As cliché as it sounds, the beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to start fresh. While you may still be fine tuning your resolutions, there are quite a few things that we should all stop doing! That being said, let 2016 be the year that you kick those bad habits in order to make room for good ones. Here are some suggestions of things to let go of in the coming year.
1. Comparing yourself to others
The ways we compare ourselves to others come in many forms. Whether it’s wanting another girl’s abs or feeling unmotivated about the future because you don’t have as many internships under your belt as your friends, comparison is likely a daily occurrence. Social media makes this habit even worse! Jamie, a senior from South Dakota University, made an effort to stop doing this by unfollowing a lot of people that she didn’t know in real life. “I used to be so jealous of fashion bloggers and ‘Instagram models’ that lived halfway across the country. I was tired of comparing myself to these girls that I didn’t even know, so I cleaned up my feed!” she says. These comparisons do nothing but make us feel bad about ourselves, so why would we want to carry that into 2016? Make an effort to start appreciating everything in your life, especially yourself!
2. Overextending yourself
Overcommitting yourself is bad in general, but especially for your health. When you overextend yourself, you only become mentally and physically exhausted. In 2016, you need to learn how to balance everything that’s going on in your life, whether it be school, extracurricular activities, friends or work. Ryan Luse, an education consultant at College Expert, recommends keeping to-do lists on your phone or setting up text reminders and deadlines. “Time management skills take patience and practice,” he says. However, developing these time management skills will be so beneficial in the long-run.
Of course the idea of perfection is ideal, but in reality, it’s just not attainable. The harder we try to get everything right, the more disappointed we are at the end of the day. Instead of exhausting yourself by trying to be perfect, develop the ability to simply try your hardest and let everything else go. Amy, a senior at Oklahoma University, had to let go of being a perfectionist after her freshman year. “I came into college thinking that I would have no problem maintaining a 4.0 GPA like I did in high school,” she says. “After spending every weeknight in the library for months on end, I knew that I needed to change something. Instead of continuing to get four hours of sleep every night, I changed my study habits and focused less on getting an A, but rather giving everything my best effort.” Take it from Amy—striving to be perfect never works out!
4. Constant phone use
We are the generation that’s repeatedly lectured on our use of technology. As annoying as it is to hear older people complaining about how our heads are glued to our screens, they might have a point. You don’t have to give up social media or throw away your phone, but limiting use could seriously affect your life! Alexandra, a senior at Millersville University puts this into perspective: “We all need to actually enjoy nature or a concert and live in the moment instead of focusing on taking hundreds of photos and videos,” she says. “Take a few, then put it away to enjoy the reason you’re there.”
5. Negative people
You could be the most positive, enthusiastic person in the world—but that doesn’t mean negativity doesn’t affect you. If there’s someone in your life whose sole purpose is bringing you down, you don’t have to keep them around. Removing toxic people from your life will only be beneficial and allow you to focus on your positive relationships. “I had a friend my freshman year who was constantly making fun of everything I did because she found it amusing for some reason,” says Kayla, a junior at Iowa State University. “When I called her out on it, she laughed it off. That’s when I stopped asking her to do things and I’m glad I don’t have her around to bring me down anymore.” Though it may be initially difficult to cut off a negative relationship, you won’t regret it later on.
Are you still “not talking” to someone who did something that made you mad? Perhaps you’re friends with someone but holding onto anger against them. Either way, you’ve got to let go of these grudges in 2016. You don’t necessarily have to let the person who wronged you back into your life, but you should forgive or accept what they did and move on. It is a new year, after all!
This one may be different than the others, but it’s not less important. Of course you’ve heard over the years how unhealthy soda is, but have you really listened? A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that drinking a mere can a day greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more. Just in this past month, Applebee’s and IHOP have taken soda off of kids’ menus. If you’re still not convinced, nurse Coleen Koralek says, “Though you may love the taste, there are absolutely no health benefits to soda. Just a single can of cola has over 9 teaspoons of sugar—which is already over the daily limit!” Time to ditch the Diet Coke!
The mere sight of this word is probably giving you flashbacks to times when you waited until the day before a huge paper was due to even start it. This is exactly why you should do your best to give up procrastinating! Chelsea, a freshman at Bowling Green State University, is doing so after a stressful first semester. “By working on finishing things early and being more organized in general, I feel that my work will have better results and in the end I will be so much less stressed,” she says. Take her advice and try to start things earlier!
We’re not saying that you should just start living off of junk food; however, make 2016 the year that you quit fad diets. Most of them are completely ridiculous with such strict rules, and oftentimes people don’t even see results. Iris, a senior at UCLA, is doing so because she wants to truly start loving her body. “[Dieting is] stupid and is just so I can adhere to a somewhat outdated ideal of beauty and I just end up obsessing over food in a really unhealthy way,” she says.
While 2015 was literally over once the new year hit, that doesn’t mean everything that happened this past year was automatically erased. Throughout the past year, you were bound to make mistakes and go through rough patches. Instead of lugging your troubles with you, let them go. Allow yourself to look at 2016 as a clean slate!
Don’t get us wrong—we don’t expect you to reach out to anyone who’s ever been negative towards you or throw out your 12 pack of Coke. However, you can undoubtedly make strides to have a brand new and better year in 2016. Kicking these habits will make for a much better year, even if it’s tough in the beginning. It never hurts to try, and you’ll definitely be thanking yourself later on!