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30 Things To Stop Doing (And What To Do Instead) In The New Year

30 Things To Stop Doing (And What To Do Instead) In The New Year

Do you want to have a happier New Year? Most people start the new year with high hopes that they will have a successful, productive and happy year, but they are unsure how to achieve them. It is actually very easy – simply swap out your negative habits for more positive ones.

Check out 30 things you should stop doing (and what you should be doing instead) this new year.

1. Stop comparing yourself to other people, especially on social media. Instead focus on your own accomplishments – and remember that social media is heavily edited.

2. Stop talking about travelling or going on holiday. Instead start to save so that you can go on the trip before the year is over.

3. Stop buying expensive coffees every day. Instead buy a thermos and start to carry your own coffee with you to save money.

4. Stop complaining that you don’t meet enough people. Instead actively look for new friends by joining clubs or inviting co-workers out.

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5. Stop putting off things that you want to try, like yoga or martial arts. Instead book your first class.

6. Stop regularly binge-watching television. Instead commit to one night where you don’t turn the TV on – try reading or cooking instead.

7. Stop over-scheduling yourself. Instead, realize it is totally fine to turn down plans without feeling guilty – you can’t please everyone, but you can please yourself!

8. Stop filling all of your free time with social media. Instead look for hobbies that you think you would actually enjoy. There are lots of awesome hobbies out there, from coloring to cooking to jet-skiing.

9. Stop listening to the same kind of music. Instead broaden your musical horizons; listen to Mozart if you love pop music, or try out the top 40 if you only listen to metal. You never know what you will end up liking!

10. Stop ignoring people in your life because you are busy. Instead speak to your parents every week, and always reply to your friend’s messages.

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11. Stop feeling guilty about wanting to treat yourself. Instead, enjoy the treat – you deserve it!

12. Stop complaining about the news and politics. Instead get involved; call your local representative about important issues, attend council meetings and protest if you are unhappy.

13. Stop making excuses for being unfit. Instead do 10 minutes of exercise every day in your home.

14. Stop spending too much money on takeout food. Instead buy a cookbook and learn to cook all of your favorite meals – then freeze the leftovers for a night when you are feeling lazy!

15. Stop not accepting responsibility for your mistakes. Instead hold yourself accountable for everything you do – including the good things.

16. Stop talking about your dream job. Instead write down a 10 year plan that ends in you having your dream job.

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17. Stop not focusing on your mental health. Instead think about the things that bother you and upset you, and consider speaking to someone about your feelings.

18. Stop using social media as the only way to contact your long distance friends. Instead pick up the phone and ring one of your friends for a long chat once a week.

19. Stop buying cheap clothes that you only wear once. Instead start to shop less, but buy better quality pieces of clothing that will last far longer.

20. Stop judging other people (especially on social media). Instead throw out the negativity and focus on your own goals and achievements.

21. Stop spending money every time you see your friends. Instead of always meeting at a café or a bar, start to meet at home for movie nights.

22. Stop drinking the same old drink. Try new drinks whenever you go out until you find your ultimate favorite drink!

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23. Stop washing your hair every day. Instead give it a break and try to only wash your hair once or twice a week – your hair will thank you!

24. Stop putting off washing your dishes. Instead try to wash everything within 24 hours of using it – especially if you live with other people!

25. Stop being ungrateful in your relationship. Praise your partner every day and remind yourself of the awesome things that they do for you.

26. Stop being proud of your flaws. Instead of deciding that you will always be short-tempered, work on becoming more calm.

27. Stop using alcohol as a social buffer. Instead try not to drink on the next night out with your friends so you feel more confident sober.

28. Stop eating sugary and salty snacks every day. Instead make them a once a week treat.

29. Stop going on social media at work. Instead try to stop using social media completely at work – you may discover you appreciate the break!

30. Stop obsessing over bad photos of you. Instead learn to love any picture of yourself where you are happy.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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