Starting Your New Year On the Right Foot
By Thomas P. Farley, What Manners Most
Can it be ten years since the calendar retired “19-” in favor of “20-”? I’ll never forget standing in Times Square as the ball dropped on that historic night. Fear mongers predicted the world would end. Scientists said our computers would go haywire. Film buffs pondered whether Twentieth Century Fox would change its name. Of course, none of those things happened. What did take place that momentous year-and, for that matter, every December 31 before and since-is that we made (and broke) ambitious New Year’s resolutions.
With 2010 now upon us, I suggest you keep your resolutions simple. Respectfully submitted, here’s my list for you:
- Take the time to write thank-you notes for all of the gifts you received and any parties you attended during the holiday season. These notes shouldn’t require more than five minutes apiece-a small investment for something that will be appreciated and (often) saved for years to come. Get into the habit in January and you’ll be well on your way toward remembering to send notes the rest of the year, too.
- Multi-task less and pay attention more. Give full focus to your friends and colleagues when you are with them. They deserve your gaze and listening ear more than your smartphone does.
- Say thank-you. It’s such an easy thing to do. And unlike please (which we use when we need something), thank-you is uttered after we’ve already gotten what we need. In other words, there’s no ulterior motive. (Except, perhaps, the knowledge that people will be more inclined to help a thoughtful person the next time around, too.)
- Say you’re sorry. Don’t let your pride get in the way of apologizing when you’ve done something wrong-even if it was an accident. Be the bigger person. There are very few events in life that truly merit carrying a grudge.
- And now one from out of the blue: Use your turn signal-literally and figuratively. Nothing irks me more than a driver who doesn’t use his directional. For goodness sake, what could be easier? Just because you know where you’re going, don’t assume that others do, too. Learn how to communicate. If we all let our intentions be known-on the road and in life-there’d be a lot fewer accidents.
Not so bad, right? This list should be a lot simpler than quitting smoking or dropping three dress sizes. With a little effort, I’ll bet these will be resolutions you can keep for life.
Visit What Manners Most for more.