A new year has just begun and it is really exciting to think of all the possibilities that lie ahead of us in 2016. We could go on our first trip, land our dream job, graduate college, move to a new city, get married, or anything else it is we want and pursue. Make 2016 the year of your greatest adventure(s) yet—a year full of personal growth and dream-chasing.
1. Let go of fear.
FDR once said that there is nothing in life to fear but fear itself, and that is very true. Make 2016 the year that you let go of any kind of fear and doubts that hold you back from pursuing your dreams or getting what you want. For example, let go of the fear of getting rejected for a raise, or applying for a job you feel under-qualified for, or choosing a major that is competitive. Good things come to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and keep a strong will to make them happen.
2. Say no more often.
You have the right to say no when you don't feel comfortable doing a task or for whatever other reason you may not feel up to doing something. Always honor yourself and follow your heart in terms of what you want to do with your life and even in daily situations. Taking control of the situations you find yourself in will make you feel empowered, stronger, and more confident. It also assures that you don't get taken advantage of by others, such as in terms of kindness or generosity.
3. Put money aside.
It can be in the form of a 401(k) or just starting a small vacation fund jar, but try putting away a little bit of money each month in order to have it for the future (long or short-term). A friend of mine actually puts spare change in a jar for the entire year and then takes the money and buys her Christmas presents with it. Spare change can really add up and you'll thank yourself later!
4. Start a gratitude journal.
Take a composition notebook, a notepad, a really cute journal, or whatever it is you'd like to use and write down five things you are grateful for each day. It can be anything ranging from getting to fly to Shanghai to eating a tasty cup of gelato on a sunny day. This will help you see even the smallest of moments as magnificent things and you will feel more positive every day.
5. Go somewhere new.
It doesn't have to be an extravagant and expensive trip. You can pack up your car with a cooler and towels and drive to a beach a little further away that you've never been to. You can take a road trip. Visit a new park, somewhere within your own city that you've never tried, or take the plunge and go somewhere far away and dreamy. Traveling will teach you about the world, other cultures, beliefs, and about yourself. It will also teach you gratitude and tolerance.
6. Do something that scares you.
Remember, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. However, we all have things that scare us, and doing those things and saying that we overcame them or accomplished them are what makes life exciting. Try skydiving or surfing or starting up a business. Trying new things ensures that we live a life full of amazing flavors, sights, and feelings.
7. Be more compassionate.
Hold the door open for others. Pay for a friend's coffee. Give someone a compliment. All of these small acts of kindness add up, and there is plenty of information on the psychology behind why being kind to others has a cyclical effect of actually making us feel happier. Being compassionate towards others creates more overall compassion and love in the world, and will also make each of us feel happy in the process.
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