12/30/2014 11:19 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2015

Resolutions: Keep Them Simple and in Focus

"The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry"
John Steinbeck 1902-1968 (American Nobel Prize Author)

Now that we are approaching a new year quickly... many thoughts, ideas, wishes and resolutions occupy our minds. Often the best resolutions come to naught or they are realized for only a short period, then forgotten. In the fervor of celebrations we promise ourselves goals, which we realistically cannot keep... indeed to do or not to do comes to mind. There are life's challenges bombarding us, events take shape we have no control over, yet we can keep some promises we have made to ourselves.

One is to remember that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Sounds selfish, NO, it is not for if you have doubts about yourself how then can you convince others to be on your side. Let's think about realistic resolutions you can control... some are simple yet they need to be remembered, to be acted upon daily, not just once in a while.

Health: in my own experience I have found the following routine works well for me. I exercise daily... it is the best way to start my day and lifts my energy level. Deep breathing, accompanied by turning in the same directions (left or right)... so I don't get dizzy, focusing on one point. According to the book by Peter Kelder The Five Tibetans (written in German and translated here: ISBN 3-89304-117-6), "Everybody has seven energy fields ... you stimulate them by turning. It is an ancient exercise and it detoxes the body. Stretching forward and touching your toes ... will increase your balance. This movement takes 10 minutes or longer if one so decides." I always remember drinking plenty of water is part of cleansing my body... not just for quenching thirst. I reduce food intake... like sugar-enhanced drinks, eat fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, some meat, and some fish. Portions... the size of the palm. It all sounds simple and commonsensical... well it is, at least to me.

Civility: Here are some guidelines. Remember, virtual reality is not real. All the electronic tools for our daily life are just that tools... to support thoughts and actions. Yet, they are only as good and enhancing as our method of actions in applying them. Maybe we should think of kindness... even in our cynical time. Instead of doing, we should act as being. Behave towards others as you would like them to behave towards you. Respond email and written papers promptly. At one time courtesy was very much part of our civilization, and a given... and it had nothing to do with money or class. Our public representatives certainly have not given us a show of civility. Are they a mirror of ourselves? Being thoughtful towards others is a gift to yourself and others. It is said that the art of conversation has been lost and listening even more so. Many people are de-friending others for different opinions in politics, in religion... polite discussion about sex, religion and money is taboo. Yet, we are fortunate to live in a free society... where we can speak of our differences, without destroying each other. Tolerance is demanded... and this nation has proven over and over again... that it stands by its promise. There are those who think it is unnecessary to recall the past... but the past has given us the possibilities of today. We are standing on the shoulders of those who believed in the power of the word given, a promise and moved this Nation to stand apart from hatred and narrow-mindedness. Xenophobia is an ugly word and thought! We live in a borderless world... and are reminded of it daily.

Judith Bowman's book titled How to Stand Apart @Work -- ISBN 978-1-61448-856-9 ( -- the author writes about various aspects of transforming "fine to fabulous." In chapters from Networking to Eating habits, many subjects are covered in detail, from business to the private world. Here are some simple points to consider: "Meeting someone new, keep a pleasant approachable facial expression ... approaching others in eye-level whenever possible ... lean in for a handshake, not too limp." In another Chapter Ms. Bowman writes about Social vs. Business attire. "Appearance sends a message. When we meet others for the first time, judgments and critical impressions are guided in large part by appearance. Indeed, despite all our hard-earned book knowledge, technical wizardry, professional experience, studies show that how we look and what we wear are in integral part of our presentation to the world." In one chapter she writes about Business Meetings: "Think of business meetings as fertile judgment ground when others instinctively and relentlessly evaluate us, our conduct, and our behavior. Therefore, it shows if we are well-informed and well-prepared -- or shortsighted or short-tempered. General rule for meetings ... all electronic devices are off unless otherwise required."

We don't need book rules as a template for our daily encounters or endeavors, yet they are most helpful and reinforce encounters with one another. They give us a platform to use or stand upon if we have doubts and need reassurance. Life is more pleasant when we consider these simple rules in life... privately and in business. It behooves us and our fellow travelers through life to be considerate of and thoughtful towards each other.

These are some thoughts for the New Year... for all coming years. No psychobabble! Things to think about... don't compromise your values... don't blame others for your mistakes... never feel needy, others will recognize it... keep a positive attitude... for tomorrow is another day.

"Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting o'er lost days" -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Author... 1749 -1832)