“New Year, New You” is an ongoing blog series focused on on getting your mind, body and spirit ready for dating in 2013. The series will feature posts by Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and scientific advisor for Chemistry.com, Bela Gandhi, Dating Coach and President of Smart Dating Academy, and Amanda Ebner, M.A.; M.Ed.; and personal trainer for FitOrbit.com, an online personal training resource.

It’s a new year, a time of rebirth with the return of the sun. So why not stretch you wings a little—and let people know who you really are. You are likely to find that things you regard about yourself as ho-hum are actually intriguing to others. You will never know unless you sing a few of your own praises. In short, brag a little.

Your ability to recite Shakespeare or rap, convey a gripping story or sing a touching song; your savvy for reading the stock market (or the horses); your gallantry or sense of humor or moral virtue; your talent for understanding computers; your trip to Ethiopia or Patagonia; your skill at Scrabble or talent in the kitchen: all these seemingly unnecessary human talents have evolved, at least in part, to dazzle potential mates and win the mating game. So brag a little.

You won’t be the first. Just about every bird and mammal on the planet knows the art of bragging. Do you suppose a peacock is modest about shimmering his tail feathers at passing peahens? Or a male gorilla hides sheepishly behind a bush instead of rising onto his hind legs to beat his chest and parade for the ladies? Animals announce themselves; they strut their stuff.  And those who display their magnificence with the greatest verve and imagination generally win.

So shimmer your feathers a bit. I’m not suggesting that you sing your praises like a full-throated thrush; be smart. Mention a few of your best traits and achievements in a modest way. Though you may regard your pitch as transparent, even arrogant, people are listening. Your potential matches want to know who you are. And if you play it right, their curiosity will trump their sense of impropriety. As Mae West has said, “it’s better to be looked over than over looked.” Let the returning sun shine on you.