By Cassidy Smith

Every year, most of us dream up these huge lists of ways we would like to change ourselves. “Go to the gym more” or “eat healthier” or “get a new job” usually make up most of our goals. What if we dreamed even bigger? What if we could do more than just superficially improve ourselves? This year, I’m resolving to live like a hospice patient: to make the most of the time I’m given.

Do the things I dream of…or regret not doing them.
All too often, we get stuck in the rut of sensible responsibility. Of course it’s good to take control of your life and have your needs covered, but what about your wants? Your dreams? Don’t put these things off. Do them while you are able to, so that you do not regret missing out when you can’t.

Spend time with the people I love and make sure they know that I love them.
The people who make your life as wonderful as it is deserve to know how they make you feel. Don’t hold back your affection and praise. Never take for granted the opportunity to look your loved ones in the eyes and tell them that you love them. Don’t miss out on chances to create memories with them. Time is precious, and it should be spent with the people we love.

Dissolve crises in my life.
Life is simply too short to hold grudges and to stay mad at people. Let go of the anger and animosity you may feel toward anybody, whether they deserve it or not. People who mistreat you and misuse your trust have their own internal issues, and nothing useful will come to you for holding onto those feelings.

Give anger and sadness less time of day than happiness and love.
What do you want your life to be about? When people look back on your memory, will they remember you as a loving, caring person, or a mean, bitter person? At some point, memories are all that your loved ones have of you. Make sure that the memories they have of you are plentiful, warm, and comforting when you’re gone.

Be more patient with myself as I grow, learn, and adapt.
More often than not, you’re not going to be a pro at everything you do on the first try. You may never become a pro in some things. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to do anything that you want to. Be patient as you take on new things, or as new obstacles enter your view. It may take time, but you can adapt, and you must be patient and don’t be hard on yourself.

Spend less time worrying about the small things.
In 50 years, you won’t remember the bills you paid, the carpet you cleaned, or the dinner you burnt in the oven. You will remember the happy moments and memories you share with the people around you. Don’t waste your time worrying about every little thing. Move on from minor inconveniences in your life rather than waste more time dwelling on them.

Appreciate each and every moment I have to live.
Take a deep breath. Look – really look – at everything surrounding you. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, of the life you’ve built for yourself. When your time is up, you don’t get another chance to reflect and appreciate the things in your life. Focus in each moment on the blessings that you are afforded each day.