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4 New Years Resolution ideas

According to US News and World Report, 80% of New Years resolutions fail by February.

Even though we fail most of the time, ironically it is the failures we learn from the most. So go ahead and set some New Years resolutions.

Choosing one or two of these four could make a big difference in your life:

1. Be Present

Put the phone down, take out the earbuds, and make eye contact. Choose to be present with those you love. If you need help disrupting the pattern, put a daily alarm on your phone that says "Be Present", then put the device away and spend some time with someone who needs you.

Being present doesn't always have to be about quality time with family. Your friends and colleagues would also benefit from your attention. I posted some tips and strategies here about how to communicate with others.

Listen to their stories or share some exciting news. Everyone has stuff they are dealing with, and more often than not we all share the same kinds of struggles and fears. Your family and friends need to be heard - give them some of your time.

2. Understand your biases

These days more than ever, we need to understand the biases we unknowingly bring to the table, and to help us think about new and more productive ways of interacting with others.
So many of our assumptions are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, or universal and have the potential to negatively impact the information we receive, the decisions we make and the way we treat the people around us.
Diversity, inclusivity and belonging have been proven to create fertile ground for new levels of understanding, ideas, and innovation. 
To kick this one off, try this exercise:

Step 1: Make a list of your 6 most trusted people (cannot be family members)

Step 2: Ask yourself this question: How diverse are these people? ie. what are their ages, genders, ethnicity, education level, disability, nationality. Write down these characteristics next to the persons name.

Step 3: Make a plan for how you can transform what your 6 most trusted people look like in 2020.

    • if your 6 most trusted people are a pretty diverse group that's great! You are enjoying the benefits and pleasure of knowing people who are not like you
    • If your 6 most trusted people are not a very diverse group: it's all good! Don't fret. The point of this resolution is to spend some time recognizing it( #1 resolution...be present), reflecting on why it looks this way, and determine if you can do anything about it...chances are good you can. 

3.  Try something new

"You don't know yourself unless you challenge yourself" - US Marine Corp
We all know what comfort feels like. We don't like feeling pain. We like to fall into routines and keep things moving. The problem with this though is that we can't grow.
We can't grow into the people God wants us to be without some disruption from time to time.
To grow, we have to get out of our comfort zones and into something new. So take up a new hobby. Visit a new city or country. Join a gym and try weightlifting. 
Do something that challenges you.
Not only will it bring new energy into your life, but you'll learn a lot about yourself and maybe make some new friends along the way that you never thought you'd have (this will help with Resolution #2!)

4. Reconcile 

Has anyone ever said or did something to cause you to hurt? Did your relationship with that person go away?
You may have experienced this in your relationship with a parent, sibling, or child. Reconciling is painful, hard work. That's why it's so rare... yet if you choose to walk this "narrow" path it can be so incredibly powerful and refreshing.
Make the decision to reconcile with the person you hurt or the person who hurt you. Get out of your comfort zone (Resolution #2), face this problem head on, and it will likely be one of the most rewarding moments of your life.

Even though you are likely to fail (sorry, it's the cold truth!), choosing to try any one of these four New Year's resolution ideas will have a profound effect on you.

Imagine being able to complete even just one of these, particularly the one about trying something new. Wouldn't it be fun to tell that story come December 2020? I think the answer is a resounding yes.

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