At one time or another, we have all made resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, manage our finances better, or to join a gym. Are you still sticking with them? These are all great goals and can pay off if we do. But, many times, if (or when) we break them, we feel like we’ve failed, and it becomes easy to abandon them altogether. Below is a list of 10 New Year’s resolutions that everyone should consider making in 2016. Rather than a list of do’s and don’ts, it is more of a list of small habits that can make a difference in our lives — even when we’re not 100% successful in sticking to them.
Spend More Time in Conversations that Matter
Too often, days at a time can go by with the conversations we have with our friends, family members and co-workers going no deeper than surfacy chit-chat. Though there’s nothing wrong with joking around, reliving the latest episode of American Idol, or discussing the outcome of the big game, if we’re not intentional about regularly engaging in deeper conversations—that challenge us intellectually, spiritually and socially—too often, those types of talks can become increasingly rare.
Complain Less…Do More
We’re all guilty of it from time to time: We see something broken—in culture, in our neighborhood, the government, in our own personal relationships—and our first instinct is to vent about it instead of thinking of ways we can help change it. Complaining about something can offer momentary relief from frustrations, but working on solutions to the problems in our world can actually fix the things that are broken.
Spend Less Time Worrying
Any time spent worrying is time wasted. It’s also counterproductive. If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?
Listen to Music Every Week
When is the last time you actually listened to music? When we were younger, music was our social media. Now, we are bombarded with 200 channels on our televisions, binge-watching of series on Netflix, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and a host of other forms of media, all vying for our time. The good side of this is that it’s now easier than ever to find and listen to new and different music. Next year, consider making some time to listen to music and to check out new artists making music.
Cut Others Some Slack
In today’s era of social media, where everyone has not only an opinion, but a platform to broadcast it, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of getting angry at our friends over things they say that we don’t agree with. Unfortunately, many times we allow the mindset of taking offense at these things to creep into our real-world relationships. In 2016, commit to being offended less and reserve your anger for issues that really matter.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
We’ve all been driven to try to accomplish things but ended up falling short. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all failed. Next year, when you mess up, drop the ball or let people you care about down, do what you can to make it right, but be quick to move on and show yourself the same grace you extend to others.
No matter how much time you currently spend reading, there is even more potentially life-changing wisdom in the pages written by some of the world’s greatest minds. All you have to do is take the time to read it. In the coming year, set a goal of reading one book per month, and go from there.
Challenge Your Own Presuppositions More Often
Just take a look at recent news headlines, ongoing current events and debates in social media, and it’s clear to see that we live in polarizing times. Though being able to take a stand for what you believe is an admirable trait, so is listening to the other side and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Even if we don’t end up changing our position on an issue, questioning our own long-held presuppositions doesn’t just serve to challenge our beliefs—it can actually strengthen them.
Spend Less Time on Your Phone
When you reflect back on 2016 this time next year, you probably won’t remember your new Candy Crush high score, that listicle of things you didn’t know about the cast of The Brady Bunch, or that there were 215 other uses for Coca Cola. Even if you’re not a full-fledged app addict, in the era of the iPhone, we can all use a little less time looking at screens, and more time enjoying the people and places around us. In fact, just recently, there was a person that (literally) walked off the side of a cliff to their death because they were more focused on their phone than where they were going. How does this happen?!
Share More Meals with People You Care About
We’re all busy. And, the reality is, a lot of times it’s just more convenient to go to the drive-thru, eat lunch at your desk or use dinnertime to catch up on some Netflix. There’s nothing wrong with doing this every once in a while, but when eating on the run becomes a lifestyle, you end up depriving yourself—and others in your life—of moments that could be used to build deeper relationships.
Most importantly, use these suggestions to slow down a bit in 2016 and focus on what’s truly important in your life. You don’t want to look up from your phone and wonder where everybody is…
Thanks to Jesse Carey and RelevantMagazine.com for most of this great info!