There are some simple things we can do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us in the new year. Why not practice being a better listener? Fully engage when someone speaks to you. Don’t interrupt them. Give them the opportunity to speak their thoughts, feelings and emotions freely. If they ask your opinion, give it, respectfully with thoughts of how your words might sound to them. Show that you’re listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and using positive body language. Often we listen with the thought of responding and miss what someone is saying. We can also tune them out and listen with a thousand other thoughts going through our heads. Learning to listen is important not only for the one listening, but also to our spouse, child. our aging parents, good friends, and for whoever trusts you with their thoughts and feelings. By actively and fully listening you could be helping someone heal in the new year. Good listeners, especially in these very tense times, are gifts to those around them.