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John Daly: New Year’s Resolutions That Will Make a Difference

​The New Year is upon us. Most of us are thinking about the best way to start 2015. Many of us have vowed to lose weight, stop smoking, stick to a budget, save money, find a better job, get more organized, exercise more or eat better. (Those are some of the top resolutions that people make.)

But, what if rather than direct our resolution to ourselves we focus on what other people need? Two of the top 10 resolutions (according to Amy Kunkle of the Raleigh Etiquette Examiner) are be more patient and be a better person. What if we all started the New Year with those types of resolutions?

So, how can we be better? 

» Respect Others. My No. 1 resolution would be for all of us to respect others more. That means not being judgmental. The next time you realize you are judging someone based on his or her appearance, imagine the person standing in front of you saying, “I’m beautiful.” You’ll start to believe it. Respect others by listening instead of always doing the talking. Don’t push your opinions on others. Think about others’ needs. Stop posting negative comments about other people — including celebrities — on social media.

» Apologize When You Are Wrong. When you know you’ve made a mistake, apologize! It costs you nothing. Others will respect you for it and feel more inclined to want to spend time with you because you have demonstrated you are not all about ego. And, forgive those who have wronged you. Everyone makes mistakes. Give them a chance to make it right. On the other hand, if someone is continuously causing you grief, let the relationship go. It’s not good for either one of you.

» Don’t Be Afraid to Begin New Relationships. If you see someone you like, introduce yourself with a smile and a handshake. Don’t pass up opportunities to make new friendships and be kind to them.

» Don’t Just Constantly Text and Never Call Others. When you do call, leave your full name and phone number for a return call. Did you know that personal phone calls make other people feel good about themselves? Actually connect in the real world. There’s nothing better than a face-to-face meeting to improve the relationship.

» Spend Time with Family Members. Strengthen those blood ties. Show a genuine interest in what your family members are doing. Be “present” with them. Focus on them. Turn off your electronic gadgets when you are together. Believe me; they will totally notice that you care about them when you do. (This works for nonfamily friends and acquaintances, as well.)

» Pay It Forward. It’s not just a great movie. When you do good things for the world and the people in it, you will give yourself a wonderful gift. Helping others is so good for the inside of you! And, when you do, don’t post it on social media! Be anonymously kind in your generosity. Don’t do it for the sake of your image. Do it from the kindness of your heart.

» Shop Locally, Eat Locally and Recognize Where Your Money Is Going. Consumers control the economy, so visit the mom-and-pop coffee shop down the street. Shop at boutiques rather than chains (they aren’t all expensive — trust me).

» Laugh Instead of Frown. Let your happiness envelop others. You will be amazed how you can positively affect someone who is having a bad day.

» Always Be Willing to Lend a Helping Hand. Yes, that isn’t always convenient, but if you stick to it, you’ll always find a hand in return when you need it.

» Ask for Commitments. If you want someone to commit to you, say so. Whether it is for business, personal relationships or otherwise. Be honest and upfront in all your relationships. It’s the best way to gain trust.

I could probably go on and on. The point is to open yourself to the possibility of being there for other people, making them a priority in your life. Can you imagine what the world would be if everyone made those resolutions at the beginning of 2015 and stuck to them?

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at [email protected]. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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