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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.

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Amy Johnson

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

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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