With the New Year just two days away, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our successes and failures of 2014 before the clock strikes 12. While time is ticking away, most Americans are ending 2014 on an optimistic note. According to a new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll, half of Americans are looking forward to 2015, as they believe it will be even better than the last 12 months.

The survey was completed by more than 1,000 randomly-selected adults who were generally more likely than they were a year ago to believe that the current year was better than the last for the U.S. as a whole with 30 percent this year compared to 25 percent in 2013. Only 15 percent said that 2014 was worse than the previous year, while half saw little difference. This emphasizes Americans’ continuing optimism, with fewer feeling their year was a step down from the previous one in 2013.

An optimistic outlook for the future has also been expressed in the viral YouTube video “An Astronaut’s Guide to Optimism,” uploaded by retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. He shared his optimistic take on the state of the world today highlighting the rise in global literacy, a decrease in infant mortality rates, and the extermination of deadly diseases such as rinderpest in 2011.

"We live the way we do because people chose to tackle their problems head-on," Hadfield says. The retired astronaut encourages people to take an active role in causes they’re passionate about in 2015. This is his guide to optimism.

This year was no stranger to the increase of awareness in health issues such as smoking and the now-infamous Ice Bucket Challenge. The poll found 39 percent of people saw the decision by CVS to stop selling cigarettes as a key news story, while 37 percent mentioned the Ice bucket Challenge as one of 2014’s biggest new stories. Meanwhile, 41 percent of respondents said the pitching performance of Mo’ne Davis, the first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game, was unforgettable.

Americans will celebrate their regain sense of optimism and activism for 2015 on New Year’s Eve in the least expected of places. Half of Americans plan to enjoy their evening at home this year, while two in 10 said that they will celebrate the start of 2015 at a friend or family member’s house. Surprisingly, fewer than one in 10 plan to celebrate at a bar, restaurant, or organized event while a quarter don’t plan to celebrate at all. Six in 10 Americans plan to watch the televised New Year's Eve events in Times Square, including two-thirds of women and over half of men.

However you decide to ring in the New Year, remember optimism goes a long way.