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“Out with the old, in the with the new”

As we approach the New Year, I am reflecting on how 2020 has been the worst year in my 32 years on this planet, and I’m sure you can relate 🙂. It’s been completely soul-destroying. And every time we see the light at the end of the tunnel, something else comes along (like Lockdown 2.0 or the new “Tier 4” here in the UK). But it’s also been a year of personal reflection. We’ve all had tons and tons of time on our hands, a feeling that we have probably not experienced so much since we were children or teenagers. When you have time spare, you think. Your brain works harder to study the thoughts and memories you have saved in your “Read Later” list, up in that huge hard drive we call the brain.

Now check this out, going into 2021, I want you to think positive. Let’s get rid of these bad habits. Here are 3 things you should leave behind with 2020 to help you live a happier life.

Toxic Relationships

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. I’m talking about all relationships. Friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, associates. Literally any kind. If it’s toxic, you will live a healthier, happier life without it.

2020 helped me realise a few people in my life were toxic and so I cut them off. That’s power. You have it and you can do it too. The problem with toxic people is that sometimes they don’t even know they’re being toxic. Other times, it’s just who they are (read narcissist). But either way, you don’t owe anybody an apology for cutting them out of your life. Your mental health should come first before anything else (or anyone else).

Not sure if anybody around you is toxic? Here’s a couple of traits to watch out for:

  1. Passive Aggressive
  2. Criticism
  3. Manipulative
  4. They make you feel bad
  5. Act like they’re better than you
  6. Use a covertly aggressive tone to put you down
  7. Overshadow your own successes with theirs
  8. Grandiose sense of self-importance — “God complex”
  9. Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others
  10. Exploits others without guilt or shame

Procrastination

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Photo by Kev Costello on Unsplash

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Procrastination is the №1 killer of projects and dreams. It shares that coveted title right next to fear and self-doubt.

We’ve all done it. Those who say they haven’t are probably lying. Started a project with motivation and gusto, only to be stuck on one particular thing or a part of the project, because of procrastination.

“Do I, don’t I? Should I do this? Or this? Perhaps I’ll just change this part. Nope, wait. I liked it better the other way.”

Perhaps you’ve even put off something altogether. Sure, we’ll all go to the gym after New Year, Karen 😉 “wink, wink”. It’s a lot to do with psychology, and it’s sometimes a really difficult habit to break because we don’t always know that we are procrastinating. The key to breaking the cycle of procrastination is execution. Less pondering and more actually doing the task at hand.

So how? How can we execute on more of the tasks we need to in 2021. For me personally, I am taking up a process called “Bullet Journalling”. I am a naturally creative person, right-brain dominant. So the idea of writing, and creating something feels like it may inspire me to accomplish the tasks I’m writing down. It could feel good to cross stuff off an actual list. We’re all so obsessed with Note apps, and reminders on our phones. The psychology of actually crossing something out on a list with real ink is liberating in 2021.

Note to self: keep it simple, or perhaps you’ll get lost in perfecting your bullet journal 😂

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Self-Doubt

This is a biggie. You may have heard the phrase, “Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”. And it’s right. Think about it. You’ve got a great idea for a project, “Here we go”, you think. “I can’t wait to start”. But then suddenly you’re hit with a wave of self-doubt. “But what if it doesn’t work? What if I fail? What if people judge me? Or laugh at me? WHAT IF…”

Well, “what if” never went to the arena.

Those who did go to the arena probably failed. But they turned up. They put the work in and failed anyway. And now they have lessons learned. They have experience under their belt and can go back into the battlefield with new insight and understand and try again. But you don’t, because you never tried. You didn’t fall at the first hurdle. You didn’t even approach the hurdle.

So how do we combat self-doubt? Here’s a couple of things to think about:

  1. Believe in yourself.
  2. Surround yourself with winners.
  3. Be mentally strong. Train your mind. Control the voice of self-doubt.
  4. Be scared and do it anyway.
  5. Trust that nobody cares as much as you think they do about what you’re doing. Nobody is watching.
  6. Motivate yourself. Videos, podcasts, audiobooks. Find that inspiration daily.
  7. Setbacks will happen. But realise they are only temporary.
  8. Don’t wallow in it. Take a walk. Take a day off. Take a holiday. Approach it again the next day.
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