Wednesday’s Parent: Change New Year’s Resolutions into Selfie-Recommendations

New Year's Selfie Recommendation, Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

New Year’s Selfie Recommendation, Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

A fresh start can begin at any time but there is something about the dawning of a new year that brings out the hope for something better. That’s what prods many New Year’s resolutions. But good intentions often get lost in the priority list of life’s realities.

Whether you are a POCS (Parent Of a College/college-bound Student) or a teen on the verge of adulthood, a to-do list of want to’s is common. If you make it a habit to follow then fail New Year’s Resolutions then it’s time for a new approach.

Take a cue from the the popular selfie photos and instead of resolutions, write yourself a selfie-recommendation

Recommendation letters are usually written by colleagues and bosses for employment and by teachers and school counselors for college admission. Take fifteen minutes to use the concept to highlight your strengths, gain confidence, and resolve to achieve more.

Use this template and quotes from and the statements based on 5 Steps to Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation to write your selfie-recommendation letter:

1. Start With a Knockout Line

The first sentence does double duty as self-descriptive and complimentary. In a typical recommendation letter, “Ideally, this line will show right away what an awesome person your recommendee is.” A selfie-recommendation allows you to self-evaluate, feel good about yourself, and be motivated to do more by concentrating on the positive, such as:

“It’s rare to come across someone with my planning ability to set goals and achieve them.”

“Few people have my positive attitude to view challenges as learning opportunities and puzzles to be solved rather than setbacks as roadblocks.”

“‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about myself and my time management skills.”

2. Describe Your Relationship

Next, put your great quality in context. In a recommendation letter, this is “why you’re qualified to give the recommendation.” In a selfie-recommendation, it’s the areas that showcase your positive attributes, for example:

“I thoroughly research vacation destinations, plan the itineraries and get rave reviews from my family such as ‘best vacay ever!’”

“Concerned with my family’s health, I motivated my fast food loving family to eat healthier by cooking with healthy ingredients and reusing leftovers in new ways which were delicious, lowered the food budget and raised our level of health.”

“I organize my schedule daily, using my time efficiently, fitting work/school with extracurricular and social activities.”

3. Share a Standout Trait

Now that you’ve identified what you do great, it’s time to address an area that needs improvement. A recommendation letter focuses on “one or two things this person does better than anything else — or that really stand out to you above others.” A selfie-recommendation addresses a talent or skill to be developed to help reach a new goal, such as:

“I will develop the talent to handle even the toughest situations effortlessly.”

“My patience will grow so I can better listen, understand and work together with others.”

“I will acquire better organizational skills to clear the clutter at home.”

4. Add a Touch of Personality

Identify a specific personality trait of yours that will help you achieve your goal. Recommendation letters “share a tidbit about what it’s like to work with this person or some insight into his or her personality.” A selfie-recommendation relies on an existing trait that is related or motivating, like:

“I am level-headed so I can expand that ability to handle difficult situations without drama.”

“I’m a people-person, so I will enjoy learning more about others.”

“Efficiency is my middle-name so I can use my time management skills to  organize my environment.”

5. End With Your Solid Recommendation

Finally, provide a concrete example of what you seek to accomplish. In a recommendation letter, it’s “a final line that makes it clear that you give your contact an enthusiastic thumbs-up.” A selfie-recommendation shows how the new ability could be used. For example, based on the new challenges college prep will bring to your family:

“I will be prepared to brainstorm alternatives, find great solutions to unexpected problems and meet challenges even under pressure with humor, grace and focus.”

“I’ll be a team player, ready to (help my child or ask for parental help to) navigate the college process.”

“I will get more things done in an organized space to better handle additional college prep activities.”

Enjoy writing your selfie-recommendation and read it every morning to jump start your day.

Read Suzanne’s post for another approach to New Year’s Resolutions.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

Comments are closed.