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7 Important Things You Have To Start Doing In The Coming Year

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7 Important Things You Have To Start Doing In The Coming Year

It seems only yesterday when Pokemon Go was just released; when the Olympics has just started in Rio, when Leonardo DiCaprio, against all odds, has finally won his first Oscar Award. Yet without us realizing, time has flown by without leaving so much as a hint, and once again, we are left with unfulfilled goals and resolutions, questioning what we could have done better this year.

Nonetheless, crying over spilt milk is but a pointless endeavor. As Philip James Bailey put it beautifully in his poem, “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial.” It is crucial that we understand that we should set out to achieve something in our limited time, or we might as well not do anything at all. If you are still undecided on what you want to achieve in this new year, you might want to take a look at the following ideas!

1. Focus on your family, your friends instead of your phone.

How much time has passed since you peered down to that glimmering, colourful layer of glass? How long has it been since you take a proper look at your father as he slowly hobbles across the garden, instead of walking straight and brisk as he has always done? When is the last time you took your significant other on a date, without replying to those seemingly endless amount of texts?

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Perhaps it is time. Time to put the phone down, give your mother a hand as she prepares dinner, laugh along with your friends and give your kids a hug and your wife a kiss.

2. Leave or set clear boundaries for the toxic people and manipulators around you.

We have probably all been guilt-tripped before, coerced by the dejected tone of lines like this: “Oh sure, go ahead, I’ll just cope with this all by myself. It’s not like I comforted you two years ago for a whole month after your breakup.” We are aware of how these people always seem to have a problem with everything, blaming the world for not giving them what they want. Then they frame it in a way where you are the only person who would see the truth together with them and support each other.

These people are toxic, because they never see past themselves. They devour your attention and care, leaving you with little energy to care and fend for yourselves. Take the initiative and cut them from your life. If they are close to you, then set up clear boundaries to specify what kind of behavior you would tolerate.

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3. Pack for a trip and travel alone.

Staying in a place for too long turns a person stagnant. Our ideas, mindset become compressed into the small box we call “home”. The benefits travelling offer are enormous – but most importantly, to travel is to escape from the familiar, and acquire new eyes and perspectives. It is to see the same things in a different light, and provoke curiosity even upon seeing the most mundane things. Once we have seen different cultures, practices and people, it frees us of the mould we have fitted ourselves into and makes us a better person.

4. Spend time with people who are there for you.

How many ups and downs have you experienced this year? How many times have you been thankful for having a shoulder to lean on, or someone to hold you and tell you “it’s okay”?

Human beings may be social creatures and have higher intelligence than other animals, yet even we do not offer our help and care to everyone. Therefore, cherish the ones who made time for you, took care of you, and treated you with love and make time for them as well. After all, if they supported you at your worst – they deserve you at your best.

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5. Face your negativities and let them go.

From a tender young age, we were taught to suppress our negative emotions – namely anger, envy, fear, sorrow, and so on. We were told that showing these emotions present a side that people dislike.

However, for many of us who watched Inside Out, it might be easier to comprehend that we need a balance of emotions for us to function normally as human beings. One can only be peaceful with oneself when he/she understands the roots of his/her negativities – and allow them to dissipate in the wind.

6. Pay close attention to your goals.

Too many of us enjoy the thrill of writing down new goals but fail to follow up on them one that period of determination has passed. As a result, plans are never achieved, diets never completed, gym time never increased.

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But not all hope is lost! The trick is to make these goals reachable, and ensure you are motivated to complete them every day. By breaking down your goals into small and achievable tasks, setting due dates and rewarding yourself for each completed task, and measuring your overall progress, you are on a one-way highway towards accomplishing your goals!

7. Focus on yourself.

There is nothing more important than living for yourself. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one in you life that’s more important than your own self. Live because you are a miracle for yourself, and for others. Live for your wellbeing, your happiness, and stop comparing your life with others.

A new year has come. But it does not have to be the same as the last one – get up, get out, and get moving!

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More by this author

Eamon Suen

Student, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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