. I've been thinking that I really want to consume less this year, and live a simpler life. I'm not a big consumer, but I can still lead a simpler life, one where I respect that our resources aren't infinite, and that something as simple as going for a swim in a river with a friend is a great joy. Happy New Year!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for this article.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago


Duane B.
.3 years ago

May you be blessed with good health, peace, and happiness in 2012!

George Marshall
George Marshall3 years ago

Happiness is the momentary pleasure of the moment. What I am sensing from Ann, is that she has contentment. That feeling of love for others and the wisdom to let go of all control. What will be, will be. With a spirit like that, another year seems very plausible.

Kim Stueck
Kim Stueck3 years ago

Thanks for sharing