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A New Year's Resolution We can All Keep

For many, a new year means a fresh start. As we reflect upon the events and decisions of 2012, we evaluate who we are and choose the areas where we want to grow in 2013. It’s an exciting, optimistic time when we focus on what we need to do to bring out the best in ourselves.

In the United States, the top resolutions (year after year) are to (1) quit smoking, (2) get fit, and (3) lose weight. Now, I hate to seem cynical, but the simple fact that these resolutions are topping the list every year says something about our success rate. As wholeheartedly as we pledge commitment, our New Year’s Resolutions have a rather widely accepted tendency to fall by the wayside as our lives get busy and we slip back into the same habits.

While there are many tools and strategies to help you stay on track, I believe there’s one resolution we can all keep this year: cultivating an attitude of appreciation. Best of all, it’s habit-forming, guilt-free, and it feels good.

In a culture that so often encourages dissatisfaction, it’s important to take a few steps back to appreciate our blessings (after 12/21/12, we can all be thankful that we’re still here, right?). Even better, cultivating an attitude of appreciation has a great side effect...

When we realize how much we have, we realize how much we can offer to others. Whether it’s volunteering, donating, lending an ear, or simply offering a smile, we all have something to offer. Giving back and helping others can be just as rewarding (if not more!) than achieving those resolutions that top the list year after year.

In 2013, I wish you the best in all your New Year’s Resolutions and challenge you to join me in cultivating an attitude of appreciation. If we all aim to appreciate, give back, and help others, who knows what we can accomplish.

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