Over the years I have witnessed friends make excuses for a variety of people in a variety of circumstances. Why? Because despite the outcome of a given situation, they knew that person's intentions were honorable. I'm guilty of moments like these as well. But when did the simple goal to be a ‘good person’, something we should all strive for, become a blanket excuse for certain behavior?

While I don’t have the answer to that question, I have had time to think a lot about how to actually be a person who follows through with their aim to do more good—for themselves and others. There is a difference between someone who genuinely purposes to achieve goals and impact others positively and the person who is simply nice to others. While being polite is most definitely a valuable trait, many of us who are in the position to do more and don't are probably missing an opportunity to be impactful or to see change, big or small.

Accomplishing ‘good’ can take on many meanings. It can be a small goal, like eating well to preserve your health. While only a small, personal example, eating healthy is a conscious, active goal I am working on. Larger picture examples could include volunteering each week and actually showing up, not skipping because you’re tired or want to watch television.

The key, for this year and beyond, is committing to follow through and to choose to give our best whenever possible. 

Want to practice intention this year? Come to our Intentions & Habit Building Workshop on January 20th!

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Alyssa Clough is a recent graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is now living in New York City. She loves dressing in monochrome, sending notes to friends and eating any peanut butter product. 

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