New Year, New You: Putting Positivity to Work in 2016

Originally published in MACUHO MagazineWritten by Debbie Scheibler and Sinclair Ceasar 

New Year’s Resolutions. It seems that everybody’s got one. However, most of us break them within a few weeks into the New Year. Why is that? Is it that we set unattainable goals? Is adhering to our goals too difficult? Perhaps it’s because they aren’t necessarily fun (I mean, come on, who wants to wake up at 5am or give up bread)? Whatever the reason, many of us quickly lose steam on the resolutions that we set forth for ourselves. As the start of 2016 is upon us, we challenge each of you to set one personal resolution within yourself to up the positivity in your life; make this a gift for yourself that can last the whole year long.

Choose Your Attitude

Much like the trusty old FISH! Philosophy says, YOU make the choice everyday for how you will show up. Don’t blame the weather, the economy, or the wrong side of the bed. You choose how you want to experience the world. We suggest and encourage that you choose to be thankful for the air in your lungs, the brains in your head, and the shoes on your feet. Think of the example you can set by wearing a smile and having a great attitude.

Acknowledge the Work of Others

Nothing makes an employee feel more valued as when they are acknowledged. If you are a supervisor let your team know that you see their efforts, and make note of them when they do an exceptionally good job. We suggest using a variety of methods to show appreciation, and to be mindful of personal preferences (verbal, written, etc.) Having you role model this gratitude could impact your office and, if you’re have a high stress/low morale office, it might help change the dynamic of your department to one of appreciation and support.

Say Thank You

Similar to acknowledging the work of those within your office, saying “thank you” to folks you encounter spreads the positivity outside of the office. Say thanks for those who open a door for you, holds the elevator a few extra seconds, or bless you when you sneeze. The key is to be genuine, make eye contact, and let the gratitude sink in.

Practice Civility

You’re probably wondering what civility has to do with positivity. In our world today (and that has been made even more evident by the global and local events in recent weeks) we come across disagreements, misunderstandings and anger on almost a daily basis. Civility challenges each of us to honor and respect the difference of others while still remaining true to ourselves. When you’re faced with something you don’t agree with or don’t understand, we encourage you to approach the conversation with an open-mind and the willingness to listen before reacting. You don’t have to agree, but you should try to seek understanding.

Treat Yo Self

None of this will matter if you don’t take care of yourself. Start a new hobby. Take a class. Join a running club. Learn sign language. Start that blog you’ve been thinking about. Let 2016 be the year where you take some time for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be long, even in 30 minutes you can dramatically improve your stress levels, your health and may even open new professional (or side hustle) doors for you.


Debbie Scheibler is the Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life at Rutgers University- Camden. She oversees the Residential Life curriculum, on-campus student conduct, and is a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Debbie is a former faculty member for the Regional Entry-Level Institute (RELI) and a James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute (NHTI) graduate. Debbie currently serves on the Executive Board of the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers (MACUHO) in the role of Director of Annual Programs.Connect with her on Twitter @DebbieScheibler

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