Where did the year go?  If I had a dollar for every time I heard this
question asked in the past month, I’d be a wealthy lady!  It seems the world is in agreement that time
is passing at a breakneck speed and that our lives are becoming more and more
complicated and less calm with each year. 
The thought of sitting down and giving thoughtful consideration to our
New Year’s Resolutions seems like a daunting task that requires way too much
time and effort.  But the truth of the
matter is, it is more dire now than ever. 
If we don’t stop and give ourselves the luxury and benefit of this
annual exercise, we are cheating ourselves out of a very important opportunity
to clean the slate and begin anew.  

you may have already begun writing your laundry list of resolutions for better
health, better budgeting and better productivity in the New Year, we hope you’ll
reserve a few spots on your list for better manners in 2013.   
1. Smile and be friendly.  Resolve to smile and be friendly with
everyone you interact with this year. 
Whether it’s a parent you pass in the hallway at school or the checkout
attendant in the grocery store, everyone deserves a little
acknowledgement.  It is not much effort,
but makes such a huge difference.
2. Make a good impression on yourself
  Take the time this year to
focus on your health and well-being both physically as well as mentally.   Strive to be a bit more organized and
efficient so that you can be your most effective self both personally and
3. Be a good listener.  Humans thrive on relationships and
connections with others.  One way to
cultivate and nurture your communications with friends and relatives is to be a
good listener.  This is the key to all
great conversationalists. 
4  Choose to be optimistic.  We are beginning a new year, a clean slate,
an opportunity for complete renewal.  Why
not choose to proceed into these next twelve months with total and undeniable
optimism.  Remember a positive and
optimistic attitude is most mannerly and assures a successful outcome in
anything we endeavor to do. 
5. Use your table manners.  Many of life’s pleasures and special
moments revolve around the table and dining experience.  This year, aspire to be a bit more mindful of
your table manners.  Begin with the most
simple of tasks such as refraining from talking with your mouth full of food or
putting your elbows on the table.  Make
sure to sit up straight for good posture and say please and thank you when
being served.  For goodness sakes, no
cell phones at the table! 
6. Give thanks and appreciate.  We cannot say enough about taking a moment to
be thankful and to appreciate what you have. 
At a time when many are experiencing personal economic turmoil or major life
crisis, it is more important than ever to try to find a glimmer of light and to
acknowledge what you do have that is positive and encouraging.
7. Take a breath and think before you act.  This is so vitally important and can save a
lot of heartache and headache.  We’ve all
heard the expression “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” meaning everything
we do has a positive or negative effect on one another.  Before you behave in a way that might upset
or offend another, take a moment to think about how they might feel and choose
to do the right thing.
8. Be courteous and patient.  We live in a 24/7, frenetic, automated world
where common courtesies and human decency in general are threatening extinction.  Do your part to change the tide and make 2013
a year where you are more polite and patient. 
From the people you stand in line with at Starbucks or share the carpool
lane with on your way to work, to the caretakers who watch after your children
and your families with whom you share a meal, aspire to be more considerate and
a little more tolerant.
9. Be cautious with electronic communications.  Show some restraint before you type, text,
post or Tweet.  Understand that
everything you put in writing electronically is permanent and privacy does not
exist.  Too many people have suffered
major consequences due to careless communications. 
Not thinking before
you send an electronic message can ruin a career or sever a personal
relationship.  Send only positive
thoughts, comments or photos electronically. 
Anything unflattering should be dealt with in person.
10. Don’t be stingy with the magic words.  The most commonly used magic words are:
please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.  Use these words frequently and without
discretion and witness firsthand a transformation from those who hear
them.  Notice how a few kind words can
help brighten someone’s day.