Eightfold Path is the Buddhist approach to meaningful living, born from the Four Noble Truths. While I don't identify as Buddhist per se, I look to this philosophy over and over as I find it the most concise, practical and beautiful approach to life.
Although the principles of the Eightfold path are all interconnected, sometimes it's nice to focus on one at a time (they're harder than they look). Here they are, ripe to choose from to increase your quality of life (and those around you) for 2012. You can go to this site for a more detailed explanation.
1. Right View: Understanding the Four Noble Truths (essentially that life involves impermanence and suffering and the way to handle suffering is by practicing the Eightfold Path). Understanding Karma and the true nature of the world.
2. Right Intention: Ethical commitment. Intentions toward harmlessness and good will, and resistance to aggression and desire.
3. Right Speech: Avoidance of harsh and offensive words, slanderous, hurtful or false speech, and abstinence of idle chatter. Speak with kindness, warmth, honesty and generosity.
4. Right Action: Wholesome bodily actions which lead to a sound and peaceful state of mind. Abstinence from harming or exploiting others (including animals), acting with kindness, respect and compassion.
5. Right Livelihood: Peaceful, legal, righteous earning of one's living. One's livelihood should not harm others, including animals.
6. Right Effort: Willful intention and focused mental energy toward the other principles.
7. Right Mindfulness: Refinement of observation. Clear consciousness, the ability to see things as they really are.
8. Right Concentration: Concentration on wholesome actions and thoughts practiced and refined through meditation.