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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 December 2, 2018

                      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                      When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

                      You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

                      1. Connecting them with each other

                      Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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                      It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

                      2. Connect with their emotions

                      Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

                      For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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                      3. Keep going back to the beginning

                      Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

                      On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

                      4. Link to your audience’s motivation

                      After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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                      Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

                      5. Entertain them

                      While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

                      Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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                      6. Appeal to loyalty

                      Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

                      In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

                      7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

                      Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

                      Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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