Talking with friends as we approach the new year, when they share their concerns or problems, I can't help thinking of the very few things they can change in their lives that could really make a difference. They are not big things. They are little things. So small, so easy to do and so powerful. Even one thing can change the quality of your life in a big way. What's your one thing? Start by asking, what's #MYONETHING? You might want to share it.
1. Get an hour more exercise every single day and see what a great new year you have to show for it. Add an hour walk to every day.
2. Take your significant other a gift every day. It doesn't have to be big. It can be a small thing -- a cookie, flowers, a back rub, a special phone call, a new ball of yarn, a new pair of running shorts, an hour of parenting so your "other" gets a break. You decided they were the most important person in your life. Remind them how significant they are. And show them by your actions.
3. If you stop and think "I deserve the best" you will quickly know what areas of your life need a little fixing -- a little jiggering -- a very small change to make a very big change in the quality of your life. If you drink wine with dinner and one glass feels healthy, but two glasses makes you waste the rest of your evening, time for one glass.
4. Go with the urge to purge. I have friends who did a big purge of all sorts of clothes and household items, donating them to help others and replacing them with the BEST versions of certain core items. They tossed a lot of not-so-great bedding for instance and replaced it with a few wonderful 100% wool blankets from Austria for winter and some great Egyptian cotton sheets for every other day of the year. They have a few beautiful things, instead of a bunch of mediocre stuff they don't like.
5. Don't talk bucket list with me if you're not crossing some of your dreams and desires off the list on a regular basis. If you've always wanted to go to surfing school in San Diego -- show me your plane ticket to San Diego. Just go.
6. You will never go wrong spending one hour more a day helping others. Give back, you know you can. People need your help. So many people. You could be teaching someone to read, giving lessons in how to start a company or passing out hot bowls of soup at a shelter an hour from now if you committed yourself.
7. Are your bills or your budget out of control? Sit down and work on them for an hour … now. Be clear with people about what you can afford. Even if you're in a really bad financial position, work with one of the people you owe money to today, to get that one debt off your list.
And if you think these small changes won't really make a difference, think about their opposite. Turn two glasses of wine into three and imagine a year with a DUI arrest, or worse. What about more junk in your house that never comforts you? Not a pretty picture.
Big problems are good at getting bigger when ignored, but strangely addressable if you just do something small. Can't get to San Diego for a week in the ocean? How about one day on the water in a closer location and make that day soon. Show me your ticket.
What's your #BEST2014 look like. Start with #MYONETHING.