So here we are, at the end of January 2012. How are your resolutions going? Are you still working out? Have you lost weight? No longer smoking? Eating healthier? Experts agree that many New Year's resolutions are doomed for failure and have been long abandoned by the end of January. If you are finding your New Year's resolutions elusive, why not opt for some easily obtainable ones instead? In honor of 2012, here are 12 New Year's Resolutions towards a better, and more polite, you.
1. RSVP to invitations ASAP ~ Make it your stated goal to respond to invitations within 24 hours of receipt. Be honest, as you likely know already if you will be able to attend or not. Just tell the host.
2. Reciprocate a Kindness ~ Did someone take you out to dinner, give you an unexpected gift or do you a favor? If so, return the thought. It need not be exactly the same, as long as it is from the heart.
3. Acknowledge Immediately ~ Remember to write thank you notes within a week. After all, the sooner the shorter, the later the longer. If you are having a hard time getting started, visit the Mannersmith Thank You Note Wizard for some help.
4. Use or Lose ~ Pick three friends (or your grandchildren!) and schedule a dinner at a restaurant where you will need to use your table manners. You know, a venue with tablecloths and real utensils! Enjoy a life of leisure, even if it is only for an hour or two.
5. Master Your Mobile ~ Try turning off your phone and tuning in to life. Give the gift of your full attention to those with whom you are interacting. Yes, you may have some withdrawal symptoms, such as twitchy thumbs, but the emotional benefits are well worth it.
6. Positive Peer Pressure ~ Join a professional organization or register for an upcoming event and attend with a pocketful of business cards. Get engaged in your career and build your professional networks.
7. Suit Up ~ Even if every day is casual day in your workplace, as an adult, you should have at least one current, fashionable suit which fits. If the media comes a-calling or a recruiter contacts you with your ideal job, you need to be ready.
8. Expand Your Horizons ~ Acquire knowledge of something new. Whether it is a master level class or a lunch & learn session, identify an area in need of education and improve your knowledge base.
9. Give Things ~ Clean out your closets and the corners of your home. Be brutal. If you have not worn or used it in a year, move it along. Be sure to donate usable goods to area organizations.
10. Give Time ~ Choose a "thon" or "day" and participate to support charitable groups. Select a charity that is meaningful to you and show you care.
11. Give Money ~ Put your money where your heart is and give back. You need not wait until you are a millionaire to be a philanthropist. Start now.
12. Etiquette Evolves ~ Keep pace with the most modern take on manners. Read The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners, keep it for yourself or give it as a gift! Completely complimentary ways to maintain your politeness quotient can also be found by following Mannersmith on Facebook or Twitter.
Pick one per month or choose them all right now, each and every one of these resolutions will help your be the most polite you possible this New Year. Wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012.