Important lessons we can learn from 10 kids' New Year's resolutions.

Living the good life.

Sometimes we adults complicate things.

We tend to really do that at certain times, like at the new year. We can feel pressure — self-inflicted or from others around us — to make big New Year's resolutions and lofty goals for life changes.

But kids? They're rational about these things. The balance of their future doesn't hang on a few big goals.

Can you imagine a 7-year-old stressing about losing all the pounds, getting a promotion, and never getting behind on laundry — all over the course of one year?


Neither can I.

To help us approach New Year's resolutions more like kids do, I asked a few kids (through their parents) what resolutions they planned to make.

1. It's all about happiness for kids.

9-year-old Frankie feels that the new year is about happiness — and a new plot, of course. While I can't be 100% certain what he meant by a "new plot," I have a good idea. And I think we could take a page out of that book for approaching the new year if the last one wasn't the best. A fresh start — let's do this!

GIF provided by Mary Rindelsbach.

Additionally, in the new year, he'd like to "help other people do better," which is pretty much the most noble goal ever. What if our New Year's resolutions centered around being nice to others?

(His adorable 6-year-old sister Harper was like, "I don't even know." In this case, I think ignorance is totally bliss.)

2. Speaking of giving back...

4-year-old Xander Lucien is all about it in the new year.

GIF provided by Alicia Champion.

"I got it! I got it!" he excitedly exclaimed. "For myself, I want to give my toys to another person." Heart = melted.

3. There's nothing wrong with some practicality.

4-year-old Finley is well-educated when it comes to calendars. Because of a song he learned in preschool about the earth traveling around the sun in 365 days, he totally gets the concept of a year.

Photo by Kelli Doré.

When his mom Kelli asked him about what he wants to accomplish in 2016, he had some plans. "I want to learn how to cook better, I want to use better listening ears so I can have dessert, I want to make new friends, I want to do more yard work, and I want to play outside and eat snow," he said.

The best part? They're all plans to make him happier. I mean, who isn't happier after having more dessert and making new friends?!

5. Some kids balance practical self-improvement with doing some good.

My kiddo!

I asked my daughter Molley, age 7, what her resolutions were. After she asked what a resolution is and I explained, she looked at me kinda funny and said, "Oh, I want to learn to do the splits. I'm also going to raise money to help animals that need homes or are sick. Those aren't resolutions, though. I was just planning on doing that anyway. But you can call them resolutions if you'd like." I'm on board with that approach — regular old plans, less pressure.

6. Some kids balance practical goals with the reality of being a kid.

Photo by Minsun Park.

Asher, age 9, has priorities. When his mom asked him about his New Year's resolutions, he had two: "To slow down when I take tests so I don't make careless mistakes. Oh, and to fart more at the table." Reasonable goals if you ask me.

7. Some kids are having literally none of it.

Photo provided by Rory Mullen.

8-year-old Boo didn't know what resolutions were, but once she found out, she wasn't having any of it. Here's how the conversation with her mom went:

Boo: "I'm only 8. I don't even know what that is."

[Her mom explained resolutions and the goals of self-improvement.]

Boo: "I think you missed the part before when I said I'm only 8. I'm too young to have regrets. And every day I'm alive I get a chance to be a better version of myself. I'm not going to wait until the new year to start. That's stupid."

Can I get an amen? (And how can I learn to be as insightful as an 8-year-old?)

8. Other kids really do have important stuff goin' on that requires their attention.

"[Max] and his friends are designing Mario LEGO sets together at recess," his mom told me of her 7-year-old son and his friends. "They have defined an area of the playground as their 'office' so they can have meetings and plan. Apparently that's different than playing."

I was thinking, future CEO maybe? And then she shared his New Year's resolution and I was like, future CEO definitely.

Photo provided by Lizz Porter.

"I think I should do more meetings for my Super Mario 3D World LEGO design group," Max said. "I keep canceling them so I can go play instead. And maybe see The Force Awakens a hundred more times."

Props to Max for reminding us in the midst of all this "chill out about resolutions" talk that there is nothing wrong with ambition. But also, we gotta balance it with some leisure time.

9. Kids do what they want to do, not what they think they should do.

Photo provided by Kate Hamernik.

9-year-old Josie's resolution was the best reminder that maybe we should make goals to do more of what we enjoy instead of what we feel like we should do.

She was recently the narrator in her first play. “My New Year's resolution is to get better at acting because I like to make people laugh and also because I like to sing and dance," she said.

10. At the end of the day, kids are all about the real talk.

Gigi Faith, 12, is about as realistic as one can get when it comes to resolutions. "I make New Year's resolutions but I never keep them — I don't think anybody does," she said. "You might say, 'I'm going to eat healthier or I'm going to be better about getting my homework done' and maybe you do for a week. After that, nope!"

Basically, whether we make big resolutions, small resolutions, or skip them altogether, the key to happiness, according to kids, seems simple: Do more of what makes us happy — and that includes not making any resolutions if we don't want to and letting go of the ones that don't work out, guilt-free.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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