It’s the New Year and everyone makes resolutions. “This year it will be different,” we tell ourselves. Then we usually make the same resolutions we made last year…and the year before that. What about this year? Will anything make this year different? Why not “resolve” to be a better person by taking small purposeful steps? What about becoming a better you? Taking small steps in self-improvement can make a world of difference in how you feel about yourself, how you see the world and how you interact with people in your daily life. It is much easier to tackle smaller steps. Here are a few ideas to get you started
1. Read a Book
Read a book not one or ten, just start with one. Not one for school or work, but one that will enrich your life. You can always try Goodreads.com or even join a book club at your local library if you need help. Make it one in a subject that is not what you usually read, one that has lasted the test of time: Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, The Bible, or something similar. If you are not a reader, try listening to an audio book (they are usually free at your local library).
2. Take Responsibility
When it comes to housework or my relationships, I would sometimes make excuses every time something went wrong. I would blame others, blame the computer, or anyone else involved. However, I would never blame myself for things that went wrong.
Instead, I learned that taking accountability for your own mistakes is extremely important. I stopped making excuses, took the blame when it was truly my fault, and was able to achieve so much more. I learned that taking responsibility didn’t just mean saying “its my fault” but doing something to fix the mistake- if not in the past, at least for the future. By understanding that I made a mistake, I was able to use my mistakes to learn which in turn helped me become a better person.
3. Be Thankful
It’s easy to see what is wrong with the world and even with yourself. I know for myself, it is so easy to think about the things you want to change, but what about the things I am thankful to have, be or be around? Taking on an “attitude of gratitude” helps. Think of three things each day and if possible write them down. This little change can make a world of difference.
4. Help Someone
Sometimes you need to help someone else to help yourself. You can start small and volunteer for a day. There are so many things you can do- bag groceries for a food kitchen or help with a beach clean up. If you feel like doing more become a “big brother” to someone, or coach a kids’ team. No matter what you choose to do, always make decisions that the person looking up to you will respect.
Have you ever felt like there was just too much stuff- too much noise, clutter, emails? Start small with a few things a day. Make sure you surround yourself with things you need or truly find beautiful. You can start with your closet, just be aware of what you use and what you don’t. When you are ready, give them to someone who can actually use what you have.
7. Do Something Different
Keeping an open mind and trying things that you wouldn’t normally do is a very easy way to grow as a person. Take a risk and challenge yourself to try something you’ve always been scared to do. If you hate to cook, take a cooking class. If you never work out, think about a 5K. Now don’t do anything dangerous, but just something that will help you grow.
Growing up, I was terrified of roller coasters. However, I eventually gave in as a teenager and had the time of my life. I would have never experienced roller coasters unless I had been willing to get over my fear and give it a shot. That one experience has led me to try numerous other new things.
8. Take “you” time
This year take some time for yourself- time to really know who you are and what you think and want. Make time this year to take a walk, meditate, pray. Sometimes you just need to take some time to breathe.
These are simple steps to take. Start one at a time or even one a month. Make a difference this year and be a become a better version of yourself.