14 Ways to Make a Better Year

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions but many they find it very difficult to keep them. Some say that January is the month to experiment them and start following from February. However, if you don’t have a New Year’s resolution yet, you can have your pick from this list of resolutions, and find easy ways to achieve them.
1. Learn To Be a Good Listener
Learn to practice silence. Do not interrupt when the other person is talking. Give your undivided attention to the speaker (yes! keep that phone down), nod your head often and maintain eye contact with the speaker.

2. Helping Others
Helping another in need is not only noble, but it provides intangible, intrinsic rewards to the volunteer of such acts. One not only learns the language or kindness and gratitude, but it also paves the way to meet other interesting and wonderful people. Start by saving a small amount of your pocket money to feed the poor, contribute to a cause, or volunteer in an NGO by providing your selfless service to the ones in need.

3. Express Gratitude
Feeling grateful is a powerful spiritual vitamin. When you acknowledge and feel thankful for all the blessings you are bestowed with, it brings you closer to happiness and a feeling of contentment in your life. It reduces stress, and brings positive mental, emotional and physical wellness. Maintain a diary and make an entry every night of the things you felt grateful about in your entire day. On the days you feel sad or low, you could revisit the previous pages of your diary and read about all the things that you are grateful for. This is a great therapy used to cure people with mild depression as well.

4. Develop a Habit of Finding Solutions, Instead of Problems
Every time you come across an unpleasant situation, discourage the habit of com-plaining. Train yourself to look for opportunities that are hidden in the struggles or unpleasant situations. You could do this by repeating to yourself and putting up visual cues like: “I will find a way;” “There is light at the end of the tunnel;” “When the God closes one door, He always opens another one, all I have to do is find that door,” etc.

5. Turn off all electronic gadgets an hour before sleeping time
Instead use that hour to make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life, read a good book, or simply use that hour to hold conversations with your parents or siblings. Try to maintain a regular bedtime. Research says that those who do not turn down those blue light emitting devices before bedtime are more likely to take longer to fall asleep, get less deep REM sleep, and take longer to wake up.

6. Express Love A Lot More
How often have you expressed your love to your parents and siblings? When did you last give them a big hug, or tell them how much they mean to you? In the rigmarole of our daily lives, we often overlook the importance of expressing our love and gratitude to our loved ones. We often assume that they know how much they mean to us. Everyone yearns to be loved, and shown how much they mean to us. Don’t forget the big impact that little gestures have. You could express your love by helping your parents with daily chores, your siblings with their school or college work.

7. Socialize In Real Time Vs Virtually
You’ve surely heard this many time—quit or minimize the use of social networking sites. They simply are a waste of your time. But do you know that personalized contact with another individual is far more fulfilling than you think. E.g., on your birthday, would you prefer someone sending you a birthday cake photograph on WhatsApp or would you prefer someone greeting you in person with a wonderful birthday cake in hand?

8. Stop Procrastinating
The obstacle that keeps people from achieving their resolutions is procrastination. Once you allow procrastination to take over, it becomes difficult to snap out of it. Make a list of ‘Things-To-Do’. Set yourself a timeline within which you must finish that task. Encourage yourself to begin the task. Use visual cues like ticks once you have accomplished that task.

9. Learn A New Language
It is not only fun, but it is also a great way to improve your communication skills.

10. Improve Your Attention and Concentration Skills
Prepare your mind before an important task. Practice deep breathing, close your eyes and relax your mind. Set a timeline of half an hour or 45 minutes to focus only on the task you wish to accomplish. Ensure you sit in an area where there is ample sunlight, fresh air; keep water at hand, and make sure there are no other distractions for that period. Take a short break after you have completed a task. Avoid using phones or laptops during your break. Instead, relax yourself by following meditation, have a washroom break or a snack break and return to whatever task you wish to accomplish post the break time.

11. Become Organized
You may want to learn to keep your room, cupboard or study desk organized and clean. Being disorganized not only affects productivity, but it also invites a lot of negative energy and acts like a mood depressant. You could start by getting rid of unwanted clutter. Clean your surroundings every day and keep things that you have taken back where they belong.

12. Start Saving More
Stash away a part of your pocket money each month in either a savings box or request your parents to open a savings bank account for you to deposit your savings.

13. Be More Responsible
Learn to take charge of your actions. Shoulder your responsibilities. Don’t blame others for your failures or your disappointments.

14. Learn To Control Your Emotions
Unrestrained anger can lead you to a lot of stress, and trouble. Emotions like jealousy and pride are destructive in all circumstances. Learn to gain control over your feelings. It allows you to maintain level-headedness and to think more rationally, even during emotionally charged conflicts and situations.
You could begin by learning to deep breathe during emotionally charged situations, use stress balls, doodle or write, or even get yourself physically out of that situation.

-By Sherene A

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