By Holly Clark
New Year’s Resolutions are mostly frustrating (1) because they make you focus on yourself and (2) because a lot of them are unattainable.
We would like to challenge you to think about aspirations that will affect you AND others in a positive way. We know that our actions and beliefs about ourselves do affect those around us. Here are five things to think about as we continue in 2016 that can help us throughout the entire year.
We always want to get to the next thing – the weekend, a new job, spring, lunchtime (my favorite time of the workday). And while there is nothing wrong with being excited about the future, we too often miss out on what is happening right in front of us!
As we continue into the new year, remember to stop – remind yourself of what you have right now that you are thankful for and take advantage of the people and situations that are right in front of you. All we has is this present moment. So don’t miss out!
If you are anything like me, you take on too much and often find yourself exhausted. I am in a season of life where I am physically, mentally and emotionally unable to do as much as I have in the past.
I’ve said no to some very good things in order to take care of myself. I have felt guilty or selfish because I don’t wan to hurt people’s feelings. But the truth is, I was hurting them even more by taking on too much and not following through. When we are able to say no, we free ourselves up for deeper relationships and more meaningful experiences.
And while it is important to say no, it is just as important to be discerning of what we need to say yes to this year!
In the past, I’ve been nervous to jump into something because how do I know it’s “the right thing to do.” As I get older, I’m learning it is better to take risks and make mistakes, then do nothing at all. Listen to yourself – be discerning of why you want to say “yes” or “no” to something. If your reason has to do with pleasing other people (for example) then don’t do it! If you aren’t doing something out of fear, maybe think about taking a risk.
There will always be difficult choices in life and learning to be discerning of what to say yes to will lead to some pretty unbelievable experiences.
Listening more, talking less.
Some smart person once said, “When you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new.”
We are a part of a culture that is extremely verbal–arguing on Facebook, tweeting, and texting – we forget the importance of listening to others. When we listen, we learn and our relationships grow. And trust me, learning to be a good listener takes discipline and time.
Train yourself to really listen; don’t think of what you are going to say next – be present and listen. You might learn something new about a loved one.
Not letting social media take over.
I’ve had lots of conversations with friends lately who are overwhelmed by all of the engagement, pregnancy and marriage announcements on Facebook (I’ve been there!).
Social media sites make it difficult to feel confident about our own life situations. But we cannot let this information keep us from living our own life. We are all on a different journey. No two people are the same and there aren’t requirements of if or when you should get married, have babies or be in a relationship.
My encouragement to you is to spend some time away from social media if you find yourself overcome by it. Remind yourself that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be. My new rule of thumb is if social media becomes an avenue for me to separate myself from other people (compare, judge, etc) then I need time away from it. We are meant to be in relationship with people, to be genuinely excited for people. Let’s not let the internet get in the way of that!