The new year has just begun! How do you feel about it? Excited? Terrible? Fearful? Doubtful? For me, I’m excited! Perhaps last year was the terrible year for you or a great year for you.


But did you know that what­ev­er we might feel about the new year, it could bring a last­ing impact how were going to live the remain­ing years of our lives?

This year you might be hope­ful to start afresh, whether it be start­ing your own busi­ness, start­ing achiev­ing your goals, maybe los­ing weight, sav­ing an emer­gency fund or open­ing an invest­ment account, or even your dreams!

But some­times, we are fear­ful achiev­ing those goals. We fear because we risked before and it nev­er hap­pened, or we are doubt­ful because, for so many years, you haven’t seen any progress in your life. We might even catch up our­selves say­ing Hey year, please be good to me!

While there’s noth­ing wrong about that, it’s a sign of hope and faith for the cur­rent year but as you begin this year, I want you to make it a bet­ter year, or it will be great if you will make it your best year ever.

How to make the year, a better year

Your last year per­haps the worst year ever, but aren’t you excit­ed? A new year offers you many oppor­tu­ni­ties to make it bet­ter. I don’t believe that you can please the year and ask it to be good to you. That’s a false ide­ol­o­gy. To make this new year bet­ter, you need to change your mind­set. 

And it needs a par­a­digm shift. Changes cause fric­tion to the lives of peo­ple. You either respond to it neg­a­tive­ly and even­tu­al­ly give up or choose the high road, per­sist and adapt to it.

Sure Dhenn, I can change and I am open to it but how do I make this year bet­ter?”

Here are three ways you can make your year bet­ter than your pre­vi­ous years:

1. Change the way you think.

There are many peo­ple who talk and think about neg­a­tive things in this world. We had a lot of crit­ics, but a few encour­ager. We had a lot of protests but few medi­a­tors and peace­keep­ers. We need you!

SEE ALSO:  Fight For Something Rather Than Nothing

We need you to shift your think­ing to become more pos­i­tive. We need you to cre­ate val­ue while oth­ers are con­sum­ing or destroy­ing it. We need you to ship your art and make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of peo­ple. The world is hun­gry for tal­ent­ed, skill­ful and blessed peo­ple like you. The world needs you!

Ben­jamin Franklin, one of the found­ing fathers of Amer­i­ca. In his auto­bi­og­ra­phy, Franklin list­ed his thir­teen virtues and devel­op a sys­tem to devel­op his char­ac­ter.

  • Tem­per­ance
  • Silence
  • Order
  • Res­o­lu­tion
  • Fru­gal­i­ty
  • Indus­try
  • Sin­cer­i­ty
  • Jus­tice
  • Mod­er­a­tion
  • Clean­li­ness
  • Tran­quil­i­ty
  • Chasti­ty
  • Humil­i­ty (Imi­tate Jesus and Socrates)

He built his char­ac­ter around that thir­teen virtues through­out the rest of his life. Each week he goes through­out one virtue. If he’s done with it, he then pro­ceeds to the next one until he’s done with the list and repeats it again and again. With that, he became a renowned poly­math and a lead­ing author, print­er, polit­i­cal the­o­rist, politi­cian, freema­son, post­mas­ter, sci­en­tist, inven­tor, civic activist, states­man, and diplo­mat.

Imag­ine he accom­plished that too much in his entire life! But Dhenn, I don’t like to be like him, I have a spe­cif­ic call­ing from God, or I just want to live sim­ple and peace­ful­ly.

Alright, your call. What­ev­er your dream is, be a per­son of pur­pose. Devel­op­ing your char­ac­ter is one of the sure­fire ways to make your year bet­ter.

Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become char­ac­ter;
watch your char­ac­ter, for it becomes your des­tiny.”

This year, I have also a ver­sion of my virtues that I want to fol­low.

2. Live a life that over­flows.

You prob­a­bly have seen how our world becomes self-cen­tered. From the word self­ie, you often see peo­ple tak­ing self­ie pic­tures of them­selves any­where. Too many arti­cles and posts in social media talk­ing about love your­self. Your news­feed was prob­a­bly filled with self­ies.

SEE ALSO:  Why Doing The Right Thing Hurts

While there’s noth­ing wrong with shar­ing, it’s great! But are we shar­ing our self­ies in a right motive? Or do we like the addict­ing dopamine effect of peo­ple lik­ing our pho­tos or sta­tus­es?

Simon Sinek, one of the authors and speak­ers I’m fol­low­ing in TED Talks, he said that, if mil­len­ni­als are not addict­ed to drugs or sex, they are addict­ed to social media. To check if you have been addict­ed already and needs a reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram, you just can’t live with­out your phone.

One of the rea­sons why mil­len­ni­als can’t keep their eyes off their phone was the atten­tion they are get­ting to it. And with that, you can­not live a life that over­flows. How do you do that?

  • Be pur­pose­ful in becom­ing a bless­ing to oth­ers.
  • Cre­ate val­ue.
  • Treat your job as a call­ing to serve the world. You don’t need to be a mis­sion­ary or politi­cian to serve the world.
  • Be a prob­lem solver. Devel­op solu­tions. Stop being a crit­ic and a mere com­plain­er.
  • Don’t just do what you love, love what you do!
  • Leave every­thing else to God the things that are beyond your con­trol and move by faith. With­out faith, you won’t be able to please God as He is moved by our faith in Him.
  • Learn from fail­ure and be brave when chal­lenged. The world needs your expe­ri­ence from fail­ure. You also need it to over­come chal­lenges that you will face.

Liv­ing a life that over­flows means:

  • Liv­ing pur­pose­ful­ly by grow­ing each day.
  • Choos­ing to take a step for­ward, whether you meet joys and sor­rows along the road.
  • By doing great for oth­ers even it’s uncom­pen­sat­ed.

Because to live a life that over­flows will change you to become “oth­ers-cen­tered” rather than “self-cen­tered”

Want to know how self­less God is? The psalmist says it all:

…what is man that you are mind­ful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalms 8:4 ESV

3. Be grate­ful and count your bless­ings.

SEE ALSO:  Dear Worry

Our minds are pro­grammed to think neg­a­tive­ly as we grow up, Every­time we grow, our minds resist neg­a­tive expe­ri­ences, so we become fear­ful of any­thing that involves risk.

When I was a kid, I had no fear the elec­tric plugs. I used to play with them until one day, to my curios­i­ty, I acci­den­tal­ly touched a part of it that has no cov­er­ing. I was elec­tri­fied and unable to move.

Per­haps an acci­dent hap­pened while you were dri­ving. Those neg­a­tive expe­ri­ences made our bod­ies to react fear­ful­ly and con­di­tioned us to think neg­a­tive­ly.

Have you expe­ri­ence a moment in your life that it seems every­thing a bless­ing was pour­ing out to your life? But one day, a bad thing hap­pens. We think that bad things will con­tin­ue to hap­pen.

That’s how life works. Life is unfair, but what you expect it will hap­pen to you. It will be done accord­ing to your faith.

A lot of gen­er­ous peo­ple I know are grate­ful and count­ing their bless­ings. If it is good, they praise.If it is bad, they still grate­ful because of the expe­ri­ence.

What­ev­er your goals for this year, I want you to say this to your­self loud­ly and repeat it as many as you want: This year will be a bet­ter year!”. 

Make your dreams hap­pen! Help chang­ing this world a bet­ter place.

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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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