A new year always brings renewed hope and resolve for making life better, and I read some wonderful articles during January to help make that happen, both personally and professionally. Here are six I especially recommend:

1. 3 Steps to Be Your Best Self in 2016 (Entrepreneur)

It can be overwhelming to make and keep resolutions. But yes, indeed, this article shares three small but powerful strategies that will go far to improving your life. I’m a big believer in taking one day at a time, one step at a time, and these practical strategies reinforce that idea. And, of course, there’s a big mention of one of my other favorite happiness strategies: cultivating gratitude.

2. The Positive Psychology of Job Interviewing (Forbes)

One of the keys to positive psychology is recognizing your personal character strengths and using them to their highest potential. This article gives a refreshing perspective on emphasizing those strengths in a job interview, instead of rehashing your résumé bullets. It also suggests illustrating your strengths through powerful stories, rather than simply listing them. (To learn your unique character strengths, I highly recommend the free survey at Via Institute on Character.)

3. Hoda Kotb’s 5 Unexpected Tips for Happiness (

I had the wonderful pleasure of hearing Hoda Kotb give a keynote address at a breast cancer fundraiser several years ago, and I was struck by her uplifting spirit and humble kindness. One of her most profound observations was, “The way you spend your day is the way you spend your life,” and she ended her talk by saying, “I wish us all joy.” While I’m not a Today Show viewer, Hoda’s sunny disposition has stayed with me, and I wasn’t surprised to see that her 5 pick-me-ups to make your day a little brighter were spot on. She is a lovely example of someone who incorporate happiness strategies on a daily basis.

4. Is Your Negative Mindset Holding You Back? (

Whether you’re an eternal pessimist, have a hard time changing your ways, think you’re superior to others, or perpetually feel helpless, this article offers a number of fixes to help you move forward. See if you identify with any of the four negative mindsets, and find out how you can take control and break the habits that are holding you back.

5. Gratitude’s Big Comeback: The Business Thank You Note (Relate)

I love sending and receiving thank you notes, and like the author of this piece, I’ve noticed that businesses are now getting on board by sending notes of thanks with stuff I’ve ordered. Sure they’re mostly pre-printed, but as a customer, I appreciate and admire the extra thought that has gone into producing these notes. Small details like these make me more likely to have a positive impression of a company.

6. 47 Things I’ve Learned In My 40s (Matador)

I hear ya: Enough with the 47 things already! Yes, once again, the piece I wrote last spring has been republished with permission. If by some bizarre chance you didn’t see it on Huffington Post or 4,000 times in your Facebook newsfeed, here’s yet another opportunity to check it out.


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