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5 Goals You Should Commit to 10X Your Life in 2016

5 Goals You Should Commit to 10X Your Life in 2016

The new year is almost upon us.

This means a fresh start, new goals, and new opportunities ahead. Every year we revert back to setting the same old, boring goals that we give up on before February. The main reason is that these goals aren’t exciting enough.

We need to set goals that will have a 10x impact in our lives, which gets us energized just thinking about the effect it can have on us.

In 2016, let’s take it up a notch and commit to goals that will 10x your life.

Here are 5 to get you started.

1. Travel Somewhere That Makes You Uncomfortable

Traveling the world itself can expand your mind, but traveling somewhere that makes you uncomfortable can change your life.

Where in the world can you go that you’ve never been before?

When I traveled to South America this year, I knew zero Spanish, zero people, and zero idea on how I was going to get around. But that experience fundamentally shifted the way I looked at the world. From witnessing some of the poorest people on the planet to building a deep relationship with people I would never have had the opportunity to connect with, these are experiences that will transform the way I make decisions for the rest of my life.

Eiffel tower reflection in camera lenses
    Eiffel tower reflection in camera lenses

    It’s part of the reason why we created the 1% program at Rype, where we donate 1% of what we make and 1% of our time to organizations like Pencils of Promise, who are building hundreds of schools in developing nations for children in need.

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    The surprising realization of all this is that we often underestimate our capabilities and what we have the potential to overcome, so as scary as it may be to some of us to travel alone to a place like Colombia or Peru, it’s not nearly as bad as we think.

    2. Learn A New Instrument

    Learning a new instrument like guitar can not only help de-stress you, but it’s a great way to improve your mental capabilities as well.

    With a little bit of dedication and persistency, there are dozens amazing place to learn an instrument at the comfort of your home, such as browsing around Youtube Music. Or you could find a local teacher in your city, which could be a more intimate learning experience when it comes to music.

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      If you’re not sure which instrument you should learn, check out this article.

      3. Learn A New Language

      Of course, we have to advocate learning a new language. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of learning a new language, what are the most effective ways to learn, and where to learn a new language, so we won’t repeat them here.

      However, there’s no better time to start than the beginning of the new year.

      The first step is discovering which language you should learn (if you haven’t already). While we don’t want to set up any limitations, we want you to learn a new language for the right reason, because a weak one will make it easy to quit early on.

      Here are some weak reasons to learn a new language:

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      a. Most number of speakers

      When you pick a language for the sake of being able to speak to as many people in the world, this is not a good reason. The reason is, with nearly every language, you’re going to be able to find enough speakers wherever you go.

      Let’s say you want to learn Mandarin with over 1 billion speakers around the world, there’s no real benefit of learning Mandarin because of this reason since you will never engage in a personal conversation with 1 billion people in your lifetime.

      b. Best for your CV/Resume

      Most jobs won’t require you to know another language, so unless you’re planning to join a company specifically for the sake of using a target language, then it’s likely not going to make a big difference.

      Yes, it is better to learn Spanish, German, or Mandarin if you have the desire to eventually do business internationally, but is one better than the other? Not really.

      c. The one you learned in elementary or high school

      You may have some knowledge embedded in your memory from your younger days, but this shouldn’t limit you from making the decision to learn another language. Let’s say you learned French in school.

      It doesn’t mean that re-learning this language will be much easier than to learn Spanish or Italian.

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        Learn what you plan to use

        As Benny Lewis, from Fluentin3months says, “Spending all your time with books or courses may help a little, but unless you are willing to make mistakes in front of people you won’t get far on improving your spoken abilities.”

        This means that your plan to use the language shouldn’t be too far away. We personally recommend anything below 4-6 months.

        Do you have a family member that speaks Spanish? Or are you going to be travelling to France this summer in a few months?

        Unless you use it, you’re certain to lose it!

        We recommend checking out our free mini-course on how to learn a new language in 90 days.

        4. Get Your Health In Order

        Your health is your wealth. Taking care of your health will not only improve your physical body, but your mental agility as well.

        Like any new habit, we recommend starting small and finding something to keep you accountable.

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        A few examples for fitness could be enrolling into a gym membership, finding a trainer, or joining a kickboxing class. This way there’s something you’ve committed to and you’re much more likely to stick with it.

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          As for nutrition, you could make the commitment to only drink 1 cup of coffee per day or cutting caffeine completely. Or as simple as the decision to wake up earlier to eat a healthy breakfast each morning. You’ll be surprised how many people miss this step!

          5. Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones

          There’s nothing that can replace the time we have with our loved ones, whether that’s your children, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, or your close friends. Yes, we can decide to squeeze in more hours of work on the weekends, but is it worth it?

          From history the biggest regret that people have before they die is not that they could have been more productive in their careers, but that they didn’t get to spend enough time with the people they love. This applies whether you’re 17 years old or 50 years old reading this.

          We hope that 2016 is a year full of growth, learning, and love.

          Share Your Thoughts

          What is a goal you have for 2016?
          Do you agree or disagree with some of the goals we suggested?

          More by this author

          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

          When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year What’s the Easiest Language to Learn for English Speakers?

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          1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2021

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

          Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

          Posture

          First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

          • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
          • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
          • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
          • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

          All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

          Facial Expressions

          Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

          • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
          • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
          • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

          If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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          1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

          A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

          The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

          This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

          2. Relax Your Face

          New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

          The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

          To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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          3. Improve Your Eye Contact

          Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

          The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

          To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

          3. Smile More

          There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

          Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

          4. Hand Gestures

          Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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          It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

          5. Enhance Your Handshake

          In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

          “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

          It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

          6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

          As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

          Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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          Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

          Final Takeaways

          Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

          If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

          More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

          Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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