New year, same resolutions.
Every year people across the world make resolutions to lose weight, get organized, and save money.
Though these are among the most common, according to a Marist Poll, the most popular resolution for 2017 is to be a better person.
When I heard this statistic, I was pretty pessimistic. Are there really that many people who want to be a better person?
Then I started thinking a little more: Of course there are! Being a “better person” could mean almost anything. Super simple things could technically make you a better person. And if you’re a bad person, you just have to become slightly less bad.
But then I thought about it a little more (which is saying something, because during winter break I try to do as little thinking as possible); maybe that’s the point of having such a vague resolution. You can do the simplest things to achieve it.
Though being a better person seems easy, almost all New Year’s resolutions fail and I’m sure this is no exception.
So, instead of striving to be a better person in the New Year, make this a goal for every day. Some days you will succeed and others you won’t, but instead of waiting for the 365 days to be over, you can start fresh at midnight!
Because we could all stand to be a better person, here are some super simple things you can do to be a better person today, tomorrow, and all year round.
1. Smile more.
Smile at people you pass on the street. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Do things that make you smile.
2. Let go of negative emotions.
Anger, jealousy, and fear are all negative emotions that have the ability to take over your life. Replace those emotions with forgiveness, pride, and hope. You’ll be amazed how positive you will feel.
3. Stop making excuses.
You could have an excuse for everything, but if you stop making excuses you will find yourself doing something that helps yourself or someone else.
4. Pick up litter you walk by.
This might sound ridiculous, but something as simple as throwing away a plastic bag can make a big difference for the planet and will keep your community clean and beautiful. If you’re thinking “That’s so gross” or “I don’t have time for that,” please see number three.
5. Listen to people.
It’s easy to get distracted by technology and your own life, but taking a moment to listen and hear what someone has to say can be life changing for them, and they will likely return the favor.
6. Stop blaming.
When it comes to problems, instead of focusing on whose “fault” it is, focus on what you can do change it.
7. Practice self-care and self-love.
Treat your body with the respect it deserves. Eat healthy, but don’t forget to treat yourself now and then. Post that selfie of you looking amazing, but be sure to love the parts of you that you don’t share on social media.
8. Be compassionate and understanding.
Don’t dwell on little things that other people do because you don’t know what they are going through. Instead of assuming the person who just cut you off is a jerk, think that maybe their friend is in trouble and they are hurrying to be there for that friend. This will help reduce stress and anger.
This is a bit more personal, but super beneficial. It doesn’t matter how bad you are, almost everyone loves dancing, even if it is just behind closed doors. Not only will dancing give you a little cardio, it will also put a smile on your face. And if you dance badly in public it will make other people smile and you more approachable. It’s a win-win.
10. Give and accept love.
Everyone wants to love and be loved. Send love out into the universe and to all the people in your life. When they return love to you, accept it into your life with open arms.
It really is the little things that make a difference in life. “Being a better person” is a vague resolution, so instead of making it a goal for 365 days, make it a day to day goal.