This year’s most popular New Year’s resolution is “being a better person,” according to The Week. While this resolution is noble, it is fairly vague and broad. Maybe, when responding to the poll, people really did have some notion of how they would like to be and do better. And, yet, without a clear idea (or defined set of actions) for how to do thing differently in 2017, they may find themselves feeling like they’ve fallen short (again) at the end of the year.
Deep down, we do want to DO our best and BE our best.
You probably know, in an intimate, personal way how disappointing it is when you, or your family members, friends, or colleagues do or say something that isn’t a reflection of them at their best. (I know I do!) Often the actions and words are hurtful and destructive; fueling embarrassment and remorse once we (or they) come to our senses.
With the intense, divisive political climate in 2016, we saw a whole lot of people acting in ways that were in their best interest politically, but certainly not from their BEST selves.
Personally, for me, it was disturbing to see, on a large-scale, what we, as a people, can be like when disconnected from our best selves. This disconnect is at the root of the war in Syria which is demolishing the lives of so many people. It is what motivates someone to drive a truck into a crowd of happy families celebrating Bastille Day. It is at the root of the blatant racist slurs and overall mean-spiritedness we’ve seen on the rise over the last few months.
When we are disconnected from the best within ourselves, we hand over the controls to fear and hate.
It is no wonder then, people want to make “being a better person” a priority for 2017. People are ready to distance themselves from the icky feeling, that one we get in the pit of our stomachs, when we’ve messed up and let our lesser selves run the show. When we connect to the most sacred, and divine part of ourselves, we are able to BE love, and DO love. Our thoughts, words, behaviors reflect who we are at our core.
Four Soul-Level Choices – ways of “being a better person” in 2017:
Daily Connection: Prayer and/or meditation are excellent ways to connect with the intentions of your best self. A simple, five-minute check-in, with your hand on your heart, will help you listen and remember your desire to BE better and DO better.
Choose Love: Key moments throughout our day offer us the opportunity to choose thoughts, words, and actions based on love or fear. “What would love do?” is an excellent guiding question.
Pursue Your Strengths: Recognize and celebrate your strengths. Doing what you are good at will help you be a better person. Instead of getting caught up in correcting weaknesses, whole-heartedly engage your natural skills and talents. When you feel more capable and confident, your thoughts, feelings and actions connect, more naturally, to your best self.
Choose Compassion: Snap judgments are often based on fear. A little curiosity about the motivations of others will help you be more compassionate. A question like, “What was it that had you do what you did?” will encourage dialogue and understanding.
Three Practical Actions – make “being a better person” a reality:
Clarity: “Being a better person” is a pretty vague goal. Decide exactly HOW you want to be better. Get specific. Will you engage in a daily act of kindness? Will you choose to look for the good instead of what is wrong with your life, work, or wider world? Will you take time to be more grateful or appreciative? Will you give more money to charity? Will you get involved, meaningfully, in local politics?
Choice: Often we want to make big, sweeping, global changes in our lives. This is a recipe for failure. What is that one thing you know would make the biggest difference? While there are probably several areas you want to tackle, select ONE. Do it at as 30, 60, or 90-day challenge.
Tiny Goals: Determine the ONE action you can take, whether it is something you do once a day or three times a week. Break it down into a concrete action. For example, every Friday morning at 9:00 a.m., you write an email thanking someone who has made a difference in your life.
“Being a better person” is a noble and ATTAINABLE goal. Let’s do this. May the best in me recognize and celebrate the best in you.
Are you ready to be a better person? Let’s put some action behind that desire.
I would be honored to be your thought-partner as you set clear intentions for yourself. I would be delighted to be you accountability-partner as you step into whole-hearted action.
Are we a good fit? Let’s find out. Sign up for a FREE coaching session to test the waters.
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