New Year’s Goal: Create Better “Human” Habits

man holding card with seeking human kindness text

We are all getting ready to celebrate the passing of an old year and the welcoming of a new one. As we do this, many of us are busy setting goals and planning what will define success over the next 365 day period. Given this, how about a suggestion?

Why not make the upcoming year one where you practice some new approaches to how you interact with others? How about setting a goal to ask more and tell less? How about a goal of spending more time with people than screens and digital devices? How about a goal of taking an extra few minutes to actively listen in order to truly learn where others are coming from rather than making preconceived assumptions? How about setting a goal to thank as many people as you can for everything they bring to your life?

Here are some proposed to-dos for the New Year…

  1. Begin conversations by asking at least two questions that show more interest in others than in yourself.
  2. When interacting, put the phone away and out of sight so you can focus on the other person.
  3. Allow others to finish their thoughts before interjecting yours, and at some point, repeat back their key points to ensure you truly understand their point of view.
  4. Show gratitude to at least 10 people every day for any contribution they make to help you succeed in any way whether large or small.

If you employ these things and make them habits (I call these “human” habits), imagine how they might impact your relationships and overall success at work and at home. Imagine how achieving these goals could create happier people, including you, and happier environments that encourage more accomplishment.

I recently met a man named Steve Foran who believes, as I do, that practicing these types of habits has tremendous benefits that include better health, better social relationships, more optimism, and greater life satisfaction.  And Steve would know, over 15 years ago he began exploring the relationship between gratitude and philanthropic giving while completing his Master’s degree and since then has spent the bulk of his time writing and conducting practice-based gratitude research. What’s come out of all of this work is a science-based program, Gratitude at Work, which presents a simple approach to improved leadership and better business. To propel this work and get more people involved, Steve has set a goal to create one billion happier people, a daunting yet noble goal indeed. I invite you to join me this New Year in setting your own goal to help Steve reach his:

Have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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