8 'Livable Virtues' for Making a Positive Shift This New Year

Resolve this upcoming New Year to make great changes by viewing your life and everyone in it more gently.

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By Sherrie Campbell

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When a new year is approaching many of us consider resolutions to improve our lives and our businesses. More often than not with resolutions, we burn bright then fizzle fast. Life gets busy, we get distracted, we forget what we set out to achieve and our old habits supersede our well intentioned new patterns. Instead of resolutions, focus your mindset on "livable virtues" to bring you to success. I challenge you to live words in place of resolutions, and see how much change you can manifest.

1. Composure.

There is not a more beautiful quality to possess then composure. Life, in this upcoming year, is bound to bring great increase, and significant hardship. You get to decide how to deal with both. When you are graced with great increase, the word composure looks like humility and gratitude. When you experience hardship or challenge, composure looks like steadiness under strain. When you're composed you hold an evenness of mind and emotion. Composure carries itself as tall and elegant, regardless of what is changing outside of you. Walk, talk, eat, move and speak with composure. Live the essence of this word each day and great change will occur.

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2. Commitment.

Envision what the word commitment means to you. What is the true nature of a committed person? Once the vision is clear, become intentional in living without procrastination in your every word, deed and action. Let this upcoming year be one of pristine focus where steps aren't skipped in any process for the sake of getting ahead. Let everything you start have a beginning, a middle and an end. Be 100% committed only to the step you're in, without the need to force the process forward. When you make commitment a verb, you give your full attention to what is at hand, all the way to its completion. A life of follow through is a happier and more successful life.

3. Wholehearted.

Live wholeheartedly in this upcoming year. Laziness gets you nowhere other than living an average or below average existence. Be hardnosed to work hard, and with a positive attitude. Hard work is the vehicle which moves you in the directions you need to go. There is only one way to speed up any process to reaching your goals, and that is to do the work you need to do wholeheartedly. The harder you work, the more knowledgeable you become on where you can work smarter. Do not scoff at hard work. Go at it with your whole heart. It is the hard working part of any journey which is the most fulfilling. When you work hard you do it because you have something to look forward to. Having something to look forward to is an essential ingredient necessary for success.

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4. Will.

We all are born with equal opportunity, but differ in fortitude, effort, resilience and the will to make our lives what we want. What does being willful mean to you? What would be different about your life if you lived it from the purity of willingness? Make this upcoming year the year you decide to really dig deep. Focus your mind to have the will to do what you need to do, rather than focusing on what you dread doing to be successful. Push yourself to have the willingness to work late if necessary, exercise when you don't want to because you're tired, or to eat healthy even though it's easier not to. Whatever you have to do, commit to having the willingness to give it your best.

5. Upgrade.

What would your life look like if you decided to upgrade it? Upgrade means to be better, to improve, to expect more, to put in the necessary time and effort, to raise your standards, and to rise far above where your currently are. It means you are ready to experience the next bigger, more efficient, successful levels of your life. Think about how to apply this concept to every area of your life. How can you upgrade in your career, as a husband, wife, father or mother? How can you upgrade your health or your financial situation? How can you upgrade as a friend, a boss, an employee or as whole person? As you envision these upgrades, write them down. The actions you need to take for this upgrade will naturally fall onto the paper. It is up to you to live what you write down.

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6. Rest.

Can you bring a mindset of restfulness to all aspects of your life? When you rest, you consciously slow things down and harness the need to frantically hurry through life. When you contemplate the word rest, you will feel yourself immediately slow down to this moment. You will feel calm, and this will have the impact of calming everyone else around you. To live the word restful committedly, you need to give your body the physiological rest it needs. A tired brain leaves creates an inability to pay attention to detail, leading to errors in your work. Rest means to settle. When you feel overwhelmed with stress, remind yourself to bring it back down to a restful, rational state of mind. Make yourself take restful breaks during the day where you can sit for a moment and just breathe, gather yourself and refocus. You cannot hurry, rush and think rationally in tandem.

7. Patience.

What does patience look like to you? Is it appealing to envision yourself as a more patient person? If you were more patient, how would that look on you? Patience helps orient you to the time and place you are in. It is important to know what is on your forecast, yet, to also be mindful that getting to that future desired result is a process, which will take time. When you lose patience, more errors are made. Force yourself to slow down and have faith in the process. Nothing is an emergency. Things have a natural way of falling into place around what we already have set in motion. When the unexpected comes, allow patience to replace impulsivity. Allow for time. You can't push the river.

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8. Gratitude.

Having a thankful mindset makes everything feel better. Make the choice to focus on the good in your life each day, all year. If you want more of anything in life, the quickest way to get there is to appreciate what you already have. The majority of us live in a state of focusing on what we don't have, on what others have, and how we never have enough. That will keep you living in lack. How can life be happy or successful with this focus? It cannot. In this upcoming year it is vital you get in ahold of your thoughts, especially when things aren't going your way, and find the treasures to appreciate in your life. If you can come up with one thing to be grateful for, I guarantee you can come up with two and three.

This year, replace resolutions with living words. Words are concepts, concepts when practiced become habits, and habits become deeply embedded virtues. Whatever word or words you choose, be visionary in how you can apply these words as verbs to all areas of your life; from how you speak, eat, move, take care of yourself, walk, dress, work etc. The change you see will be immeasurable, and the happiness and success you experience will be more stable. When you practice something enough it becomes a part of you, a part of your character. There is nothing more appealing to others than good character.

Sherrie Campbell

Psychologist, Author, Speaker

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.

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