Happy Thursday friends! Can you believe the end of the holiday season is fast approaching already? It might be the end of an insane year, but 2018 is calling for us with lots of promising beginnings and surprises, and with that comes resolutions which we make for ourselves that we promise to stick to. Whether or not we actually do is obviously up to us, and while I don’t know what resolutions you’ve made for yourself (if any), I do have five that I suggest you add to your list. That sounds like a lot, but I promise they will flawlessly weave into those which you’ve already proposed for yourself. Don’t block your blessings and keep reading!
1) The Perfect Moment is Now
This is one of the most counter-intuitive (but necessary) new year’s resolution, and that is to stop waiting for a new year to get your act together. It’s tempting to wait for a “fresh start” to actually work on making change happen; I know because I’m guilty of falling for this this myself. There is no difference however between this very moment and a Monday, except for the fact that if you choose to start this very moment you’ll reach your goal sooner. I read an analogy years ago that has stuck with me since then: if you drop your phone and the screen cracks, are you going to keep dropping it just because it’s already damaged? The second and third crack are just as harmful and significant as the first. The same goes for everything, whether that is stopping the habit of procrastination, dieting, or starting a new fitness plan: why keep waiting for a future that is not certain when we have the moment that is now?
2) Stop Believing Instagram
You know just as well as I do that a majority of the content shared on social media is idealized, and yet it’s a concept that is rarely embraced or taken into account. Every time we log on our social media platforms we are instantly flooded with an infinite stream of envy-worthy snapshots, and we can’t help but compare our own lives to a single picture-perfect moment. Just as we feel wonderstruck watching through the Snapchat stories of our friends traveling abroad or enjoying meals you probably wouldn’t even know how to pronounce, these people are just as fascinated by our own successes. The truth is that we only share what we think looks good and choose not to announce the rest, but this is not something we are always aware of every time we make these decisions. Rejection, failure, fights, bad decisions- these and more are components that make up the backstory to the pictures we double tap on, but you’d never guess.
Swearing off social media forever does not have to be answer to this issue though, and neither does labeling everything you see on Instagram as fake. It is just a matter of being conscious of the fact that this person made the decision to share a single moment that is not characteristic of their whole life. While you are allowed to feel inspired and amazed, do not compare yourself to someone else based on their social media because besides the fact that you are two completely different people living different situations under different circumstances, this person is not displaying their vulnerable moments for the world to see.
3) Know Your Work Ethic
Have you heard about visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning? There’s a theory that students in school have different methods of learning, and one method does not work the same for all. In fact, students can respond best to certain methods of teaching based on what type of learner they are by making use of this knowledge to their advantage. Where am I going with this? Well, this year you should make the attempt to learn how you work best to maximize your own productivity and boost your work ethic, whether it be in the classroom, the workplace, or at home.
Start by taking notice of your patterns of behavior when it comes to your work, for example whether you work better in the mornings or at night, or if writing things down makes you more inclined to successfully meeting deadlines. When you become aware of these patterns shift your schedule accordingly where you can– you may not realistically be able to cater to every point of gain, but by making tiny changes here and there you are doing yourself a favor by knowing how you work and catering to that. If you’re a morning person you may want to adjust your sleeping schedule so that you can go to sleep earlier to wake up earlier, or vice versa if you are not. You don’t just have to target your schedule, either. If you find that you’re very forgetful when under pressure you probably should invest in sticky notes, or download an app that sets off reminders (except these will only work if YOU take the initiative to set aside time to dedicate to this!). I guess this is all a very detailed way of saying that you don’t have to work harder, you just have to work smarter.
4) Don’t Rely on Shortcuts
We live in an age of accessible information where you can find or learn how to do practically anything online and this is an amazing opportunity to take advantage of, however this can be harmful for developing the skill of patience. A Google search will show you billions of results in less than a second and you only need to see one or two of those results to find what you need, but sometimes this is only the first step. Sure, you can search how to clean out your contacts list, but Google won’t do that for you, and if you’re like me it will probably take you about an hour to actually go through all the names and purge those you don’t really have any desire to keep. Things take time, and by things I mean most of the items on your resolutions list.
You won’t be able to run a 5K in a week if you’ve never ran before, you won’t start living a minimalist lifestyle overnight, and you definitely will not become a succesful entrepreneur by only reading two articles and a WikiHow. Whatever goals you have for yourself are not quick destinations- they are processes that you must continuously work on and will require a whole lot of self discipline, dedication, and sacrifices. Sometimes there will be shortcuts (like reading up on people’s own experiences doing what you’re wanting to do, or asking friends for help), but be prepared to spend a lot of time doing the dirty work yourself.
5) Look in the Mirror
I mentioned purging your contacts list earlier, and while “detoxifying” your circle of close friends and acquaintances is always a good idea make sure you’re looking at yourself and how your actions affect those around you. If you want to get rid of toxic people in your life make sure that you yourself are not a source of toxicity for someone else. Are you taking a little more than you’re giving? Do you only pop into people’s lives when you need something from them? Take a moment to reflect what your own role is in the lives of those around you, and then ask yourself if you’re someone you yourself would want to keep around.