After making it a point to address that I’m not going to emphasize the New Year, I find myself focusing on it more and more with time. But I believe I’m being productive and conducive, so I encourage this process. Unlike New Year’s Resolutions that are too vague to maintain and quickly forgotten, I’m going to create a list of qualities I’d like to improve on. By concentrating on certain habits and how I should correct them, as well as the benefits of improving them, I’m more likely to work on them. I’ll be taking an objective look and incorporating constructive ways to improve them. I’ll not only be productive but by expressing how it’ll improve my quality of life, I’m benefiting from the rewards effect. It’s like a teaser of what’s to come, that feeling of being proud and wanting to keep up the momentum.
1. Stop procrastinating.
Problem: I’ve adopted procrastination at the mature age of 26. With my OCD and absence of procrastination for most of my life, I believed I escaped this plague. How wrong I was! As I began to work on how I manage my stress, I became less tense about ordinary tasks like paying rent and other expenses. Although it’s good to be on time, it’s unhealthy to panic at the idea that I might not make rent. I eventually discovered after having to face those fears that the world doesn’t end when I don’t pay my rent on the first of the month or I’m a little late on my credit bills. I now find myself procrastinating in many areas of my life because I’m able to sustain myself in my current condition.
Solutions: Break the habit! The key to procrastination is to get started. Even if I retreat to my procrastinating habits, I have to transition towards my goal. It’s emotionally liberating and I’ll realize my laziness is unfounded, which over time will reduce my laziness greatly. I began adding positive things I’d like to do on my to-do list, so I’m more likely to reference it and knock down the list. As much as possible, I’ll combine both an enjoyable task with a less pleasant one such as doing the laundry while talking on the phone with a loved one. Things like that. J
2. Stop being so insecure.
Problem: Being insecure is damaging to my self-esteem and I see no benefit in it. It doesn’t motivate me, and I find myself desperate to avoid people who might reveal to me how amazing I truly am. That’s irrational and unfair.
Solution: We’re susceptible to the things we tell ourselves, even and especially through subconscious communication. Our conscious thoughts are echoes of our subconscious minds. So I’m going to take the time to express and appreciate my positive qualities. I spend an unreasonable amount of time denigrating myself, I can and more than deserve a brief amount of praise early in the morning when I rise and right before I retire. When I find myself with free time, it’s also a good opportunity to remind myself of my positive qualities.
3. Don’t look at the worst in others.
Problem: For various reasons, I find myself seeing the worst in others. Sometimes it’s to protect myself emotionally. I’m more guarded if I think negatively of people. I also think the worst in others when I take something out of context to support my beliefs in my adequacies.
Solution: In combination to acknowledging MY positive traits, which include being a good judge of character and surrounding myself with positive people, I’m going to give the same courtesy and remind myself of other peoples’ positive qualities. We all have negative qualities, and I sincerely believe it’s important to be aware of them. However, I become intimately familiar with the negative stuff. It’s now time to know the positive traits. By focusing on their positive qualities, I’ll appreciate them more and get a balanced perspective. It’ll make me realize how silly it is to highlight a small, insignificant detail. And we’ll all be happier for it.
4. Make allowances for peoples’ mistakes.
Problem: I tend to be unforgiving of peoples’ mistakes, as though we aren’t human. I can be unhappy or disappointed by them, but I MUST let it go. I should hold hostage of it, so I have something to scrutinize. It isn’t fair and it does no one any good but cause insurmountable frustration.
Solution: It’s all about incorporating balance. I certainly don’t make excuses for people, but I can afford to make allowances for peoples’ mistakes. Sometimes when we’re moody, we say something that’s inconsiderate and even disrespectable. One statement shouldn’t overpower months’ consistent behavior. Keep that in mind when you’re tempted to emphasize displeasure. The truth is if I stay silent, I gain perspective and realize that it really isn’t that big of a deal. Sometimes I have to remind myself more firmly because I’d prefer disparaging someone and finding relief in it, rather than disciplining myself. But this is about self-improvement. So I MUST overcome my challenges.
5. Develop discipline.
Problem: I dislike authority. But I find that without supervision and no one to monitor me, I procrastinate. The truth is I could’ve made far more progress in the books I want published. In fact it wasn’t until late last year that I gave them considerable thought. And even then, I’ve come up with concepts and titles. Really beginning to write about it is a different story. I don’t want to rely on external sources to complete tasks I, as an adult, should be able to accomplish independently. I MUST develop discipline.
Solution: Get started. No matter how little I actually produce, I MUST put in the time and effort because even a little bit everyday is better than nothing everyday. Eventually the amount of progress developed will increase. I can’t wait around until I’m able to create an adequate amount of results in a short amount of time or else I’ll never get started. My goal is to take the time and write 2 hours everyday.
6. Not exercising.
Problem: It’s so easy to be sedentary. Without motivation or drive to make a change, I find myself immobile. The idea of breaking a sweat is more daunting than the actual result.
Solution: The only way for me to overcome my hesitation of exercising is to get started and prove to myself that the workout isn’t unbearable. Place sneakers and workout clothes by the bed and slip into them every morning. Go outside for a walk. Even something low impact is better than nothing. Once I develop the routine, I can increase the actual amount of exercise I engage in.
7. Stay connected.
Problem: Life has a way of shifting us away from the people we want to stay connected to. Sometimes I lose track of time until I notice a huge gap from the last time I spoke with friends.
Solution: Try to dedicate time to reconnect with friends. Maybe I can reach out over the weekend and weekdays during lunch hour. Wednesdays might be a good day to make contact with people. Or in the beginning of the week, I can plan on reaching people on specific days and follow through with it. I have certain friends I really want to reconnect with. I told them I’d like to see them at least once a month if possible. That would mean the world to me!
I’m sure there are more things I can improve on, but I’m satisfied with my current list.