Resolve to be your best self

Who were you meant to be? Discover ways to be your best in 2016.

This year, why not resolve to be your best self? It sounds simple yet we all know this is a tall task to fulfill. You may need to ask a friend or two to help keep you on track, they can be your accountability buddies. Accountability buddies will remind you to stay true to yourself and inspire you when the going gets tough, as it sometimes will. You will do the same for them. Michigan State University Extension suggests some ways to be the best version of you.

Resolve to make a difference to those already in your life in the New Year by giving them the gift of your presence; it is the best present they might ever receive. Spending time with friends and family can be stressful at times, but it can also be enlightening and offer valuable life lessons. Developing communication skills with younger and older family members is beneficial to everyone involved and offers the younger generation a life skill that will help them be marketable in the workplace. Making eye contact and feeling comfortable having face-to-face conversations can make all the difference in that job interview or networking situation.

Give the gift of your full attention. When you are with people, give them your full attention, don’t make them share the screen. Put your device down or away when having a conversation or playing a game with others. It sends a message of who is important. If you do need to be watching for an urgent call, let the individual know you are waiting for a specific call, not just a better offer. This conveys to the person that you value your time with them, but are waiting for a specific call and only that call will interrupt your time together. Then be sure to keep your word. Consistently picking up your phone and responding to a quick text or call does leave the person in your presence to wonder how valued they really are when this happens. If you believe you will be in this type of situation, think carefully if it is the time to engage the other person or be upfront that there may be frequent interruptions during your time together. Honesty is the best policy.

Listen to understand, not to respond. Take the time to truly listen to what others around you are saying; you might learn a lot. Instead of thinking about what you will say in response, think about the meaning of what they are saying; do you really understand what they mean? Does it match the tone of their voice? The body language they are sharing? Conversations can take on a whole new life when you stop worrying about what you will say and start listening to understand others. Give it a try, you might be surprised. Don’t be afraid of the silence that might occur between what they say and your response. Silence can be golden.

Do the right thing when no one is watching. That’s right, do the right thing just because it is the right thing. That is called good character. Be loving, thoughtful, kind, trustworthy, honest, compassionate and caring. Practice makes us better, so practicing these ideals is bound to make you better.

Be the person you were meant to be in 2016. We will never be perfect, but we can be better than before. Heroes are hard to find, so be the hero your family and friends deserve. Give them the best present they could ask for, your presence. 

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