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30 New Year’s Resolutions to Rock Your 2015

30 New Year’s Resolutions to Rock Your 2015

New Year’s resolutions: many of us make them each January, and then by March they are long forgotten. Some of the most common broken resolutions are to lose weight, quit smoking, get out of debt, volunteer, and be less stressed. In fact, around 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to a University of Scranton survey published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, and yet only 8% will accomplish them.

One of the reasons we fail to follow through with our resolutions is because we set lofty goals that are nearly impossible to reach. Many of us haven’t yet become the type of person that is capable of achieving our biggest goals.

Fret not– there is hope! This year, let’s work on the tangible actions that will get us closer to successfully achieving our New Year’s resolutions once and for all!

Here’s a list of 30 action-packed resolutions we can start today to transform us each into that person who is capable of making their dreams come true:

1. Make a new friend a month

new year resolution friendship

    Friends increase our well-being, no matter what our personality type. We can make it a point to get to know a co-worker’s family, a couple from your church, a friend’s friend, or join a meet-up group for a hobby that we’re interested in. Social connection with others is one of the most important aspects of being human.

    2. Send a letter or card each week to a loved one

    Most people only communicate through text messages, e-mail and social media these days. Sometimes people call each other, but nothing is as rare as receiving a letter in the regular mail. It’s nice to let our loved ones really know that we took the time – and effort – to think about them.

    3. Do something nice for others every day

    Be the person that makes others feel special. It can be something small like giving a compliment, or something great like donating blood. By knowing we are making a difference, we will also indirectly increase our own happiness and sense of achievement.

    4. Get rid of “frenemies”

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    new year resolution frenemies

      Life is too short to continue to hold on to people who secretly despise us, and everything that we do. Let’s go ahead and drop those people that constantly pick fights with us. It’s not worth the stress and drama.

      5. Strengthen relationships with family members

      We might have a great family or a really messed up one – either way, they’re our family. We ought to do what we can to make them a bigger part of our lives – even if it just means a bi-weekly phone call to our sister.

      6. Be more forgiving

      When we forgive, we let go of resentment, anger, and any other bad feelings that may be holding us back from being happy. Forgiveness is a great gift to ourselves.

      7. Let go of the need to be right

      Practicing humility is a great way to change our need to prove others wrong. We can all learn something from opening our minds and genuinely listening to what others may have to offer. It does not mean that we have to accept their ideas and beliefs. When we are confident in our own choices, we don’t have to prove anything.

      8. Be more aware of the negative sh*t we post on social media

      new year resolution facebook

        Even though we all have them, our negative judgments and pet peeves shared on social media make us look like horrible people. Let’s stop and think before we post something offensive or mean-spirited from now on.

        9. Stop being so shallow

        Appearances are almost always deceiving. When we judge a person by what they look like, we are depriving ourselves of getting to know a lot of great people.

        10. Free yourself from blaming anyone for anything

        We need to be responsible for our own lives. Allowing ourselves to play the role of a victim is not empowering. Circumstances are not always favorable, but we always have a choice to change things or remain the same.

        11. Try a new food each week

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        new year resolution food

          Instead of cutting foods out of our diet in the hopes of losing weight, we can add new, interesting foods instead. Adding variety will ultimately limit how much bad foods we eat on a regular basis. Check out rutabagas, plantains, and green garbanzo beans, to name just a few.

          12. Save just a little more

          It’s a scary fact that most Americans don’t have a retirement fund or a substantial amount of money in their savings accounts. A small step can be made to remedy this problem – make automatic investments. When we are paid each pay period, let’s make sure that a portion of our pay is deposited into a savings account and/or retirement fund. When we receive a pay increase or bonus, we can also put that money into your savings. It’s easier to part with the money when it’s automatically taken out and we don’t have to remember or worry about it.

          13. Change your retail therapy habit

          Shopping is difficult to give up for many of us. Instead, we ought to look at where we are spending the most money and limit our shopping trips. When purchasing, go for quality over price. A good quality item lasts longer and will not need to be replaced as frequently. Other ideas that are great include using coupons or discount codes and go thrift and consignment shopping.

