It’s the time of year for reflection and goal-setting. And while New Year’s resolutions can be perceived with some cynicism, I think it’s important to use this time of year to think about how you want to change your life. For better or for worse, with the new year comes a sense of closure and the feeling that you can get a fresh new start.
That’s important. Life can be monotonous and mundane and it’s easy to just go by, going through the motions. And when you’re passing through those motions, it can be difficult to take out the bad and bring the good into your life. And in that spirit, here are three things to get rid of in 2015 and three things to bring into your life.
Get Rid Of:
1. Bad Relationships
When we think of relationships, we automatically go into “romantic” zone. But I don’t just mean bad romantic relationships, I mean all bad relationships. Our parents were right about a lot of things but especially this: You are the company you keep. If someone brings you nothing but stress, negativity and unhappiness, why would you keep them around? Remember that relationships are a two-way street, so it’s worth it to reflect upon your own actions too and how you may have been contributing to a bad situation.
1. Healthy Relationships
Probably because of work, family, and community obligations, it seems to get harder to make friends as we get older. We have so many means of communication and technological devices to help us be social, and yet it seems our meeting up with people are often superficial and fleeting. But we should make the effort everywhere we are, to connect with people. Will everyone we talk to fall in love with us and/or want to be our friend? No. But it only takes a second to say “hello” to build a relationship, any relationship, that can last a lifetime. And indeed remember that if you’re living a positive, healthy life you’ll attract those who do too.
Get Rid Of:
This past weekend my mentor had a holiday gathering at her house where she also invited people to “shop in her closet.” She was getting rid of a ton of clothes because she didn’t need them. Apart from obviously benefiting from her loss, it inspired me to start clearing out “stuff” that I don’t need. From clothes to shoes to documents and give them away or get rid of them. The truth is many of us need less than what we have. And if someone else can benefit it from what we used to own, that’s even better. Ultimately, you’ll be surprised by how mentally freeing it is to de-clutter your surroundings.
2. Organization and Intention
Even the best of us are not as organized as we ought to be. And take it from someone who is very type B and is more last-minute than any person on earth should be. While I meet many a deadline, it is one of the most exhausting but unnecessary experiences to always be living on a prayer and right on the edge. With even the most minor planning, and making the effort to intentionally organize one’s self in little things, it can make a world of world of difference. Whether it’s forcing yourself to respond to emails within an hour of seeing them or packing your gym bag the night before (rather than the morning of), these little changes will improve your life. Try it.
Get Rid Of:
Somewhere along the way, being a “perfectionist” became a character trait that everyone and their mother aspired to have. But as the quotes go, “Perfection is the enemy of progress” or “Perfection is the enemy of the good” depend on who you ask. The thing about striving for perfection is that it is ultimately unattainable. Moreover, this need to showcase ourselves as always having everything together causes us to feel in competition with everyone else. But life is not that kind of race, and if we let go of the need to be perfect, we might find that “the good” is more than enough.
Progress is something each of us to strive for, and in all the areas of our lives. The truth is how we approach little things is how we’ll more than likely, approach important things. So maybe try to make a little progress in every aspect of your life to see the sum-total benefit.
For example, if your health needs to improve, make the effort to ensure that at least one meal you eat everyday consists mostly of vegetables, maybe add one 45-minute workout to your week, maybe walk to public transportation. Or if your goal is to read more books, start with reading short books then notice how they get longer and longer. When we bring in progress and not perfection, our lives become more manageable, more fulfilling, and ultimately more joyful.
Happy New Year and here’s the keeping the goals you set for yourself!