Make it Better

New Year 2013The New Year is fantastic. The annual explosion of holiday consumerism has died down and settled into soft piles of crumpled paper and curled ribbon. There’s the sense of joy from spending quality time with family and loved ones (or waving them farewell until next time). But my favorite part of the New Year is the enormous amount of possibility waiting just around the corner. After all, just look at all the cool stuff that happened in 2012:

The New Year is a reminder to keep moving forward and to make things better. And you don’t have to free fall from space, win a gold medal or even win an election to seize the possibility in your own life. You just have to ask yourself a simple question. Is there a better way? Here are a few things I learned asking myself that in 2012:

Is there a better way to make New Year’s resolutions?
Absolutely. Resolutions are quickly made and soon forgotten. That’s why I greatly prefer New Year’s goals. If you fail to meet your goals, you can always keep trying. Write them down and visit them often to give yourself a pat on the back (for a job well done) or a kick in the pants (if you’ve been slacking). Keep a few easy goals to give you that satisfying feeling of crossing something off your list. My easy goal last year was to read The Hobbit before the movie came out. Easy peasy. However, accomplishing a difficult goal that requires a lot of effort is even more satisfying. This month, I’ll see if last year’s marathon training paid off, when I cross the finish line with my arms raised high in victory (and not in a cry for help). Challenge yourself. It’s fun. And this time next year, you’ll be happy you did.

Is there a better way to use my time?
Probably. Before I commuted the 50 feet to my home office, I used to drive 50 miles each way to work. That was when I discovered the magical world of podcasts. These audio programs are a great way to get exposure to all kinds of ideas and subjects you’ve never even considered. Now I learn about the creative process while I go for a quick jog. Or the shadow economy while mowing my lawn. Maybe I’ll hear a story that’ll have me wiping away my tears with unmatched socks as I’m folding laundry. As an added bonus, podcasts will make you a better listener, which is a skill we could all use extra practice in. Go listen to one now – you’ll be surprised how these seemingly random topics can provide new insight into your day-to-day work. Plus, there are thousands of free ones on iTunes.

Is there a better way to get started?
If you’re anything like me, your mind is like a muscle – it takes some warming up before the magic happens. And it’s always helpful to clear your workspace before you get down to business. The best way is with a practice called “daily pages.” All it takes is 20 minutes each morning. And all you have to do is write – about your previous day, your hopes, your worries, your experiences. Whatever it is, just keep going for three pages. Take all that clutter knocking around in your mind and put it on a page. Then go on being your awesome self. Read more about it at

So, what are your plans for the New Year? How will you approach 2013 and make it better?

Post by: Jennifer Balserait, FLVS Engagement Writer (Guest Blogger)

One comment on “Make it Better

  1. Andrew Chronus

    What a year 2013 was, looking back on the New Year’s resolutions and what we accomplished (and what we have yet to accomplish) bring a tear to the eye.


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