Improving the New Year You

I am taking a different slant on my New Years resolutions this year. After all these years, I finally realize I am who I am. All the resolutions and changes over the years have not changed Me. I have my faults, many of them. I also have my talents, many of them.

It has become obvious over the time, no matter what I do, my faults are still here. So are my many talents. If you take a good look at yourself, you will find the same thing. You can change your looks to some extent. You can pretend to be someone different, and try to act like them.

In the end you are who you are. The real you comes through each and every day. Instead of trying to be something we are not, the time has come to be more of who we are. Instead of working on some boring changes which never last, it is time to work on improvements of things about us we can do even better.

Take a few moments and write down what you perceive are some of your obvious faults. This list is pretty easy. Now, on a separate piece of paper, or open a new document. Take a longer time and write down those things you do better than anyone else you know. Stop when you have identified three to five items. Your list may take seconds or it may take longer. Time is not important, this is not a timed event.

Throw away or delete the list of your faults. Your list of perceived faults is going to be with you the rest of your life. That is the way life is. A leopard can not change its spots, and we can not permanently change who we are. Nor should we want to.

Now you should only be looking at your list of items you are good at. These are what you and I will be working on over the next year. Decide which of the items on this list you enjoy the most. This is our first priority of the New Year.

Do some creative thinking about how you can do this one thing better. How can you change or modify what you do well and do it even better? It should be fairly easy to come up with a short list of ways to improve what you do well.

Once you have a list of how to do your number one choice even better, do the same with your remaining items. Draw up a short list of how you can do these things even better.

Make what you do well better instead of trying to change into someone else.

Do what you do well better instead of failing to change yourself into someone else.

This idea make me excited! I hope it makes you excited too? Instead of trying to fix something that I think is wrong with me, or wrong in my life, I am going to work on making what I enjoy about me even better!

Is it making sense? I have found, every New Years, I have made some resolutions. Maybe go to the gym more. Do a better job at my work. Clean out my closet, and keep it clean. We both know these resolutions turn out to be boring and they do not work. I quit trying to do boring things! I am going to work on doing things I enjoy, learning how to do them better!

Now, for your part. Work on your list of things you do well, and your ideas on how to do them better. Doing this is a lot more fun than starting another year with another list of resolutions you give up on in a month or so, because they are boring. You will not spend the rest of the year thinking about how you failed at something you really did not want to do to start with.

You did not fail to complete last years resolutions. You did what is natural. They were boring and they were not about you. They were about someone you thought you should change yourself into. You are not that person. You are you! Stop now and reread this post. Start making your list of things you do well. Write down your thoughts on how to do those things better.

Without even trying, you will find yourself getting excited about your list. You will find you are excited about the changes you want to make. This is about you and who you are. Not some silly idea of changing into who you think you should be. That person will never exist, no matter how hard you try.

Keep notes on your progress, and let me know how you are doing. I want to hear about you becoming better at being you! Happy New Year! Happy You!

New Years Worthwhile Resolutions

We are rolling along up to that date again. The date almost everyone pretends is not looming before us, now a few days away. The day the rubber meets the road. The day we can no longer limp along with crummy habits we want to get rid of.

Here is how it works for most of us. We waver back and forth on what we think we can do without, verses what we know we should change. We do not want to give up the things we know we should because they are satisfying. The things we can give up easily are things we embarrass ourselves telling others we are thinking of giving up for the new year.

When starting ‘Something’ involves some amount of physical effort, pain, or other discomfort. It too usually fails after a short run in the sun.

The sad fact is most of our New Years resolutions are forgotten either by convenience or neglect a few months down the road. We end up with another plate of guilt from yet another failure.

I believe the reason we go through this cycle of putting off resolutions, making resolutions, and letting our resolve slide into the late winter sunset is because they do not mean anything. Give up sweets, so what? Go to the gym to get in shape, so what?

After a few months negative reinforcement rears its ugly head, and we respond with positive re-enforcement which is going back to those things we pretended we were done with.

How about this year doing something different? Something that makes you happy and adds enrichment to your life? Do this: Make resolutions that are not self centered and self directed. Make resolutions that make a real difference, not some vague abstract accomplishment, but something concrete.

Make a resolution to do something over the next year for someone else. Who that person(s) is (or are) is completely up to you. What you can do to make a real difference in their life is also up to you. As long as you make a resolution and stick to it, it does not matter.

Here are some simple ideas that are also free. Over the next year, I am going to:

1. Open and hold doors for people just because I can.

2. Thank people meaning it, when they use good manners, or show an act of kindness for others.

3. Spend 10 minutes a week picking up litter on the street around my home.

4. Make or bake something for a neighbor, the one you like the least.

5. Everyday, look for something that needs doing that you can do for someone else.

6. Find something special or unique that someone is wearing and compliment them on it. Jewelry, perfume, hair style, and good taste in clothing,  are things people enjoy being complimented on.

Moving on, if you have extra cash there are good ways to use it too.

1. Pick up the check for someone in a cafe or coffee shop who looks like times are tough for them. Talk to your waitress/waiter quietly and tell them you want to buy the meal for the him/her dressed in ____ . They do not have to know it was you.

2. Go through your home and collect worthwhile items you are not using and donate them to a thrift shop, or put them out on the curb.

3. Buy some flowers, and give them to a stranger who looks like they could use something nice in their day/life.

4. Send some money off in an envelope to someone you have never met at an address where you would not want to live. Include a note suggesting they can:  Give or resend your money to another, add to your money and resend it, or use your money for their own use if they really need to.

5. Go buy some food you would like to eat and bring it to a homeless shelter. A few packages of cookies if there are children, toiletries you use yourself. New socks, underwear, etc. are all very appreciated.

6. Plant some flowers or a rose bush this spring in an empty space in your neighborhood where people walk, and take care of the flowers/bush over the summer.

I know, if you change your ho-hum New Year resolution(s) to resolutions along the lines I have suggested, your world will become a more vibrant, fun,  and thankful place. You will start living in awareness and gratefulness, and you will be happier and more fulfilled than ever before.

Your life can be richer and have more meaning. You can make a New Years Resolution you will be proud of and easily keep. Or you can give up cookies and start exercising more. Which type of resolution sounds better? You might even make new friends, or land a better job along the way!