7 steps to be a better you in the New Year

On the cusp of another new year, it’s natural to reflect on all that’s happened over the course this year while also looking forward to the future. It is a fact that you cannot change the past, but you can make plans for a productive future. With that in mind, here are seven “BE” resolutions for 2017 that could serve as a guide to a positive New Year.

Be yourself

On the surface this sounds easy. Digging deeper, it can prove very difficult in this crazy world where we are constantly challenged to put on masks, hiding our real identity. The late poet E.E. Cummings summed this up perfectly — “To be nobody but yourself in a world that is demanding everything but, is to fight the greatest fight there is to fight and never stop fighting it.”

Be giving

It is so easy to be a taker and receiver. It actually feels pretty good at times. On the other hand, there is a tremendous sense of both accomplishment and positive warmth when we give of ourselves to make this world a little better place to live. Dale Carnegie called it “enlightened selfishness.” Whether it is sharing your time, your skills, and yes, even your money, just go out and do it.

Be flexible

One of the traps many of us have is to repeat yesterday time and time again, even if yesterday wasn’t that great. Break out of yesterday — be flexible! Learn a new skill, go to work via a different route, try new foods, go dancing even if you don’t know how, say YES to volunteer opportunities, and NEVER say, “That will never work” or “We’ve always done it this way.”

Be part of the solution

The late Eldridge Cleaver once said, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. There is no in between.” Are you the one that stops a good idea in its tracks OR are you the one that always figures out a way to move initiatives forward, despite obvious obstacles? The strong suggestion is to be part of the solution.



Be happy

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” — Marcus Aurelius

Does the room light up when you come in or when you leave? The former is certainly better than the latter. Believe it or not, being happy and positive is a choice. There is no question that there is a lot of negativity out there — just read and watch the daily news, not to mention the crazy things that take place in our personal lives. But why get down over all the stuff that’s completely out of your control? Instead, why not use the words of that old Bobby McFerrin tune as your mantra: “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Be there

One of life’s biggest challenges, which seems to only get worse by the day, is that we are all being asked to do more, do it better, do it faster, AND do it with less resources than we previously had. Along with this challenge comes the difficulty of living in the moment — being there when you are there. This is really easy to say, yet often very difficult to do. But why not give it a go? When you get home from work with an additional three-hour project that you need to complete by the next morning, stop right there and BE THERE for your spouse and kids when you are there. Take care of that project later in the evening. You’re going to be up late regardless, so consider the real value of clearing your mind with some quality family time first.

Be all you can be

We all know this as the Army recruiting slogan from several years ago. It’s also a darn good idea! How often do you put in enough effort to just get by with a minimum level of acceptable performance? You are not fooling anyone except yourself when this happens. Why not give 100% all the time? Why not push yourself to be better? Why not be the example that everyone else tries to emulate? Not only is that a great way to live, it is a great way, as Dale Carnegie said, to live “this exciting adventure called life.”

Happy New Year!!!

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