Well folks here we are, Day 365. How was your year?

Was it filled with great success, love and evolution? Or, was it filled with challenge and heartache?

Well, wherever you started and wherever you stand today, the beauty of a new year is simply that of another chance.

So in the spirit of positivity and eager anticipation of new beginnings, I present to you my 10 acts of change to institute in 2017!

10. Be open to change:

First and foremost do not resist change, embrace it.

People fear change. It tears us away from our comfort zone and forces us to walk a road less traveled. But change is good and in order to breathe new life in your world- you must first be open to accepting the idea. When people build a mental wall to resist change, it keeps them from moving forward in life. Break the walls down and you will find that the sky is the limit.

9. Do things for You

I know that this sounds crazy, but chances are you do not do enough for yourself. It’s easy to get consumed in a relationship, your family, work and any other excuse you may have. But this year, things will be different. Schedule time to read, take a class or dust off that collector’s edition of Sex & the City you have stored away. Whatever it is, do it and don’t feel any guilt when you do. When you make time for you, it balances out the rest of your life.

8. Write Handwritten Letters

In case you missed the last great opportunity in sending a holiday card- now is your chance to show people you really care. A handwritten letter to wish friends and family a “Happy New Year” is a perfect way to start a great new habit. So forget your email and stock up on stamps and stationary- handwritten letters are a small bit of joy in an envelope!

7. Accept Failure

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Whatever it was you were working on has ended and left you questioning the road ahead. But instead of wallowing in pity and embarrassment, accept that things have ended and move on. Remember failure doesn’t mean that you have given up, it just means its time for another approach. The clarity in this understanding opens up your eyes to something you did not know existed.

6. Try Something New

It always throws me for a loop when I meet someone who does not eat sushi. Most of the time these people like to eat only the basics. But this year, I encourage everyone to try something new. Maybe its not sushi, maybe its French food or maybe its listening to NPR instead of a Ryan Seacrest. Whatever your “new” is, do it this year. It will free your mind!

If you insist that this is impossible, please go back to Act of Change number ten.

5. Eat, Think and BE Positive

I hate it when people use the words “Impossible” or “one day” – it’s all about thinking positive! If you can’t convince yourself to be successful then who will. This year, change your perspective…be positive! You “will” get that job!

4. Become Well Mannered

Remember when people held doors and said thank you? I believe the year was 1950. Well now is the time to bring back a little bit of manners to the world. Especially those people who talk loudly on their cell phones in the elevator. (You know who you are.)

3. Do Things That Matter

When was the last time you donated to charity, volunteered or helped out at the last school function. This year make an effort to do things that matter. There are people in the world that need your time and money besides the usual Sunday Funday brunch spot!

2. Disconnect From Technology, Connect with Real People

I can’t remember the last time I sat down to dinner and everyone didn’t look at their phone. Technology has taken over our work, personal and dating lives. This year, make some hard and fast rules about being present with others when you are with them. Give them your undivided attention and catch up on what is happening in their lives. Connect with real people!

1. Love (obviously)

I believe Love has become so diluted because of technology and the ever growing impersonalization of the way we communicate. This year, I want everyone to promise to “love better.” Be better husbands, wives and friends- people who are present in the moment, people who actively listen and people who are thoughtful.

I want you to love someone because your human, not because your were told too. I want you to show kind love to strangers, neighbors and especially to people who are in service to you. Love needs to be the root of all you do and not just a formality.

Cheers to a wonderful new 2017!

David Cruz, III

David is the Founder and Creative Director of Finding Cupid. He has been writing about Dating & Relationships for the last five years and is a contributor to Huffington Post, Frontiers Media, Your Tango and many other publications. David can often be found in the greeting card aisle searching for the ultimate love card, or a bakery making bad decisions for himself.

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