We are this close to welcoming 2019 and if you are like me, you want to make it the best year of your life. But you are skeptical because year after year, you have been struggling to keep up with your resolutions. Well, don’t give up just yet. Self-improvement is a gradual, steady process that you must discover for yourself — one day at a time.
if you want 2019 to be your best year ever, here’s how you can get started.
1. Truly Believe In Something
What is the one thing that makes life bearable, even worth living? Be it religion, a childhood dream, or nihilism, figure out whatever it is that drives you. Then hold on to it — this will be your anchor through the best and worst days.
If you are having trouble discovering yourself, author Deepak Chopra advocates a combination of meditation and introspection. “Practice meditation to create greater inner clarity and awareness. Use introspection to discover yourself more fully. Use both as ways to dialogue with your core being.”
2. Drop Your Limiting Beliefs
The best of us have some preconceived notions about ourselves and the world we live in. To become who you are meant to be, to live life your way, you need to get rid of common misconceptions. In particular, you need to eliminate the widely misunderstood clichés that we learned in school.
You know, stuff like ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. This motivational idiom is not only used out of context, but it is also misinterpreted as ‘don’t quit, no matter what’. Like any rational person, you probably know that blanket statements like this should be used with caution. Despite knowing that, many of us feel ashamed to drop something that’s no longer in alignment with our needs, wants, or interests.
As a society, have been so conditioned to this ‘never, ever quit’ philosophy that we are left feeling shitty when we defy it. How can we break free of such toxic social norms? Using cartoons and people’s experiences, I talk about this and more in my little self-help book called Busting Clichés.
3. Accept The Past
If you want to improve any aspect of your life, you have to accept what you can and cannot change. While letting go is what a lot of us struggle with, it has to be done to fully live in the now.
Blogger Vishnu Subramaniam sums it up perfectly, “You’ve likely experienced struggle, heartbreak, loneliness, failure, and loss. But you know what’s worse? Painfully replaying each of these moments over and over again in your mind.” To stop this, he suggests, “Be present in every moment by paying as much attention as possible to that moment.”
4. Dream Realistically
Pursue your passion, but don’t let it blind you.
For example, entrepreneurs often want to make it big as easily and quickly as possible. But the hard reality is that most startups fail or barely get by.
Having a motto like “I am the master of my fate” is empowering only if we remember that the future is incalculable and are ready to adapt to change.
Sometimes, we hold on to roles, habits, and relationships only because they have been around for a long time. Change is a painful, messy, ugly and time-consuming process, but it is necessary if you want to live an authentic life.
But how do you figure out exactly what you need to work on? Introspect: evaluate the key areas of your life to figure out what you are doing right and what you lack. And then go ahead and take appropriate action.
No matter how scary it sounds, quit what no longer serves you. No matter how much others are conforming to the status quo, it’s okay to start afresh in terms of a career or even a relationship. Because honestly, job security is dead and your most important relationship is with yourself.
6. Go Easy on Yourself
Most resolutions fail because people can’t take setbacks. One little mistake and they’re ready to give up completely. If you don’t want to be one of them, give yourself some leeway. Instead of beating yourself up, accept your failure, shake it off, and move on.
What have you vowed to learn, improve or eliminate this year? Do share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you are wary of living by society’s rules, get yourself a copy of Busting Clichés today.