3 Simple Principles to Live by in the New Year to Improve Your Quality of Life

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The New Year is upon us again, and people from all walks of life are looking forward to turning over a new leaf and getting a fresh start. It’s a magical time of the year that seems filled with potential and promise – a time where anything is possible.

All New Year’s resolutions, more or less, are things that we think will hope to improve our quality of life and move us in an “upward” direction. People come up with New Year’s resolutions like getting more fit, getting a new job, or learning a new skill. No one has a New Year’s resolution to smoke more cigarettes.

All the same, it can be easy to lose motivation for some of the specific resolutions we’ve made as the year goes on. So, here are some general New Year’s principles to try to live by instead, that have the power to improve your quality of life.

Treat yourself with respect and take care of yourself… but don’t coddle yourself

Everyone has heard that it’s important to respect and take care of themselves – but, unfortunately, too many of us still practice negative self-talk and refuse to believe in our own potential.

But at the same time, “self-care” and “self-respect” are also interpreted by lots of people to just mean “coddling yourself and having no expectations of yourself.”

The type of self-care and self-respect that actually leads your life in a positive direction is the same type that you would want to have for your own child. In other words, believe in your own potential, and be forgiving with yourself, but throw in a bit of discipline too, and force yourself to eat your greens.

If there are important things that you’ve been neglecting that could really improve your quality of life, such as buying a pair of eyeglasses, then do that. And don’t talk yourself down all the time, either.

At the same time, though, don’t use “self-care” as an excuse to eat unlimited ice cream and sleep in until noon.

Get out of your head more often by emphasising the importance of action

All of us end up dealing with internal struggles and emotional problems from time to time. For better or for worse, that’s just part of being human.

Sometimes, it makes sense to try to “resolve” those issues by sitting around and engaging in endless introspection. But that path could just as easily lead into a negative vortex where you allow your own defeatist thoughts and fears to define your reality.

Emphasising action over introspection is sometimes the right choice – and getting out of your own head by forcing yourself to get out of your own house can often work wonders.

Cut down the things that you give your energy to in life, and say “no” more often

You only have so much time in a given day, and you also only have so much energy in a given day.

It’s good to have a broad range of interests in life – but if you’re the kind of person who often hops into a new hobby only to drop it again 10 minutes later, you might need to spend your energy more productively by focusing on fewer things and saying “no” more often.

Instead of trying to read 25 books at once, focus on one or two at a time. And instead of hypothetically pursuing 10 different hobbies at once (but never actually finding the time or motivation for any of them) focus on just a couple until you’ve made decent progress on them.

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