At the beginning of every year, it appears as if we all have an innate desire to attempt to rewrite our entire personality. We all declare our resolutions and start building upon the person we want to become.
We declare that we are going start eating healthier, journaling or maybe start taking care of our mental health more. But, instead of creating new habits or replacing them, maybe we should try to take a step back and focus on NOT doing something rather than adding something to our already hectic lives.
Here are nine things we should try to not be doing for another 365 days:
1. Holding in thoughts or feelings
Humans have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts in a day. If you don't put them out into the world in some form, whether that be journaling, talking or praying, then you're carrying that burden into the next day. When you find a way to express your thoughts you can ease the burden and it will improve your quality of life.
2. Being impulsive
While getting your thoughts out is important, as humans we were also blessed with the ability to inhibit our actions and what we decide to vocalize. If your thoughts are racist, sexist or all around negative toward an entire group of people, you probably shouldn't tweet it out where it will remain on the internet permanently. Especially if you're the president of our country.
3. Avoiding politics
Speaking of that, politics are important to grasp. Whether you're an expert or not, you have to have a general understanding of who is in office and what kinds of policies they are enacting. Not being involved in politics doesn't just shelter your mind, but it negatively impacts a large group of people, whether you realize it or not.
Yes, politics can be uncomfortable to discuss. So what? Deal with it.
4. Comparing yourself to others
We're all on our own path. Our timelines are different. Our personalities, thoughts, literally everything down to our genetic makeup is different from the person we are comparing ourselves to. So, remember that this year.
5. Sweating the small stuff
Not everything needs to be micromanaged. Personally, I've found people on Twitter are pretty guilty of that. Making things out to be a bigger problem than they actually are is toxic and I can promise you not everything is that big of a deal. Not everything needs to be made into a thread and not everything needs to be treated like it's happening on a massive scale.
Kids are dying in their classrooms and Flint, Michigan still doesn't have clean water. Priorities people.
6. Thinking "feminism" is bad
If you think feminism is just walking around topless and wanting to destroy the patriarchal narrative than you're talking to the wrong people. No feminist has ever said that wanting to raise a family and be a stay-at-home mom is a bad thing, but I frequently see posts on Odyssey about how feminism is not real and that it's bad to be one.
Tradition is not a bad thing to value, and neither is progression. Contrary to your close-minded beliefs, but they can coincide, all you have to do is not be a dick about it.
7. Being blindly optimistic in relationships
I always see girls tweeting out shit about how their ex was trash but their new beau is a dime because he let her use the aux cord in the car one time. Even though everyone knows that new beau is kind of a scrub.
Don't praise and glorify someone over one thing that should be a bare minimum standard. Don't put all your attention onto your partner's one good trait and ignore all the other faults they have that can be toxic to your well-being. Don't let someone's sweet disposition turn you into a blind optimist.
8. Being closed-minded to change
Opportunities are presented to us to help us grow, form new opinions and ideas and change as people. After moving out of my hometown when I was 18, I can't even imagine what person I would have been if I chose to stay. I am a completely different person then I was, and while part of that is just growing up and learning to value different things, a massive part is also from allowing myself to be exposed to all sorts of people from different places and with different upbringings.
It was challenging myself to leave my tiny corner of the planet. It provided me with reasons to want to go elsewhere and meet even more people and learn new things.
9. Avoiding the sunshine
Something as simple as opening the blinds, even on a rainy day, can make all the difference. No matter how tired you are, how unmotivated, depressed or helpless you feel in one moment...the feeling of opening your blinds and looking outside at the world is soothing and can help. There's never any harm in it.
I'm no stranger to failure, and these are all things that I need to work on as well. But it's a new year, a fresh start. A perfect opportunity to give myself the change and I encourage you to do the same.