We all make resolutions at the beginning of the year. And most of us always break them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep trying, albeit differently.
One approach is to start with your surroundings, look at yourself and your relationships, and only then move to the outside, to the external things you want.
The Importance of Your Surroundings
One of the most important aspects of having a better life is focusing on what you can control. It starts with you, your habits, and the way you live. If you live in a dirty house, chances are your life will also be messy. If you are in a toxic relationship, your mind and your emotions will be toxic as well.
So start by cleaning. Go down to the basement of your house and sweep. If there are things that need to be fixed, fix them. If you haven’t been there in a long time and you find cockroaches, ants, bugs, or rats, pick up the phone and hire a pest control service.
Once you’re done, keep cleaning as you go up. Pick up all the garbage you can find, wrap it in a black plastic bag, and throw it away. Open all the cupboards in your kitchen and the drawers in your closet. Everything that you can find that you don’t use or reminds you of some negative needs to go away.
If it takes you a few days or even a week, remind yourself that you are making your environment better, that you are wiping what needs to be wiped so you can start the year fresh. A clean home does wonders for your mind. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-respect.
Staying or Walking Away
The great Bruce Lee once said, “The idea is very much like sculpture, not to add on, but to hack away the unessential so that the truth will be revealed unobstructed.” When you’re done with the house and the material things, the next step is to move on to the immaterial, to your relationships.
The best relationships in our lives inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. They make us happy and fill our hearts with joy. The worst do exactly the opposite. They bring us down. They bring out the worst in us and cause sadness and affliction.
Look at your relationships and ask yourself:
- Do I feel better or worse when this person is around me?
- Do I make this person feel better or worse when I’m around them?
- Do I look forward to seeing them, or do I dread it?
- Am I able to see their strengths and virtues, or do I only focus on their weaknesses?
- If this person were not in my life, how would it affect me?
- What do others think of them?
Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away. Sometimes not fighting is the best way to heal.
From the Inside Looking Out
You’ve taken care of your surroundings. You’ve decided what relationships to keep and which ones to let go of. Now it’s time for the easy part, the fun part. It’s time for the outside to change. It includes your physical health, your wardrobe, your hobbies and habits, and even your job.
External physical changes are only achieved with persistence and the setting of realistic goals. To do this, start by accepting yourself the way you are. Understand that even if you are 200 pounds overweight, you are still a wonderful human being, and you still deserve happiness and love. Losing weight will make your life a little better, a little healthier, and a little more fulfilling.
Realistic goals are also challenging but achievable. Perhaps you won’t lose all 200 pounds in a single year. But whatever weight you get to, be proud of it. It is your accomplishment.
If you don’t know where to start, then do the research. Surf the net, visit your local gym, buy one or two workout videos, or ask your friends.
The same goes for your job. Think about what you want to do, make a plan on how to get there, and go for it.
The new year is a chance for a new beginning, an opportunity to hit the reset button. No matter what happened in 2020, if you are still alive, it means you still have a chance to start over.
So clean your house, work on the relationships you need to work on but let go of those that don’t. And when you’re ready, look at the outside and make the necessary changes. You are worth it, and now is as good a time to begin as ever.