I’m not really the type to make new year’s resolutions. It seems weird, since I’m such an obsessive planner. But I’m more the type to make smaller goals throughout the year. (In fact, I just got a new planner that lets me set goals for every day, week, and month of the year – as well as a New Year’s Resolution page and a New Year’s Eve Reflection page. I’m embarrassed how excited I am about that.)
Even those of us who set plans all year long are able to fall back into the same routines, though. Just because we plan to do something doesn’t mean we’ll actually do it when the time comes. Do you find yourself having that problem, too?
If you are the type to set new year’s resolutions, or are just looking for a new set of goals – here’s our list of suggestions. Just make sure you follow through once you’ve made the decision!
1. Don’t blame others for your mistakes.
When we’re wrapped up in the heat of an angry moment, we tend to justify the things we do by passing the blame off on the person we’re mad at. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a friend, a family member, or even a celebrity – just don’t.
Putting the blame on someone else seems like it’s a defense mechanism. It wasn’t my fault I cheated; you weren’t giving me enough attention. It wasn’t my fault I went over on my cell data; you let me forget to turn WiFi on. Whatever the situation is, you know that it’s usually not true.
The denial of blame is a refusal to grow, and you need to think of it that way. Sure, not everything that gets blamed on you will be your fault – but it’s important that you recognize the difference between innocence and denial.
2. Don’t keep lying to yourself.
I don’t know why any of us do it. In your mind, you think something – and then you quickly second-guess yourself and change your thoughts entirely. So which thought is the truth – the first or the second?
Speaking psychologically, usually the first thought is how you really feel, and the second thought is how society has taught you to feel. We tend to treat that second thought as the truth, but usually it’s not what we really think. It doesn’t make a lot of sense once you start to break it down.
We all need to take a step and explore what our real thoughts are, without any worry of backlash. If you like to write, keeping a journal can be a great tool for this. If you’re more of an artist, sketch something. It doesn’t really matter what you do, but thinking about it is a great way to explore your innermost self.
3. Don’t judge others so much.
I like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded and fair person – but I will admit that I still have my judgmental moments where I find myself being a little less inclusive. I usually keep those afterthoughts to myself, but I can admit that I have them sometimes.
Most people do not consider themselves judgmental – but this falls along the lines of #2, above. We don’t like to think that we’re judging people, because society has taught us to keep those things to ourselves. But does that mean that we’re really nice? I mean, we still think them from time to time.
It’s a tough process, breaking the habit of judging others, and it takes a long time to train yourself not to do it. (I’ve been trying for years and I haven’t fully succeeded yet.) But the more you think about it and make a conscious effort to be inclusive, the better our entire community will be.
4. Don’t be so mean.
I like to think of myself as a generally nice person, but things slip out of my control sometimes when my temper gets out of hand. Hey, I try – and that’s important. But it’s a constant battle to be kind to everyone you encounter, and it’s hard to identify in what ways you’re hurting versus helping.
I’m really bad about this, actually, the whole “hurting versus helping” thing. I try to be helpful towards others, but I get frustrated if they’re not doing it the way I think it should be done, and I take over. I tell myself that I’ve just helped the project along quicker by doing most of the work myself, but the truth is that I’m really just taking away their ability to learn it on their own because I got a little impatient.
If this sounds like you, let’s work together to try and be more helpful. Let’s be kind to others and stop assuming they can’t do it on their own.
5. Don’t feed the trolls.
The internet at large is offended by everything there is to be offended about lately. I actually have to physically stop myself from responding to things sometimes because, caught up in the drama of everyone around me, I start to question whether I really am being personally attacked.
Usually… I’m not.
And I think this is probably true for most people. Most of the things we get offended about have literally nothing to do with us, and it’s a bit arrogant to inject ourselves into those situations. If you, like me, often find yourself succumbing to your hurt feelings, ask yourself: Does this actually affect me in any way?
If the answer is no, then please, resist the urge to get into a fight on the internet. You have every right to be upset about it but you should make a conscious decision to not tell the internet about your hurt feelings. It might sound mean, but most people don’t care – and at least half the ones who do care are glad you got your feelings hurt. Don’t let them win!
6. Don’t give up on yourself.
Most people don’t ever actually give up on themselves, but we do go through cycles of self-doubt that can seriously hinder our progress. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. (Thanks, Henry Ford. Couldn’t have said it better myself.)
Usually, any obstacle laid in front of us can be overcome. Of course this depends on the exact situation, but the biggest thing standing in our way is our own thought process. If you change your thinking and start feeling like you can do things, and then you actively work toward doing them, you are sure to find success.
I’m not saying you don’t have to work for it. Anything worth having will require you to work for it. But it takes more than just working at it. You have to believe that you are going to be the best whatever you want to be, and then act like it. Don’t want it, make it happen.