Often, New Year’s resolutions are focused on getting rid of bad habits, such as quitting smoking, or on making changes in our day-to-day routines, like working out regularly. They often require a significant lifestyle change, which isn’t always easy to do, or to follow through on. This year, consider giving up things that will make your life easier, less stressful and much happier. Get ready to get rid of all those things that just hold you back in life and make life difficult.
- Give up always having to be right. Think about it. Are you willing to risk a friendship, business relationship or even your relationship with your partner, just to be right? Always having to be right takes a tremendous amount of energy, adds to your stress level, and negatively impacts on your relationships. Plus, you can cause a great deal of pain and stress for people around you. Ask yourself this. What will people remember from this conversation in a month from now? Will they remember that you were right, or will they remember how you made them feel? Author Wayne Dyer suggest you ask yourself, “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”
- Give up on needing to always be in for control. Being in control takes a tremendous amount of energy and adds significant stress to your life. Consider letting go in some situations – start with the less significant interactions you have, such as with people you’ll probably never see again (clerks, service people, etc.). Then try co-workers and associates. It’s hardest to do this with those you’re closest to, so practise on others first. Enjoy how much less stressful life becomes when you do this. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
- Give up blaming – both yourself and others. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Take responsibility for what you do have control over. Think about what blessings you do have in your life and focus on the positive, instead of the negative. And stop, or reduce, the amount of time you spend with other people who are like this. Blaming is contagious.
- Give up on negative self-talk. What does that little voice in your head say? Whose voice is it? A school teacher you belittled you? A negative parent? A critical spouse? The only thing that you really have control in in life, is your life. Take control of your thoughts. Build happy, positive thoughts and comments from supportive people to start playing in your head when you hear those negative voices. Orchestrate your own cheerleading section of the “Hallelujah” chorus and focus on the good things in your life. “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
- Give up putting limits on yourself or making excuses. This is your life, not anyone else’s. Only you can live it. Don’t live it to other people’s expectations. Maybe if you’re over 6’, you can’t be an astronaut, but you can learn about the solar system. You can still reach for the stars. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you can accomplish. We all know stories about people who overcame adversity or who made significant career changes late in their lives. Winston Churchill didn’t get elected to British Parliament until he was 62. Roget created the Thesaurus at 73. It’s never too late. “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
- Give up complaining. The only person responsible for your happiness is you. It’s not life and life’s circumstances that make you happy or unhappy; it’s how you choose to look at your situation. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
- Give up criticising and labelling others. Every one of us has gifts, and challenges. When we criticize others, we actually leave ourselves open to being criticized. Instead, try thinking about walking in the other person’s shoes. It’s much kinder, and simpler, to be compassionate than critical. Labelling people and things reduces them to less than they really are or can be. And we lose the opportunity to know someone better or enjoy a new experience. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
- Give up trying to impress people. People like people who are genuine. Trying to be something you’re not is a lot of hard work. It’s also an effective technique to keep people from getting close to the real you. If you’re trying to impress others, think about why you’re doing it, and ask yourself if there isn’t a better technique to get the same result.
- Give up resisting change. Change is inevitable. No two days are the same. No two moments are the same. Without change, we cannot grow, we cannot grow old, and our lives cannot get better. Embrace change that has positive consequences in your life – new friends, new opportunities, new blessings. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
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