Every new year a lot of people seek to set resolutions and goals to start the year off afresh. Aside from setting those difficult personal goals and wishes, try out these three easy things that could also help you start your new year off on the right foot.
1. Get Rid of Toxic, Unsupportive Friends
Someone gave me this advice a few years ago, and I’ve been practicing it diligently ever since. Being quite the introvert, I had already been cutting people out of my life, and I always found it quite easy to do as I got older. But I was still holding out hopes in repairing friendships that were no longer friendly, or just for the sake of trying to keep in touch with friends from high school. Though not everyone can easily stop talking to toxic friends, or question the genuineness of their friendships, it’s best to consider it when you’re no longer benefitting from that relationship.
Do you have friends in your life that are never supportive of anything you do or say? Are you in a friendship where you’re constantly at odds with the other person? Do you have prolonged periods of not speaking to each other? Do you feel annoyed and don’t feel happy at the thought of being around this person? Do you feel like you’ve outgrown your friendship overall?
If you said yes to at least one of these questions, perhaps you should tweak the people you hang around with. There’s nothing wrong with doing this because it will benefit you in the long run. For me, it all started by deleting some numbers out of my phone. I deleted the friends that only called me when they needed a favor. I stopped listening to the friends that wanted me to hear their problems, but not mine. I cut out friends that would nitpick anything I was excited about—it was endless. But it was one of the best decisions I made. After I started removing “friends” from my life, I was no longer getting dragged into gossip and drama. I didn’t bite my tongue when I felt like sharing some awesome news about my life, out of fear it would upset someone. I didn’t feel drained at the thought hanging out with them, and I started to see the change in myself. Say “no” to unbalanced rocky friendships and don't go into a new year with horrible “friends.”
2. End a Habit/Begin a New Habit
Old habits die hard. Learning to form new and beneficial habits are much more beneficial. End a bad habit of yours, and replace it with a new one that corrects it. For years I struggled with sleeping early. Coincidentally it was New Years day 2008, that I slept super late for the first time in my life. Since then I began sleeping really late. I even switched my entire schedule around to accommodate my new night owl habits. Big mistake. Not only was I behind everyone else's schedule, I was not getting enough sleep. I couldn’t function during the day and could barely sleep when everyone else went to bed.
However, by making small changes to my poor sleeping habit, such as going to sleep earlier, and taking sleeping pills (when necessary) to make sure I didn’t stay up past a certain time, it improved. Little by little, I created a new habit and ended an old one. However, try not to start a new habit without quitting one first, as this defeats the purpose of getting rid of the bad habit. Another example is when I wanted to stop my nail-biting habit some years prior. I began the habit of doing my nails more often, and out of my need to keep my nails neat, I stopped biting them and ended my nail-biting.
Remember, also, to keep the goal achievable. Don't set an unrealistic expectation of what or how many habits to quit as this could discourage you. Make it small and work your way up to something bigger.
3. Learn or Do Something Different and New
Don’t attempt something you can’t do, but learn a new trait that will teach you something that you can pass along to others; something intellectually stimulating or a new survival skill. This year I learned about a lot of subjects I was unaware of. I learned about peonage, what trans-misogyny was, and how to open a can without a can opener. I also became a bone marrow donor.
There are so many new things to learn and do, and if you’re stuck, the internet is at the tip of your fingers—take advantage of that. There’s a wealth of information out there waiting for you to learn and use to your benefit. Do something cool that you’ve never done before, but make sure it's something you know you can do again. Learn a new word everyday, try a new recipe every week, or discover a new music genre. It’s never too late to learn and improve, particularly when it's a new year.