Nearing the end of another year. Crazy, right? 2015? No way! I keep thinking the previous decade was the ’90s.
But I do ponder over the previous year and think about the year to come. Like everyone, I hope for a better future…a better me.
Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are about?
Becoming better than we were?
Sometimes we hope that certain things will just fall out of the sky upon us in the coming year–like wealth, Mr. or Ms. Right, a new job. But we still have to be better than we were in order to bring those into our lives. We won’t see positive changes in our lives just waiting around for someday.
In order to see positive change, we have to positively change.
So why is it so easy to fail year after year with our resolutions to make the coming year better?
Because we try to take too big of steps. We try to change drastically overnight and that almost never works. Change is a process requiring small steps in order to have your best chance at success.
So instead of advice on how to have ripped abs, get rich, be famous or look 10 years younger in 2015 (of course, there’s nothing wrong with these things–I’m all for looking 10 years younger!) I’ve got suggestions on some small but effective ideas for bettering yourself this year.
1. Forgive someone who has hurt you. Even if you need to keep a distance from that person. Forgive them and let go of hard feelings.
2. Do a kind deed anonymously.
3. Learn to listen–without interrupting, thinking about what you’re going to say next or turning the conversation to yourself. Listening involves eye contact and body language that tells the other person you are giving them your attention.
4. Use social media to bring a smile to others.
5. Don’t allow your bad day to excuse your bad behavior.
6. Stop negative self-talk.
7. Learn that it’s okay to say no.
8. Accept that not everyone will agree with you or see things your way.
9. Admit when you’re wrong. Learning what’s right is more important that appearing right.
10. Stand up for yourself and what you believe. This does not mean trampling on someone else–it means do not allow yourself to be trampled upon.
11. Be kind to someone even when there’s nothing in it for you.
12. Smile and look cashiers in the eye. Ask them how their day is.
13. Be conscious everyday as to how your actions and words affect others.
14. Go for a daily walk. It’s amazing what a walk can do for your attitude.
15. Hold the door for the person behind you. Keep doing it even if people don’t thank you.
16. Don’t use other people’s poor behavior to justify your own.
17. Care more about your character than your image.
18. Surround yourself with people who care about bettering themselves. You are the combination of the five people you spend the most time with.
19. Refuse to take part in gossip.
20. Be trustworthy and keep confidences. Nothing will shatter people’s trust in you more than repeating something someone told you.
21. Accept that becoming a better person takes time. It’s a process of growth and during that process you will have times where you’re doing well and times that aren’t so hot. Brush yourself off and keep moving.
Here’s to living a better story in 2015!