“Write it on your heart that each day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first few weeks of a new year are rife with promise. We can see it all in front of us as we optimistically visualize being the person we strive to become, for ourselves and for the people around us.
Too often, our hopes to create positive change become, at best, half-realized as the new year begins to be less ‘new’ and more ‘year’.
Visualizing being a better person as the year begins is the way we start the journey.
Carrying the promise of a new year in our hearts and putting it into practice every day of the year is how we complete it.
Here’s a roadmap to guide the way:
Be good to the people around you, regardless of whether they reciprocate it.
Too often, we tie the way we treat others to the way they treat us. Though it may test your patience, dare to continually be kind to people around you. Chances are good that they need it. Chances are even better that you do, too.
Strive to listen.
Do you have people in your life who truly listen to you? People who are quiet when you’re on a roll, who listen to hear as opposed to listening to respond? Is it even possible to quantify what these people mean to you? What if you could offer this same gift to someone who truly needs it? You can. And it will mean the world to someone who is struggling.
Give yourself credit instead of tearing yourself down.
Hindsight is both clear and cruel. Through hindsight, we’re able to look back and be proud of achievements that were clouded at the time by self-doubt, worry and continual questioning of our own worth. What if you were to strive to see the present with clarity and to give yourself total credit for what you are achieving? Fact: You are doing incredible things. It’s time to revel in them NOW, not later.
Take some time off.
Even a Maserati has brake pads. Revving the engine 24/7 WILL result in a breakdown, regardless of the state of your engine. Take time for you – whether its days off, quiet time or some other way to destress. You may have yourself convinced that it isn’t possible – but it is. Make this the year you do it.
Create moments of thankful reflection.
A few minutes per day, grab a pen and a notepad and jot down the things you’re thankful for. It’s too often human nature to store the good stuff in the proverbial hatchback to be forgotten about. This year, give the good things in your life a seat in the front. Right beside you.
Choose to be positive.
No matter what life throws at you, attitude is a choice. While events and people may often conspire to make that choice an arduous one, it still belongs to you. The only way it doesn’t is if you give someone (or something) else implicit permission to have it. Take it back. Relentless positivity is not only healthy for you, but it will also fundamentally change the world for those around you. It’s worth the effort, every minute of every day. For you and for them.
Create the life you want.
Do you absolutely hate what you do or feel like you’re on the wrong path personally? Life has a weird way of making it feel like we’re trapped in scenarios we never imagined or somehow found ourselves “stuck” on a path we didn’t choose. Once you cut through all the clutter one thing remains true: YOU can change anything. Get a new job. End an unhealthy relationship. Start an exercise program. Impossibility is a self-constructed (though powerful) mirage. See through it and make this the year that you put yourself on the path that youchoose.
Let your people know what they mean to you.
Taking the people we love for granted is exceptionally easy to do. Falling into the “they’re always there and they always will be” trap is a subconscious move that we aren’t even necessarily aware that we’re making. But, if you’ve ever lost someone close to you, it likely wrenched you out of this thinking and left you with the longing to just get one more chance to tell them how you felt. Your chance to do that is now. Take advantage of it every day. Let your people know what they mean to you right now.
Be who YOU need for others.
This year, dare to become the person you imagine yourself to be.
Strive to achieve it every day.
Carry the promise of the new year in your heart and refuse to let it go.
Complete your journey.
About Kris Inman:
Kris Inman is the Director of Program Development for The Healthy Dispatcher. A 29-year veteran of 9-1-1, Kris retired in July 2023 as Director of Springfield Greene County 9-1-1 in Springfield, MO. An awarded speaker and instructor, Kris has delivered standout educational sessions, keynotes, motivational talks and yoga instruction to dispatchers across the country. He is also a long-time college adjunct instructor, teaching courses in communication and public safety leadership. Kris holds a Master of Arts in Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media from Missouri State University. He is also a registered yoga instructor.