          14. Shop locally, eat locally and acknowledge where your money is going

          new year resolution local

            We all vote with our wallet. Because consumers control the economy, it’s important to support businesses in our neighborhoods and surround areas. We can visit our local food co-op for groceries instead of Wal-Mart and shop at boutiques and consignment stores rather than big retail chains.

            15. Start a new routine

            We typically do the same thing every day. Boring! What can you add to your routine to make it new and interesting? It doesn’t have to be something drastic. It can be something as simple as changing the route we drive to work each day or reading five pages of a book each morning after we wake up.

            16. Avoid rabbit holes

            If we wish to have a more productive 2015, we can start by putting away our cellphones and closing the internet browser on our work computers. Most text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and social media can wait. This discipline will get us focused on our important tasks and limit tendency towards procrastination.

            17.Turn off the smartphone

            new year resolution cellphone

              It’s a wise idea to turn off our phones while we are sleeping, while at important meetings, while spending quality time with someone, or when trying to focus on being productive. Our phones are a bigger distraction than we will ever admit to. While we’re play on our phones, life is passing us by.

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              18. Cross something off the bucket list

              If we can do just one new thing each year of our lives from this year until the day we die, we will have lived an extremely fulfilled life. Let’s prepare to climb that mountain to the summit, go skydiving, scuba dive with tropical fish, or mentor an at-risk kid.

              19. Take selfies in interesting places

              It doesn’t have to be a photo in a foreign land to be interesting. Exploring our own city is good enough. This is our chance to get creative. We can post them on Instagram, or just keep them for our own collections.

              20. Learn something new

              new year resolution learn

                If we aren’t already busy learning in school, we could take a continuing education class, join a hobby group, read a college text book, or join the creativelive.com community. Let’s be life-long learners!

                21. Find freedom from the fear of the unknown

                The foggy path will reveal itself one small step at a time. But we have to find the courage to take the first step. Relinquish control. Rest assured that everything always turns out okay in the end.

                22. Quit your job (if you hate it)

                If what we do for a living does not create happiness or give our life a sense of purpose, we can start working on updating our resumes. We can take a risk and apply for a job that sounds really awesome…even if we don’t think there is any way that we could get it the job.

                23. Start journaling

                We all have thoughts, feelings, and things that make us really happy – but so many of us make the mistake of sharing it all on Facebook. The more appropriate thing to do would be to start a journal. It’s private, it’s easy to re-read and reflect, and it doesn’t offer bad, unsolicited advice for our problems.

                24. Cry

                new year resolution cry

                  There is nothing more healing to our soul than letting our emotions out to play once in a while. Strength and growth comes from allowing this to take place. Weakness is locking feelings away.

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                  25. Address depression or mental illness

                  If we’ve been feeling ‘off’ for awhile and every day feels like a struggle, we shouldn’t ignore it. It may be a warning sign. Reach out for help – it’s okay.

                  26. Stop beating yourself up for skipping on exercise

                  It really doesn’t get us anywhere by crippling our self-worth with negative talk for skipping workouts. The more critical we are of ourselves for failing to exercise, the less likely we will be to start working out again. When we do finish a workout, let’s focus on how great it made us feel and praise ourselves instead.

                  27. Trust that struggles and obstacles are part of a plan

                  new year resolution struggle

                    Life isn’t easy – and for good reason. The challenges we have to overcome in life assist us in personal growth. Each experience we have to go through shapes us into a stronger, more resilient human being. Instead of resisting and trying to control the order of life, let’s trust that what we’re going through is part of a bigger plan.

                    28. Speak kindly to yourself

                    Can we try to be our own best friends each day? Let’s give ourselves empowering compliments. The next time we think a negative thought about ourselves, let’s take a moment to think about what our friends would say about us. When we learn to treat and speak to ourselves more kindly, we become better partners too!

                    29. Get to really know yourself

                    What qualities do we show when we are being the best version of ourselves? What about the worst? What brings out the best and worst in us? What can we do to limit situations that bring out not-so-great qualities? We can even take a few personality tests online and see how our character traits are best used for success.

                    30. Realize that you have something the world needs

                    new year resolution awesome

                      There is a gift inside each of us that needs to be shared. Focus on unwrapping the layers within yourself so that you can present it to the world.

                      Featured photo credit: Christina on the top of the world!/David De Clercq via world-adventurer.com

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                      Naomi Teeter

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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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