While I do not necessarily believe in New Years Resolutions, I do believe in taking stock at this time of year. It is a nice time to take inventory of where things stand. Reflection is important and can allow for perspective. In order to improve, we must acknowledge our flaws.
Thus I have been doing just that quite a bit over the last few days. I have plenty of private things I would like to work on, but also many things that I believe we all need to work on. In honor of the new year, there are 13 of them listed below:
1. “I’m bored.” It is the most worn out phrase in the English language. I think I have said it before, but it bears repeating. You are the only person who can control yourself being bored. Learn a new hobby such as painting or writing. Start a blog! Go running, call an old friend. There is so much to be done to combat boredom. Get creative!
2. “I never want to drink again.” I, along with many of my peers, have uttered this phrase after a night out with a little too much fun. If you cannot deal with the consequences, then do not carry out the action. It is ok to have a night in with a glass of red wine and your Netflix queue. Then again a fun night out is not all bad, but let us take ownership of the side effects.
3. “No one ever calls me or texts me.” Well when was the last time you gave someone a call or shot a what’s up text. If you never reach out to people, then how do you expect them to know you want to talk. We have endless forms of communication facebook, cell phone, email, gchat, skype, snail mail, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, etc…
4. CALL YOUR MOTHER/FATHER/PARENT/SIBLINGS!!! The most crucial and misunderstood by 20-somethings. Even though you moved out, Mom and Dad still want to hear about your life. They will celebrate little victories and cheer you up on bad days. Siblings also can offer an amazing respite on some of your darkest days. Just listening to them talk about their lives can help keep that connection strong and thriving.
5. Stop hiding who you are from anyone. I am not normal. You are not normal. No one is normal so stop acting like it. If your passion is sports or music or 13th century Arabic literature, it does not matter. We all have cooky, out there sort of passions. Let it shine through and show the world who you are. No one I know is goes clubbing every night of the week, can finish a case of beer by themselves, and always hangs out with beautiful women/handsome men. Stop acting like it. Also, do not expect everyone to like you, but know that those who do will love you.
6. Learn something. Simple, easy, and effective. Maybe goes along with the bored thing, but do not let yourself be complacent with your life. Read a book on something you know nothing about. Explore something you know a lot about even more. Pick up a skill or hobby. There are a ton of resources out there to take advantage of. Jump on them!
7. Stop hanging out with that friend you don’t like. Rather than being bitter about how THAT friend is always putting you down or hating on you, just stop hanging out with them. Often easier said then done, but if you do not like them, do not place yourself in said situation. If they disparage you or what you do, then they are not worth your time.
8. Do not take the path of least resistance. Someone told me over break “Life is like Vegas. Big risk can yield big rewards, little risk yields little rewards.” Grow a pair and if the person you like has been right in front of you say something!!! You will never know if you do not try. Also, worst case scenario you know where you stand and can stop fixating on them if need be. This works in the other direction too, if someone is bugging you or stepping out of line, say hey look that is annoying. Confrontation is not always bad.
9. Say the Serenity Prayer. The fastest way for me to calm down after a disappointment or to focus on the things that I can control is to say this:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Regardless of whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or Taoist. It does not matter, tell yourself something along these lines. Bad things happen, what matters next is how you react to them.
10. “I want to get in better shape.” If I’m bored is the most tired phrase in the English language, then this is the second most. Goddamn it, lace up the running shoes and hit the trail. Get up 5 minutes earlier in the morning and do some push ups and sit ups. Listen if you want to get in shape, as Nike says, JUST DO IT!
11. “Listen, I would love too, but I am just too busy.” The most tired excuse in the book. If you really do not want to help with your friend’s walk to cure blindness in adopted monkeys from Madagascar, the say it. The I am too busy excuse is so lame. We make time for the things that matter to us. If you can catch Honey Boo Boo every week, then I assure you, you are not too busy.
12. STOP WATCHING JUST PLAIN BAD TELEVISION. I have my guilty pleasure TV shows like Law and Order SVU or Tosh.O. I also watched Jersey Shore when it was on, but for the love of everything holy, HONEY BOO BOO SHOULD NOT BE ON TV. I repeat, HONEY BOO BOO SHOULD NOT BE ON TV. There is a difference between a guilty pleasure and watching a little girl be exploited for money by her family. Take a second and check that DVR for too many guilty pleasures. You stop watching it, they will stop making it.
13. Follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. One of the oldest rules in the book. You do not like gossip, then do not gossip. You do not like hypocrites, then do not be a hypocrite. Take stock of your house and then set an example of how you want others to act. You would be surprised how many people follow your lead.
While not an exhaustive list, this is a simple one to help you take some inventory of what the next year will look like in your life.
Wishing you all a safe, happy, and fruitful New Year. Well, until next time, be safe and make good decisions…