'Tis the season for resolutions. With a new year just around the corner, many of us will be reflecting on the year that was and making plans for the one that is soon to be.
A big part of our 2017 game plan is the setting of New Year's resolutions, which by definition involves a firm decision to start or stop doing something as the calendar turns. Setting the resolutions is always easy; actually sticking to them is where things become difficult, as it's often only a matter of weeks before we slip back into the habits we were looking to correct.
Having personally set numerous resolutions in the past, both at New Years and at other random points throughout the year, I know just how important it is to make and stick to healthy changes in our lives. Hoping to make some positive resolutions as easy as possible for you, I offer 20 one-sentence resolutions I believe we all need to make in 2017 — unless of course you've already mastered them.
1. To Stop Running From Your Problems
No matter how long you've "effectively" done it, believe it or not, you cannot run from something forever. Running from your problems may seem easier at the mind level in the moment you flee, but deep down it's doing much more harm than directly addressing it ever could. Think about it: Rather than choosing to tackle it head on, you've been consciously choosing to let it fester inside you, most likely along with fear, self-doubt, and a whole whack of other unhealthy feelings.
2. To Be a Good Listener
The best test to determine whether or not you are a good listener is to take note of whether you actually focus on something someone else is telling you, or if you instead find yourself already thinking about your reply. Good listeners are becoming harder to come by in this world, so owning this resolution is also sure to make you stand out from the crowd.
3. To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Thanks to the world of social media, mental comparison has never been easier. Keep in mind that the majority of what you see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and pretty well every other platform is a collection of each individual's highlight reels. They all likely have just as many challenges, "ugly days," and mundane tasks as you do, so stop putting your whole reality up against the filtered best that they have to offer.
4. To Invest in Your Future
Rather than spending more money on a useless accessory, make your next purchase something that invests in your future. Whether it be a personal development book or an online course, there are plenty of tools out there that can help take you to the next level.
5. To Stop Watching the News
There are few resolutions I appreciate more than my decision to cut the mainstream news out of my life. While some of what is presented is certainly valuable and worth knowing about, the vast majority, in my opinion, does nothing but lock us into divisive and even crippling states of fear, anger, and suspicion.
6. To Take Responsibility for What You Are Currently Blaming Others For
As much as someone else may have played a prominent role in a challenging experience, we always contribute to it at some level. Rather than continuing to play the blame game and seeing yourself as a victim, take responsibility for your part in it and choose to move on.
7. To Stop Eating Out So Often
While choosing not to prepare and pack your own meals will certainly save you time, it's amazing how quickly that decision adds up to take a toll on your wallet. Want to cut back on unnecessary costs? There is no easier way than by committing to making your own meals at least a certain number of times per week. Added bonus? You'll be eating healthier food, too.
8. To Spend More Time Outdoors
Whether or not you consider yourself a lover of the outdoors, technology has made regular time outside flat out mandatory. Give your body a regular break from radiation, WiFi, and other frequencies by leaving all of your tech at home and spending some quality time in nature.
9. To Stop Waiting for the Perpetual Tomorrow
We all have goals and dreams, and rather than taking immediate action on attaining them, we always choose to put it off for tomorrow. The unfortunate thing is that far too often tomorrow never comes. Stop putting your goals on hold and start building your legacy the moment that the idea sparks into your head.
10. To Spend Less Time Glued to Our Phones
Every day, the list of things we cannot accomplish through our phones grows smaller. While this represents quite the technological feat, it is also quite worrisome for our health, interpersonal skills, and other essential parts of the human experience. Continue to embrace the power your phone boasts, but commit to also dedicating daily time away from it.
11. To Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
I'm sure that few (if any) of us are exactly where we hoped we would be by this point in our lives, but that doesn't mean that we haven't accomplished plenty regardless. Rather than focusing on what you aren't or what you don't like about yourself, make a conscious effort to appreciate and be proud of who you are and what you have done. I can guarantee you've got plenty to be proud of, especially if you choose to commit to a number of these resolutions.
12. To Make More Time for the People You Love
We all have people in our lives that we are incredibly grateful for. Make a point of showing them your appreciation by dedicating more of your valuable time to building an even more impressive collection of memorable moments with them.
13. To Stop Saying "Yes" When You Want to Say "No"
While saying "yes" is a wonderful thing to do, we also need to maintain our boundaries to avoid becoming a metaphorical doormat to other people's needs. Follow your intuition and fill your time with the things you genuinely feel pulled to do, rather than everything you are asked to do.
14. To Get Enough Sleep as Often as Possible
We all have exceptions that are going to force us into running on little to no sleep, but what we want to avoid is making those exceptions a regular occurrence. Alongside food, sleep is the fuel that drives us, so make a point of getting the hours your body needs to run at its best — I'd suggest starting by cutting your social media time.
15. To Stop Stalking Your Exes
You broke up for a reason. Accept that, and move on. You'll never find anything that will genuinely make you feel good when looking through what they've done since you went your separate ways.
16. To Binge Read Rather Than Binge Watch
Whether it be Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, West World, or some other popular show, we've all binge watched something. As fun and immersive as this may be, let's not forget about reading and challenge ourselves to binge read something rather than always selecting the easier entertainment.
17. To Stop Letting Your Relationships Define Your Happiness
As wonderful as relationships are, they should only be an extension of your happiness, not the basis of it. Embrace your independence to ensure you are capable of enjoying life with or without a partner.
18. To Interact More With Strangers
One of the major downsides of the rise in technology is how disconnected it has made us from one another in public settings. Even a simple "hi" is often received as peculiar, or assumed to have a sinister or sexual motive. Make a point of breaking through that barrier and once again making public interaction a part of your regular life.
19. To Stop Overthinking Everything
Why is it that our minds always seem to have so much to say? As helpful as this can be at times, it can also unnecessarily overcomplicate otherwise simple things on other occasions. Stopping your mind may seem impossible, but getting back to and following the initial gut feeling usually isn't.
20. To Have More Fun
Life is certainly something to be taken seriously, but it's also an adventure that we need to make sure we take the time to enjoy regularly. Make a point of doing more of whatever makes you tick in 2017!