Delivering Happiness guest blogger Kay Lynne Schaller teaches Healthy Foods and Consumer and Financial Literacy to 11 - 13-year-olds. Once assigned to teach Drama, Kay Lynne wrote a play based on the Delivering Happiness story which helped her students find relevancy in the Zappos.com core values. A breast cancer survivor who has chronicled her inspiring journey, Kay Lynne is a Very Happy Person and mom of two boys. She organizes DH Town Hall events in the Northwest Ohio area.
There is something I love about December 28-29-30-31. It's the beautiful anticipation of the New Year's Resolution. The thought of renewal of personal intents and purposes makes me almost giddy with excitement.
There are lots of folks who dislike the idea of resolutions, perhaps because they view them as personal promises that are never kept. The idea of making a vow to yourself which might not make it through a week or even a month, much less a year, presents too great a chance of disappointment or perhaps carries the weight of past perceived failures.
I'd like to suggest making a small change in the lens through which we view this annual tradition. Instead of thinking of a "resolution," consider calling it your "beginning." You could begin to do almost anything. When you begin a new skill, there is little expectation to be perfect, or even accomplished, so if you don't get it just right every time, it's okay. What's important, though, is that you have begun something.
Small ideas for New Year's Beginnings:
--Leave hand-drawn smiley faces on Post-It notes along with an extra dollar for your server, give smiley face stickers to kids you know, or use a happy face stamp on the outside of every correspondence that leaves your house/office/desk.
--Say, "Thank you SO MUCH" to a cashier who provides you change, and really sound like you truly mean it. It might sound fake the first few times, but soon it will become so natural that you'll find something else nice to say, too.
Slightly bigger ideas for New Year's Beginnings:
--Get all of your friends' birthdays on a dedicated "birthday calendar." Call them or send a card sometime in the week of their birthday.
--Go through your closet, cupboards, and desk to find all the things you don't use and donate them. The Salvation Army, Goodwill and Easter Seals would love the chance to generate opportunities and revenue for their organizations from your old cast-offs.
Big, Scary Personal New Year's Beginnings:
--Admit the things you would really like to do if you had no limitations. Give yourself a deadline in January for the first step you will take to achieve that goal.
--Tell the people who mean the most to you just how important they are with a very personal thank-you note, a sincere expression of gratitude, or maybe even an anonymous small gift in their mailbox . . . something that will make them smile.
My plans for a new beginning for 2012 include increasing artistic endeavors. I will at least once a month either visit an inspiring exhibit or make a significant contribution to my own artwork. This will make me very happy.
I also plan to find another opportunity to generate good will and happiness in my greater community through Delivering Happiness Town Hall Meetings.
What's YOUR idea of a great beginning for the New Year?