THE BLOG
01/25/2016 01:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Not Just Be Yourself This Year and... Forever

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The New Year just started and it's a perfect time to commit to living your life as you choose. It's the most important personal development you can work on. Set your intention and goals to LIVE YOUR LIFE! Be who you want to be in every angle, facet and element of your life -- at home, work, with family and friends.

Don't compartmentalize. Be one way everywhere.

I love how Irish playwright Oscar Wilde expressed it --

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

The positive news is this -- You're already yourself. Everything you need to be you is inside of you already. Just decide what you want and live it.

Live Your Truth

Your life should not be lived doing what other people want or expect from you. You don't have to be entertaining or pretend to be someone you're not. You don't have to 'tone down' how you talk or act. You don't have to look a certain way.

Start by looking to your core values and beliefs. They're the choices you live by. The ideals and principles that stand for you - honesty - generosity - creativity - excellence. So... dust off your integrity and standards that matter to you most and live by them entirely.

How to Live on Your Terms

1. Make 2 lists. One list will be what you already like and admire about yourself and another -- what you'd like to change and improve. Take a good 365 degree view of you. Don't be harsh on yourself when you're listing. Do it with love and have fun.

2. Focus on the changes you hope to make daily. Maybe you want to speak up more and give your opinion. Or you want to stop being lazy or you intend to be more thoughtful and giving to others. Look for and create opportunities for these changes to happen and if you miss something make a note and do it the next time.

When you're shifting thoughts and actions and practicing awareness you will create the change you want and it will begin to happen and pretty soon the changes you're working on will be a natural part of you.

3. Start saying Yes and No. It's a basic exercise but watch what happens to you. Yes...I want to do this or No...I'm not interested. That's not what I want.

Be diligent and work on your life moment by moment. Take small steps. Being authentic doesn't happen by magic. It comes from steady work and commitment.

How remarkable is it to know yourself and say - This is who I AM

A few years ago my dear friend Jim said to me - 'Don't do anything in your life that you don't want to do.' His words caught me so deeply and the more I thought about it I saw it made perfect sense and I made up my mind to live this way. If I don't want to do something I don't. There is no..."You have to go to their house and be friendly. You have to work with them." I went after doing things I liked and wanted to do.

Certainly you want to be kind and not appear to be selfish when you're going after living your life.

For me the shift took time and it was challenging but I wanted it because too often I was worried about what people would think if I spoke my mind; afraid they wouldn't like me so I was silent and went along with the crowd. I was a people pleaser. Insincere. Fake. On the outside I had a different story from what I really thought and felt about things. Jim helped me to see that I was being untrue to who I really was so I consciously chose to work on finding myself - stepping into ME, not backing away and living in the shadows.

The choice - don't do anything you don't want to do -- works very well for me. It's who I am. I choose where I want to go and how to live and work. I choose the people I want to spend time with -- happy, positive, people who care about themselves and others and the world.

I'm not perfect. I make mistakes but I can always start fresh. I'm always growing and changing and learning who I am and I'm grateful to say I've made some solid and true decisions on how I'm going to live and how I'll be true to myself.

Why not set that same intention for yourself right now as 2016 gets under way. Build a plan to be your true self. Say what you think and feel. Do what makes you happy, strong and proud. Do work you love and be with people that matter to you. People you respect and who respect you.

This is your life and you can make the choice to live as you want.

You're with yourself all day long, why not be the person you most want to live with for the rest of your life.