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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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                      Published on April 7, 2021

                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                      Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

                      While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

                      1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

                      Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

                      If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

                      In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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                      2. They Make Everything Transactional

                      Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

                      For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

                      Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

                      A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

                      Some statements to be wary of include:

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                      • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
                      • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
                      • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
                      • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

                      3. They Criticize Everything

                      One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

                      However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

                      Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

                      • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
                      • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
                      • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
                      • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

                      4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

                      We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

                      For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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                      This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

                      5. They Socially Isolate You

                      Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

                      Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

                      This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

                      In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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                      6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

                      It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

                      Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

                      Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

                      • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
                      • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
                      • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
                      • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

                      Final Thoughts

                      It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

                      More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

                      Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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