New Year’s Resolutions and the Year of the Pig

By Dawn Bright


Dear Dawn,

I was very busy from November through December. Between business travel, family events, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was nothing but crazy. Now 2019 is looming and I can finally relax, which should be a good thing, but instead I feel a little depressed. What’s up with that?

– Ronnie G., Niceville



It’s natural to feel a letdown after going through a busy phase, especially if you achieved actual goals during the busy time. Buying gifts, planning family dinners, celebrating success at work…these are all achieved goals, and for some people, the achievement of those goals results in an assumption that you should have felt better about it than you actually did. Then you go over and over all of those events and goals, and find yourself feeling like you could have done better. It can be a vicious circle.


I suggest not looking back—instead, look forward! Find something else you can look forward to, and channel all that energy and superior organizational skill in that direction. Plan a staycation at a beautiful rental home on the beach, for instance, or take golf lessons from any one of our amazing golf courses. Better yet, stay home and sort through all those photographs you have stored in your closet (that’s what I’ll be doing in January!).


Sometimes, just staying busy is all it takes. But if the depression lingers, be sure to seek professional help. You may just need someone to talk to who can guide you through the down time.

Dear Dawn,

Every year I make an enormous list of New Year’s resolutions, and every year I put that list away and forget about it. Why am I so spineless?

Jerry M., Rosemary Beach



You aren’t spineless, you’re just a little too ambitious! What do your resolutions look like? Are they broad, like “be a better person”? Or too specific, like “lose 20 pounds”? Instead of putting the list away, take a hard look at it and narrow it down. “Be a better person” could just mean “Smile at a stranger every day,” or “Volunteer at the shelter once a month.”


And make the resolutions achievable. Losing 20 pounds at my age, for instance, is impossible. If that were my goal, I’d change it to “eat healthier” or, more specifically, “only eat a candy bar once a week instead of every day.” These are achievable goals. Well, maybe not the candy bar one. That would have to be changed again to “make sure one day a week you don’t eat a candy bar.” Anyway, my advice is to analyze your list, make it achievable, and don’t put it away—keep it handy, reference it, and work toward those goals!

Dear Dawn,

According to the Chinese horoscope, 2019 is the Year of the Pig, and a lot of people are getting all worked up about it. Why?

– Betty B., Fort Walton Beach



I don’t really follow the Chinese horoscope, Betty, so your guess is as good as mine. I do enjoy reading the Beachcomber Horrorscopes though, especially since I’m a Libra and it always bodes well for Libras.


But you piqued my interest, so I looked it up. The Year of the Pig is supposedly going to be a year full of good fortune. It’s a good year to make money and a good year to invest. So good luck in finding your good fortune in 2019, and Happy New Year!

Dawn Bright is an eternal optimist. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about her. Email your questions to

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