10 Things to Quit Doing in 2016

Read the word “quit” and I’m almost certain you’re already imagining me telling you to leave it all behind, to start anew, to forget the past and other similar sounding advice in the light of 2016 coming round.

Oh, but that’s just the easy way out of things, which isn’t what this post is about.

quit

IMAGE: thematthewknot

What it is, however, is a twist to your regular New Year’s Resolutions. It is a list of changes you might want to consider making to your life in the upcoming year. If you take them seriously, you just might make something memorable out of 2016. So if you’re up for taking your list of goals for the new year up a notch, let’s get on with it.

1. Quit Making Long To-Do Lists

First things first, do yourself a favour and compile a list of only five or fewer goals to begin with.

I say this because forcing yourself to come up with a short list will push you to think about what’s really most important to you. It also makes the list more achievable. Besides, having more items on your list will make it less likely that you’ll ever be able to work your way through to achieve them all.

quit doing to-do list

However, once you’ve successfully crossed out several (or even all) items off your list, you can always opt to add more. When you choose to do it this way, you are gradually raising the ante, yet being armed with confidence that comes from having already attained some of your earlier goals.

What to do in 2016: Make short to-do lists, and get round to them quick. Add more. Rinse and repeat.

2. Quit Being So Serious

I’m not advocating a frivolous approach to life here but we could all do with a better sense of humour. For example, when talking to someone and the situation is getting a little tense, try injecting a bit of humour into the conversation. Of course, do this tastefully and be wary of anything that may be potentially offensive to the person (such as jokes about race or religion).

why so serious

The easiest way around this is to make fun of yourself instead of them. Which brings me to another point. It’s also worthwhile learning to laugh at your own mistakes and not beat yourself up over them. Everyone commits blunders, so cut yourself some slack. Analyse the error of your ways if you must, but always add a dash of humour.

What to do in 2016:
Life gets much easier when you learn to see the funnier side of things, even if it means laughing at yourself.

3. Quit Excusing Bad Behaviour

We are bound to come across people who don’t really care about us eventhough on the surface they appear to do so. This could be anyone in your life: family members, neighbours, friends, colleagues, classmates etc.

These people I’m referring to suck the life out of you, leaving you worse off after encounters you have with them.

If you can identify who these people are, you may want to consider distancing yourself from them in the new year. If you can’t completely cut them out of your life, to at least limit the influence they will have on you moving forward.

For instance, a person might insist on having you tag along with them for something unnecessary and time-consuming . If you feel this is infringing on your personal boundaries, you should tell them firmly that you cannot make it. (If this step is too hard however, soften the effect by following up with them afterwards to inquire how things went in your absence.)

With a little bit of tact and a healthy dose of self respect, you can shape a better social life for yourself, one that you’ll be more comfortable and happy with in the long run.

What to do in 2016:
Forgive and forget where you need to, but never allow others to repeatedly disrespect you or cross your personal boundaries.

4. Quit Being Half-Hearted

Getting started on working towards a particular goal is one thing; being dedicated enough to see the task at hand to completion is something else altogether.

Very often, you’ll find that you tend to be really enthusiastic when you first begin doing something, only to lose momentum as time goes on. Or you may have actually been already apathetic about it from the start, merely doing it to meet another person’s expectations of you.

quit being half-hearted

Well, for the sake of your own well being, minimise taking on anything that you aren’t really motivated about. This includes even the essential things like a choice of a career. If you can earn money doing something you’re good at and enjoy doing versus working at a job you loathe but continue to do just because you have prior experience or qualifications in it, what’s stopping you from going for the former instead?

What to do in 2016:
If there’s something you decide to do, give it your all. Or else, nothing at all.

5. Quit Being Disorganised

I don’t know about you, but physical disorder does have a direct impact on my mental and emotional state. For example, when it comes to things like my workspace, it just has to be neat. Not knowing where everything is or having to sit surrounded by junk and no empty table space to spare just makes me unable to think and get any work done.

But being organised goes beyond just keeping your physical belongings in order. It extends to the things you do as well, the way you plan your work, studies, errands, studies and the like.

be organized

Making the effort to, for instance, work out the best order for running errands so as to minimise travelling time is definitely worth that extra bit of time you took to plan for it. Similarly, if you are a student, rather than read an entire chapter in the textbook (only to promptly forget it all), head straight for the review questions at the end. Use those questions that as a guide for what to focus on as you read.

What to do in 2016:
Clear up that mess, basically. It’ll help with your health and sanity. There is always a more organized strategy you can to adopt to make things easier for you. Just take some time out to find it.

