As the new year sets in and we attempt to start our lives in new ways, there are various things we look to incorporate into our lifestyles. At the same time, we need to consciously eliminate certain elements from our personality which have a tendency to hold us back and prevent us from achieving our goals. Here’s a look at 10 things to give up in the new year for a fresh start:
We all know that procrastination solves nothing, but that has hardly stopped us from procrastinating at some point or the other. However, in the new year it’s time to make new beginnings and one of the things to definitely give up is procrastination. The uncontrollable urge to postpone tasks to a later time and instead do things which aren’t important or the exact need of the hour is a problem a majority of us face. Whether it is work, or personal relationships and decisions, start acting now and do not put off things for later. If you postpone tasks it can seriously harm your productivity with the danger that you will try and do multiple tasks at once to finish them off quickly. Quality of work is easily affected by the habit of procrastination, similarly problems are only magnified if you postpone solving them. To live a happier, more stress free life in the new year, focus on curbing procrastination to the best of your ability.
Avoidance or denial in the form of excuses are damaging, and a conscious appraisal of the number of times we use an excuse in order to avoid dealing with an ugly situation or to escape from unwanted interaction, yields frightening results. Instead of using excuses, find concrete reasons and learn to face the truth in 2013. Focus on being true to yourself above all else and face problems instead of running away from them. An excuse can only buy you limited amount of time, at a great cost – that of guilt and fear. We use excuses to stay away from people because we do not like them or because interacting with them is detrimental to us. Don’t resort to making excuses – say it like it is. When it comes to achievement and failure, instead of resorting to excuses in order to feel good about a failure or to blame another person for your inability to succeed, accept that you might have gone wrong somewhere and work towards improvement. Excuses tend to focus on external anomalies and problems, which prevent us from looking within. Recognize that your excuse is not a permanent solution and only functions to blur out the reality for a short while.
Food guilt is a vicious cycle that starts when we restrict ourselves from having certain kinds of foods in an attempt to keep our weight in check, and any consumption of calorie rich food makes us feel guilty. The entire cycle of restriction followed by overeating and consequent guilt is extremely damaging both mentally and physically. The self denial of foods we like to eat results in overeating whenever we do let ourselves indulge and the guilt produced by it is often a symptom an underlying disorder in itself. Begin your new year by making some significant changes to the way you view food – eat what you like and don’t restrict yourself. We all deserve to eat what we enjoy and if you are concerned about your body weight, then remember that a better way to tackle that is exercise. Make a proper exercise plan for yourself and eat whatever you wish to. Food policing is never a good idea and only results in guilt or shame. Don’t let your fear of gaining weight creep into your food habits. Aim for a balanced diet and allow yourself indulgences, follow it up with regular exercise and live a healthy life both physically and mentally.
Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, if the comparison is being done on unnecessary grounds. There is absolutely no need to compare yourself to the model on the cover of a fashion magazine and then cry over how you can’t be as thin as them. For that matter, a lot of us are also guilty of comparing ourselves to a friend who is more financially affluent, or professionally successful in his/her field. These comparisons are unnecessary because of their sheer nature. Every individual is different in their strengths and weaknesses, and the least we can do is appreciate what we have. By comparing ourselves to others, we constantly focus on our negatives, our faults and the things we don’t have. This is harmful for your self-esteem and perception. While it is alright to indulge in healthy competition with people around us, comparisons should be avoided. Appreciating the self is important, it generates respect for differences.
The Need to Be Right
One cannot be right all the time, and this need to prove oneself right is something one should consider giving up. Your ego is an intrinsic part of your personality, but it needs to be kept in check. Too many people risk relationships and even work because they have the constant need to prove themselves right in front of others and are unable to admit their mistakes. What makes it worse is that such people are more likely to pick up fights at the smallest of issues because they believe that what they say or do is the right one. One needs to realize that the decision about wrong and right is not for one individual to make, and that in trying to be right all the time, you tend to overlook the bigger picture. Make a new beginning and give up on the need to be right, instead focus on being kind to people. Ask yourself – Does being the right one really matter? Must I be so petty about things? Welcome criticism and bow down with dignity when you should.
Those who are constantly complaining about things around them just need to start thinking positive. Complaining about the weather, the traffic, the annoying new colleague, your boss, your partner, your job is not going to solve any of the problems you face, it will only amplify them in your view. If there is one thing you must work on changing this year, it is the unnatural amount of control you have given to things around you, so much so that they are able to make you unhappy with the state of affairs without your permission. Nothing and no one has the power to control your emotions and while we often believe that a particular situation or event is responsible for our sadness, it is our attitude and perception which is the root cause of our sadness. And this perception is only harmed and distorted further when we resort to complaining. Give up on the complaining, instead take action to solve the problematic situations.
Constructive criticism is and should be welcome, however resist the urge to criticise everything you see. While it is understandable that we all have opinions and we have the right to put them into words, but we also need to accept differences that exist around us. Just because something isn’t exactly the way you’d imagined it to be, does not mean you criticize it for being so. No two people can be the same when it comes to thoughts, opinions and actions, similarly no two situations can be the same in terms of their effect on us – hence criticism only creates more bitterness within us. Instead of allowing oneself the luxury of criticism, we should strive for tolerance. If you can be tolerant towards differing opinions, then you are bound to live a more happy life. It does not do well to dwell on the negatives of others all the time, to make the criticism of others our only preoccupation. Everybody is looking for happiness, love and affection and even though we may seem to be radically different, deep down as humans, we’re only essential the same.
If you cannot be clear about what you want and where you want to be, you cannot succeed, Indecisiveness is a problem worth tackling because of the amount of time we end up wasting on it. Because we cannot decide and prioritize, our vision continues to be blurry and the future cannot be imagined with ease. People who are more decisive in their outlook towards life and who can decide what is important to them at a given time are more likely take action. Decisiveness is all about standing up for what you think matters and working towards fulfilling your goals. Make a decision today about what interests you, what you are most passionate about and take the giant leap of faith. Decide how you want to achieve your goals and follow your passions, choose a path and start on it. One can never know what tomorrow holds, and in indecisiveness we also lose the present. Be more in control and seize the day.
The fruits of hardwork are sweet, but they only come to those who are willing to wait. As it turns out, there are no shortcuts to success and all we as individuals can do is follow the path that will help us achieve our goals and be patient about the results. Give up on expecting results to manifest themselves immediately, life has its own ways of rewarding the deserving. You may not get the fruits of your labor today, but rest assured if you have worked hard then you have nothing to fear. Patience should be accompanied with persistence, and no matter how many obstacles you may have to face, you must never stop trying. Failure is a part of life, but the beauty of failure lies in the experience it gives us. Learn from your mistakes and failures – remember, success is a two way road and if life gives you success, it also demands humility and patience from you in return.
Shortcuts to Success
The search for shortcuts to success is often fueled by simple impatience. But it is important to realize that there exists no shortcut to success. Hardwork and perseverance are the only ways in which one can succeed, in fact for those who believe in using a shortcut are only fooling themselves. Instead of going after success, aim for excellence. Build your skills by taking the long road, by working hard and by using your skills for the benefit of others. The shorter road to success, if such a thing exists will always come at a great price. More often than not, what we believe to be short cut is only an illusion – if one indulges in cheating and deceit to achieve success, then that success is a mere illusion. Sooner or later, the truth will catch up with us and what we will have to face it. Give up on the constant search for shortcuts to success, instead focus on excelling in your field of choice, and you will find success.
The above list of things to give up will hopefully help you open up and bring close to opportunities that you might have otherwise missed