I always start out each new year with a few resolutions, because in my heart I know that I can always do better and be a better person. I tell myself... “there is room for improvement, what will it be this year?” I know, it sounds corny and a bit self-serving, but what am I really trying to resolve to do? For me, I just want to be better than I was. Ok, better than before. No, more precisely, I want to always strive to be the best I can be.

So what advice can I give you for the coming year that can help you “be the best that you can be”? Here are a few thoughts and ideas for you to ponder on self-improvement as well as self-awareness.

Start each day by doing the following kinds of things...

• appreciate every day, breathe in some fresh outdoor air, and give thanks for the new day!

• exercise your body and your spirit, take a bike ride to the park, say hello to everyone you see and with a smile.

• slow down, find beauty in simple things—like one of our gorgeous Nevada sunsets—the sound of the birds in the trees, or a wild flower blooming by the road.

• treat others with kindness, be considerate, and don’t judge.

• try compassion; put yourself in other’s shoes and try to imagine how you would feel if you were in their situation.

• give someone a hug—I mean a real life, pull you close to me, put my arms around you, “care about you” hug!

• be thankful for the blessings that you have, help others in need, and give to local charities without hesitation.

If you don’t know me by now, by reading my column, I am in human resources, and I love helping people. I deal with easy, difficult, unique, and troublesome issues every day. But I have to say, I get the biggest kick out of hearing from my customers—our employees—how much they appreciate what we do! I take pride in my work and strive always to be very thorough, just like I’d want someone to be with something that was important to me. Just recently, I held our enrollment sessions for our annual insurance meetings, and I had some really special feedback from one of our employees. She watched and listened while I carefully covered the various benefits options, helped her with her enrollment paperwork, and then meticulously highlighted all the key information in her plan booklets so that she would be able to find the answers to her medical questions about providers, costs and benefits when she was at home with her family. To me, this is an important aspect of people’s lives—so I do not take it lightly. I make sure that I am thorough. And as she left our offices, she commented to our insurance representative that I take such good care of her and that she appreciated it, and then she gave me a hug! I was so pleased and appreciative of her comments that my eyes welled up with tears.

When you apply the above calming, relaxing, and genuine efforts and actions at work, you will experience the many beneficial outcomes that I do. We all know that people respond better to positive feedback than negative; compassion rather than judgment; assistance is better than barking out orders, and showing real sincerity as opposed to “insincere” comments or gestures.

In my humble opinion, our world needs more “real” people these days because we have way too many phony ones. We all need to find our patience, be a little more humble, and act in a way that feels right and good, right from our very heart and soul. Since new year is a time for a fresh start, let’s focus our efforts on renewal and being the very best we can be for our loved ones and for our fellow man and woman. In closing, my new year’s wish to you and yours: may your coming year be filled with good health, prosperity, and most of all, great outcomes to you for striving to be the best of who you are and knowing that all you have to do is try!

HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to vegaslinda89129@yahoo.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.