6. Quit Trying To Fit The Mold

Stereotyping is a habit that many people resort to as it helps them make sense of the world around them. Placing people into neat categories or applying labels to them offers us a sense of control, from the illusion that we are dealing with something (or someone) that is already known to us.


IMAGE: Annie Akkam

For example, someone might wrongly presume that a person would have no interest in pursuing a career in programming or engineering just because that individual is a female.

The downside to resorting to stereotypes is that this tends to put pressure on you as an individual to conform to a certain mold. Don’t succumb to this. Others can call you whatever they wish, or try to impose their views of who they think you should be, but you, in your own special way, ought to carve a name for yourself in the manner that you best see fit. Be your own person.

What to do in 2016:
Take control of who you are and how you would like to be known. Disregard those pesky labels that others may try to place on you.

7. Quit Self Doubt or For Some, Self Conceit

There will surely be moments where you will doubt yourself, but this shouldn’t become a norm in your life. Make it your aim that whatever you do in life, you should spring forth with an attitude of confidence.

Being confident doesn’t mean you’ll always get things right, but it does mean that you should have a healthy self image and not allow yourself to become easily fazed by things like failure or rejection by others.

quit being self-doubt

At the same time, do guard yourself against becoming self conceited as well. There’s nothing more annoying than having to deal with a person who thinks too highly of himself or who thinks he or she can do no wrong; you’ll put off a lot of people that way.

Aim to strike a healthy balance between these two extremes. Come to terms with what your abilities are and work with what you have. Be humble, and yet, know how to tastefully promote yourself if and when a suitable situation arises.

What to do in 2016:
Develop a healthy self image, with a balanced view of what you are truly capable of, taking into account past successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses.

8. Quit Being Cynical

The older we get, the higher our chances of morphing into a cynical beast. I guess this is mostly because we reach a stage where we think we know it all because we’ve been through it before.

But cynicism does nobody any good, least of all ourselves. It kills things like creativity and a zest for life. And it also makes others keep their distance from you if everything you say is perpetually negative.

quite being cynical

So, if you’ve been leaning towards the cynical side of life, time to make a change in 2016. Determine to approach things in life with a more open mind and to speak and think more positively about things. Surrounding yourself with those who are optimistic helps too. You could also make an effort to hang out with younger folks, especially children, and let some of their innocence and wide eyed wonder rub off on you.

What to do in 2016:
Cultivate an open mind and a positive attitude, even if you think you’ve seen it all before.

9. Quit Being Bored

It’s really easy to let the words “I’m bored” escape your lips, but lamenting that to friends and family really doesn’t get you anywhere. Instead, just get out there and do something new. A change or two in your life is probably just what you need to reinvigorate yourself (or you can visit websites like these for some ideas).

You can also come up with creative ways of doing everyday activities to make life that much more enjoyable. It doesn’t really have to be anything really spectacular. Sometimes simple things done differently can make a previously mundane task feel fresh all over again. For example, taking a more scenic route for your commute or whipping up something new in the kitchen for dinner.

What to do in 2016:
Stretch your personal limits by attempting new feats and using creativity to spice up your life.

10. Quit Staying Put

Make it your aim to travel as often as you can. Not only is this is a good break from your usual routine, it also gives you a chance to experience the world in a different way. To see that there’s something that exists beyond your predictable little corner of the globe.

go travel

To get the most out of your travels, don’t opt for a tour package. Instead, customise your trip as much as you can, being intentional about where you want to head to and why. Wherever possible, find opportunities to interact with the locals wherever you’re going.

This approach will definitely benefit you in the sense that you’re not just arriving at a desired destination, but learning along the way while working out how to get there.

What to do in 2016:
Find an excuse to travel. Any excuse. Then pack up your bags and go. You’ll be glad you did later.

Wrap Up

And there you have it: ten things you can quit doing to make something good out of 2016. These are very practical steps you can take, so rest assured that these can be very easily achieved once you’ve set your heart and mind to it.

I’d recommend getting right round to working on them as early into the New Year as you can. You’ll never know just what pleasant surprises life will throw at you as a result.

And once you’ve tried any of the items on this list, do come back and drop in a comment later on to let us know how things went. We’d love to hear from you.

Editor’s note: Susanna is a writer for Hongkiat.com and wordsmith with a punny disposition. When she’s not occupied with writing or feeding her ravenous little son, she finds solace in music, DIY and crafts, and reading. Catch more of her crazy chatter on her blog, Stories & Such.