I Resolve To…

January 4, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!! If you haven’t already, it’s about that time to start thinking of your resolutions for the new year. The key to resolutions is to keep them S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For example, instead of saying “I resolve to eat healthier,” a better resolution may be “I resolve to eat green vegetables daily.” In the spirit of Polish, Poise, and Etiquette, here’s a list of six goals to consider this year.

  1. Travel in style. This does not necessarily mean to adorn yourself in high fashion. It’s really simpler than that. During my travels this past holiday season, there were many “interesting” sights in the airport. I was reminded of a time when people actually “dressed up” during their travels. Nowadays, you can see a range of styles from business or business casual to workout gear to pajamas (yes, pajamas). Most of the time a person’s travel wear reflects their age and stage; but sometimes it’s a reflection of their attitude and mindset about travel (e.g. being comfortable). However, to travel in style, it doesn’t take much; it only requires that an effort is made to be presentable (from head to toe). This also includes your luggage. My favorite travel expert Samantha Brown has mentioned plenty of times the potential benefits of traveling in style (upgrades, perks, etc.). I have been on the receiving end of those benefits and can personally attest to how true it is – when you make the effort, you WILL get noticed (in a good way)!
  2. Send Thank You notes. As in buy a card, put a handwritten note of thanks inside, and mail it through the post office. In this digital age many people send text messages or emails of thanks (some don’t send anything). However, nothing beats receiving a note of thanks in the mail. It’s more personal and genuine because someone took the time to “make the effort.” And it’s more memorable. I love-love-LOVE thank you notes! About every other month I host a Sunday brunch for three of my close friends. And after each brunch I receive a thank you card. Although it’s not necessary, it means so much to me that something that has become a regular occasion is still special to my friends, and the card speaks volumes of their appreciation of the time we spend together. Try it sometime!
  3. Engage in genuine communication. If you go out to eat with a friend, try putting the cell phone down. Control it (the phone that is) – don’t let it control you. I remember going on vacation with one of my friends, and we spent a lot of time at cafes just talking and laughing. You know the saying, “when in Rome?” Well, in our case it was Greece – lol. That time was a luxury for us, because back in the States we were always busy (and when we did catch a bite to eat during those busy moments, we were glued to our smartphones). There’s nothing like quality time and communication. It’s actually good for the soul! Try putting the phone down and engaging in a lost art – the art of communication.
  4. Correct a bad etiquette habit. Do you turn your teacup upside down when you don’t want any instead of saying a simple “no thank you?” Do you slice and butter your dinner roll all at once instead of the pinch-butter-repeat method? Do you automatically become informal/familial with people upon introductions (e.g. shortening their names, making inappropriate comments)? Think about a habit you can improve. Not sure if you have any bad habits, see #5.
  5. Take an etiquette class to learn something new – or as a refresher. Emily Post said it best, “Etiquette would not seem to play an important part in business, and yet no man can ever tell when its knowledge may be of advantage, or its lack may turn the scale against him.”
  6. Embrace and use the principles of etiquette. Consideration, Respect, and Honesty.