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Story written by: Paige Johnson
We can all agree that New Year’s Resolutions are a sham, right? Last year, Business Insider reported that 80% of those goals we start on January 1st are failed and forgotten about by February. Perhaps that’s why many of us have quit making these resolutions altogether.
Instead of coming up with some abstract goal that’s supposed to make your entire existence worthwhile in 2018, why not make some concrete steps toward self improvement? The trick is finding things that you actually want to do, rather than focusing on what you want to change about yourself.
Here are some ways to shift your mindset regarding self-improvement:
Instead of thinking “I want to lose 10 lbs,” take the plunge and join that gym or fitness class your friend is constantly raving about and start going together as a way to spend time together.
Rather than wishing for a Pinterest-worthy closet, embrace your minimalist wardrobe and commit this year to finally upgrading your favorite pieces and curating a capsule wardrobe.
Stop stressing about whether or not your life is up to par and instead commit to feeling better about yourself by scheduling a facial or massage.
Want some more ideas? Check out a few of our favorite non-resolution self improvement ideas for 2018.
Spend More on Experiences, Less on Things
Instead of resolving to be more of a spendthrift, shift your money’s focus from temporary things towards experiences that you can carry with you forever.
Saving money feels like a chore. Plus, all it takes is one impulsive day and those few dollars a week you’ve been stashing is gone. Rather than committing yourself to squirreling away cash, make a concerted effort to spend less on things and instead invest in traveling, concerts, dinners with friends, and other experiences that make you happier.
Quit Comparing Yourself to Others
The whole idea behind New Year’s Resolutions is that if you are dissatisfied with some aspect of your life, the new year is a great time to make a concerted effort to change that aspect. Rather than focusing on what is wrong this year, learn to refocus and stop comparing yourself to others. Social comparison has us chasing an unattainable idea of perfection. When you inevitably fail to reach that unattainable level, you feel worse for wear even though you set yourself up for failure from the get go.
Instead of striving to be as rich as the hypothetical “him” or as skinny as the hypothetical “her,” start catching yourself every time you want to compare your life to another person’s. Remind yourself that everybody’s path and privileges are different, and you never know another person’s entire story. When you stop comparing yourself, you end up feeling happier, being more proactive towards doing the things you love, and having more quality relationships with the people in your life.
Give Back When You Can
You don’t have to commit to a year of volunteering with a local nonprofit to give back. Simply ask yourself in any given moment if you have something to give, and do so if you do. Not only will you be putting more positive energy in the world, but you’ll also be creating a less stressful, more harmonious life for yourself. Sometimes, being able to give back allows us to see that our own lives aren’t as stressful as we once thought. Putting things into perspective — and helping someone else out in the process — can be a wonderful way to push the stress and anxiety away and focus on the good things in your life.
New Year’s Resolutions basically set yourself up for failure. Instead of coming up with some goal, actually improve your life by making concrete changes and committing yourself to simple lifestyle changes that actually make you happier. Instead of thinking things like “I want to lose 10 lbs by summer,” make the decision to spend more time with friends while reaping the benefits of a workout together. Other ideas include shifting your spending habits from things to experiences, quitting social comparison, and helping others when you can. By changing your mindset regarding self-improvement in 2018, you can make actual positive changes that make your life better in the New Year.