Resolutions for self-improvement are great—if you’re the type of person who is so self-disciplined that you can actually follow through with your goals for longer than one week. As imperfect humans, we are more prone to listen when we are told no, don’t, STOP. The negative seems to always be more powerful. These are 14 things we should all stop doing.
1. Stop spending more on material goods than on experiences. It’s great to feel pretty, hansom, sexy. A single compliment on your look can even make your day. However, you are not truly deprived of anything material-wise. Save up for moments that you will remember for the rest of your life—moments that make your heart pound with exhilaration and moments where a new scenery can take your breath away. If you want the adventure badly enough, there is no such thing as “not being able to afford it.”
2. Stop making up stories to make your life seem more interesting that it actually is. There is nothing glorious about superficiality and there is nothing wrong with the mundane.
Just tell the truth—to others, to yourself. Or else before you know it, you’ll fall for the false impression of yourself too and you’ll believe you’re more worthy of complacency than you actually are. Or else you too will lose track between what’s real and what’s not.
3. Stop being afraid to say YES to more things. Sitting around at home on the Internet is comfortable and familiar, but there are so many more opportunities if you just show up. Attend more meetings, sign onto new projects, go out for the sake of it, explore a new place by yourself, don’t be afraid to speak up. Feeling passionate and creative is so much better than feeling lethargic.
4. Stop beating yourself up for not having the time to work out. But also, stop making excuses when you have plenty of time to get some exercise. If you feel like a blob on a couch then that’s probably what your brain looks like, too.
5. Stop hating yourself for eating dessert. But also, stop eating dessert just because you hate yourself. Chocolate may seem like an instant remedy for all your insecurities, but there are other more productive ways to deal with stress and emotions.
6. Stop scrolling through Twitter when you’re at dinner with friends. Stop refreshing your newsfeed when you’re at a party. Stop checking your notifications every time you go out. You will always be able to catch up on social media, but you only have so long with the people you care about.
7. Stop giving your time to frenemies. Stop surrounding yourself with people who won’t reciprocate feelings of love, and stop allowing people who think negatively of you to consume more of your energy. They don’t deserve it.
For starters, find friends you can get to know on a sober level (there’s a thought!). Make friends with people who are interesting and interested in you too.
8. Stop being so judgmental all the time. Consciously stop basing first impressions based on physical attractiveness. People are so much more than just a Facebook photo or profile view from afar. They might surprise you at how beautiful they really are.
9. Stop revolving your every action based on what people may think. Let’s not throw it back to high school.
If you think somebody is interesting or attractive, introduce yourself and tell them so. If you want to join a new friend group, club, project, don’t worry about the initial newbie awkwardness. Don’t refute your beliefs and deny your values because others disagree with them. Don’t look disinterested or indifferent because you think it makes you seem cooler. It doesn’t. It only makes you seem dispassionate and emotionless and boring.
10. Stop complaining about being busy all the time. No one cares and no one will pity you except for yourself, and the pity party can only last so long before it runs dry. The next time you’re idly procrastinating, remind yourself that you are not so busy after all.
11. Stop overanalysing everything. Some people will love you and then suddenly walk away without telling you what you did wrong. Some others may be fickle or flaky in trying to figure out exactly what they want—but you do the same thing. Why does every hookup need to be regretted? Why does every text, like, or favorite need to have an alternate meaning? Just relax. Just let ambiguity… exist.
12. Stop erasing and regretting. Write down the ideas while they are still fresh, take way too many unnecessary photos—you’re in your 20’s, live more while you can still call yourself young.
You have time to regret everything later. Or, simply don’t regret. That would mean dwelling in the past more than necessary.
13. Stop being afraid of pursuing the dream, no matter how cliché that may sound. You dream of writing books, creating films, becoming a CEO or this country’s president. So why not let the desire to attain your ‘far-fetched dreams’ overpower the fears of reaching them?
14. Stop beating yourself up for not being your 100% best all of the time. Self-improvement is a gradual process. Self-discipline is important, but we all screw up. We all cut corners and need vacations. So give yourself some leeway, and then get back on track.