Hello, and welcome to 2015! By now the holidays are a distant memory – probably mostly happy and (hopefully) only a little annoying. It’s inevitable that you got at least one present that was really hard to look excited about receiving. Seriously, is joy even possible while unwrapping thermal socks? If my experience counts for anything, the answer is no. Wearing them, absolutely – unwrapping them, that’s a different story.

Anyway, it’s time to focus on a new year. At this point you’ve probably been overwhelmed by advice on how to become a better person – lose more weight, exercise more frequently, wear more zebra-patterned socks, shout obscenities at children less often, etc. etc. Personally I’ve been given so much advice that I’m starting to question whether or not I’m actually a decent person. Fortunately my mom always told me I was the best little boy she knew (and that she knew a lot of people), so I know I’m amazing. I also know that you’re amazing, and the last thing you need is another newsletter encouraging you to quit smoking or stop setting cars on fire or whichever vice you’re currently overindulging in.

The point is, I know you’re awesome. You know you’re awesome. But it’s possible that there are two or three holdouts who have not acknowledged the enormity of your awesomeness. These are sad people, and they need your help. Here’s how.

Offer To Take On a New Responsibility At Work

The reason some of your colleagues are sad is because they feel overwhelmed. They may not know it themselves, and they might not admit it to you even if they are aware of it. Which means you should take the initiative, especially if the extra work is something you think you might be interested in. But even if you’re unsure that it’s something you’ll love, you’ll end up earning the gratitude and loyalty of a fellow colleague. That’s what we do for our children, and they always end up repaying us by buying us gifts for our birthday. Which means you can expect more presents in the future. Win-win!

Ask Everyone You Work With How They Would Improve Your Business

Part of the reason people are sad is because they think nobody is listening to them. They know they’re full of incredible ideas, but nobody seems to care what those ideas are. So ask them. There’s a very good chance you’ll learn that some of your co-workers have been deluding themselves for years about the quality of their ‘amazing’ ideas, but you don’t necessarily have to tell them that. And more importantly, there’s also a very good chance that you’ll walk away with some new ways to think about how you do business. Plus they’ll appreciate you paying attention to them. I’m sensing more presents on the horizon.

Organize a Post-Holiday Party

Throughout our great land, many people are sad because they didn’t go to enough parties this December. Either that or they went to too many boring ones. Yours, however, will not be boring. Even if it’s a simple bowling night or 5:30 happy hour, you’ll be creating an opportunity to build or strengthen your company culture. This won’t happen overnight, but that shouldn’t dissuade you. After all, every road begins with a single step – and sometimes a half-priced appetizer.

I hope that helps. Now if you don’t mind, me and my thermal socks are going to play with some of the toys I got for Christmas. My wife bought me the Army Barbie Military Compound that I’d asked for, and I’m crazy excited about it. I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t be depressed while my camouflage Barbie is sitting gunner on an Abrams tank.

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