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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ten Ways I'm Trying to Become a Better Person.

I am 100% of the belief that you can become a better person. Just like you can become a better writer, or a better tennis player, or a better cook. If something is important to you, you'll put the effort in, and being a good human is important to me. Here are some ways I'm trying to get better at it. 

1. I'm trying to let little things bother me less. The other day, I burnt a piece of chicken I was cooking and then knocked over a glass of water. I said, out loud to myself, "What a crappy night." And then actually laughed at myself, because, seriously? If I'm going to be the kind of person who lets some spilled water ruin their night, I'm going to have a pretty miserable existence. So none of that! 

2. Saying less of "here I am" and more of "there you are!" For as long as I can remember, my mom has said there are two types of people: People who walk in a room and say HERE I AM! And people who walk in a room and say, "There you are!" I want to be the second person. 

3. Eating better and working out. Plain and simple, this is making me a better person physically. It's important!

4. Making space for people. When I first started doing the Yoga with Adriene videos, she would always say "The goal here is to create space" and it would drive me crazy. Because there's only so much space, it already exists, and I cannot make more. What kind of hippie nonsense is this? But the more I did it, the more I got it, and the more I see how it translates over to real life. 

You only have so much space in your life, but you get to move it around and manipulate it to fit where you want it and choose who gets to take it up. And I want to choose to create space for the people who matter. I want to create space for my friends to call me if they're having a bad day. Space for people to be able to ask for my help. Space for canceled plans in order for me to be there for my people. 

5. Consciously choosing kindness. I consider myself to be a pretty kind person. And yes, it would be awesome if I was always automatically kind without even thinking about it, but that's not always the case. So I'm working on thinking about it. Actually waking up and deciding to be kind. Taking a breath in the heat of a frustrating moment and actively choosing kindness. 

6. Less judging. Period. This year has taught me that very, very few things are black and white. I have no idea what someone is going through, or where they're coming from, so my judgment has no place here. When I feel judgey in a situation, I'm trying to notice it and replace that with love. 

7. Trying, even in the seemingly impossible situations. Maybe a few dollars isn't going to change a homeless person's life around. Maybe calling your senator isn't going to change their mind. Maybe reaching out isn't going to mend that relationship. Maybe offering your support isn't going to break someone's addiction. But I, for one, want to be able to say I always tried, no matter how hopeless a situation seemed. 

8. Listening. How often do we say, "how's it going?" in passing without really caring about the response? Or how often are we in a conversation, just nodding but also scrolling through our phones? I'm working on becoming a better listener instead. 

9. Responding to my texts and emails. Goodness gracious, I am so bad at this. Some of it's due to getting anxious over things, but some of it is due to pure laziness/procrastination. I'm working on responding to things in a much timelier matter, even if my response is just, "I'll have to get back to you."

10. Learning the best ways to love my people. We all feel most loved in different ways. I have a friend who's whole month is made by sending her a 99 cent greeting card saying hi, and one friend who feels appreciated when someone acknowledges her hard work. I have a friend who feels loved by phone calls. Another friend hates talking on the phone, but loves funny texts full of inappropriate memes. I'm working on taking the time to learn these little things so I can show love better. 

How are you trying to become a better person?
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