At the beginning of the year, we tend to focus on what we can do to improve ourselves. (Although, in my opinion, we should be doing this year-round, every day, in and out). Here are some great ways to make yourself better for 2018 and on:
- Stop pointing the finger
Instead of saying “well it’s not my fault, it’s __________‘s fault,” start taking responsibility for your actions. Realize that everyone has vices and faults, but we cannot change other people. We can change ourselves, though. Focus on making yourself better by acknowledging your faults and working to change them. This won’t go unnoticed. Others around you will take note and they just might start doing the same.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. -Paulo Coelho
2. Keep an open mind
This may shock you, but you are not always right. We can learn A LOT from other people and new experiences. Keep an open mind about them. If you go into a situation close-minded, you will not gain anything from that person/experience.
3. Acknowledge your feelings
If you don’t acknowledge your feelings, you don’t know what you need to work on. Ignoring your feelings will only cause more harm to yourself, it just sweeps the issue under the rug. Realize when you start to feel lonely, sad, frustrated, angry, etc. Internalize it. Honor it. Address why you’re feeling that way (did someone say something that hurt your feelings? Are you stressed from school/work? Are you nervous about an upcoming event?). Take a deep breath. Then release it.
Feelings are sometimes difficult to discover, and often even more difficult to acknowledge. Yet hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth. -Neale Donald Walsch
4. Don’t act on your negative feelings
While it’s important to acknowledge your feelings, it is equally important to not act on your negative feelings. Feelings and emotions sway from moment to moment, day to day, year to year. I’m sure you’ve had a time in your life when you’ve said something to someone out anger, then regretted it later. What you said was you acting on your feeling of anger. Take some time for your feelings to subside before you say/do something you’ll regret. Take a walk. Life might be a roller coaster, but your actions don’t have to be.
Feel the feeling, but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it. -Crystal Andrus
5. Find something you’re passionate about & run with it
Whether it be traveling, supporting the homeless, playing sports, advocating healthcare in third world countries, getting more involved with your church, or donating to an organization you love, DO IT! Stop making excuses for yourself and start doing more of what stirs your soul. More than likely, it’s a calling. And you excel best at what you love the most because you work hard on things you love. Not to mention you’ll gain valuable experiences and lessons!
6. Understand how powerful your thoughts are
I cannot stress this one enough (imagine me saying that while simultaneously clapping once with each word). There is a famous saying that goes “watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” What it boils down to is this: your thoughts become your destiny/future. Our minds are AMAZING tools, we can use them to hurt us or help us. Feed it with positivity, even if you might not fully believe what you’re telling yourself. Your thoughts go a LONG way. Don’t forget that.
Thoughts have power; thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking. -Susan Taylor