Resolutions for self-improvement are great (if you’re the type of person who is so self-disciplined that you can actually stay true to 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.
Here are 14 things we should all stop doing:
1. Stop spending more on material goods than on experiences. Sure, it’s great to feel pretty, handsome and sexy. A single compliment on your looks can make your whole day. However, you are not truly deprived of anything material-wise. Save up for moments you will remember for the rest of your life, exhilarating moments that make your heart pound and take your breath away. When you want something enough, you’ll figure out how to prioritize and afford it.
2. Stop making up stories to make your life seem more interesting than it actually is. There is nothing glorious about superficiality and there is nothing wrong with the mundane. Just tell the truth — to others and to yourself. Otherwise, you’ll fall for the false impression of yourself and you’ll believe you’re more worthy of complacency than you actually are. Then, you too will lose track of 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 and 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. Also, stop making excuses when you have plenty of time to get some exercise. If you feel like a blob on a couch, your brain probably looks like a blob on the couch, 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 of 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 news feed 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 and surrounding yourself with people who won’t reciprocate feelings of love. Stop allowing people who think negatively of you to consume 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. Consciously stop basing first impressions on physical attractiveness. People are so much more than just a Facebook photo or a profile view from afar. They might surprise you about how beautiful they really are.
9. Stop revolving your every action 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 him or her about it. If you want to join a new friend group, club or project, don’t worry about the initial newbie awkwardness. Don’t refute your beliefs or 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, emotionless and boring.
10. Stop complaining about being constantly busy. No one cares and no one will pity you except for yourself. 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 over analyzing everything. Some people will love you and then will suddenly walk away without telling you what you did wrong. 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 ideas while they are still fresh; take way too many unnecessary photos. You’re in your 20s — live more while you can still call yourself young. You have time to regret everything later. Or, simply don’t regret.
13. Stop being afraid to pursue the dream, no matter how cliché it may sound. You dream of writing books, creating films, becoming a CEO or this country’s president. Why not let the desire to make your dreams come true overpower your fears for reaching them?
14. Stop beating yourself up for not being your 100 percent 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. Give yourself some leeway and then, get back on track.
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