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For most of us, the start of a new year means coming up with New Year’s resolutions. And more often than not, our resolutions fall into two categories: relationships and health.
If you want to have a better relationship with yourself, your coworkers, your friends, your significant other and even with all those bad drivers on the road, you can. Where do you start? First, you have to want to be more patient, kind, loving, attentive and understanding. These five qualities will help get you on track to developing better, stronger relationships. But specifically, here are four things you can do to meet your New Year’s relationship resolutions:
- Unplug from technology. Technology is great. It quickly answers our questions and keeps us up-to-date on world events. But when you’re physically with people, it’s relationship harming to constantly check your phone. So put your phone down, and focus on who you’re with and what’s being talked about.
- Listen. When you ask a question, listen to the person’s response. When your supervisor is explaining a new project or you sister needs to vent about her problems, rid yourself of distractions and open both ears to hear what’s being said. Effective communication is key in good relationships, but don’t forget half of communication is listening.
- Say thank you more often. When you’re with someone a lot, it’s easy to overlook all the good they do or take it for granted. So whether it’s your spouse clearing the dishes after dinner or an employee turning in a project a day early, sincerely tell them thank you.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Don’t stress over tiny details. Don’t pressure yourself to look a certain way. Don’t focus on someone’s flaws. If you want to have healthier relationships, rid yourself of your inner perfectionist, and instead be more kind and accepting of who you and others are.
Perhaps the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight—and we want to lose all 20 pounds tomorrow. If you want to reach your health and weight-loss goals, you can’t expect them to happen overnight. But you can attain your personal health goals by doing the following:
- Cook at home instead of eating out. Not only does cooking at home save you money, it’s the healthier option. Sure going through the drive-thru is more convenient. But convenience rarely equals healthy. At home, you can control what ingredients go into your food and how it’s prepared. At a restaurant, especially a fast food one, you may not gain five pounds in one meal, but you will overtime by consuming their foods overloaded with fats, sodium and calories.
- Keep a food journal. Experts say the simple act of keeping track of what you eat, makes people more accountable and aware of what they’re eating or how many calories they intake. It shows where you need to improve to help you reach your weight-loss goals. And a study even proves food diaries help people lose extra weight, as participants shed an average of 13 pounds after six months of keeping a food diary.
- Have a support system. Whether you’re trying to quit an addiction or diet longer than a week, you need a support system. Surrounding yourself with their help and positivity will help you stick to your resolution.