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4 resolutions you should definitely keep this year

We’ve all made and failed to keep new year’s resolutions before. They’re so hard to keep that a lot of us have stopped having them in the first place. But in light of 2017 being over, we think it’s a good idea to revisit the practice.

2017 was, to put it simply, a maddening, emotionally-draining, and seemingly endless avalanche of crap. So much stuff that shouldn’t happen in modern times anymore happened– slavery is back, a country created by immigrants became anti-immigration, openly racist and sexist people are in power, falsehoods are being called “alternative facts”, we could go on and on– that around the world we felt a general hopelessness about everything.

We don’t know about you, but we’re willing to do anything to make sure that 2018 ends up nothing like the previous year, hence the return to new year’s resolutions. And we’re not talking about the usual ones like going on a diet or saving more money. For 2018 to be truly better than last year’s mess, we need to actively shape it that way by adjusting our mindset on certain things.

Here are four resolutions you need to keep this year:

1. Improve yourself.

Real change needs to start from within. This has been said in so many songs and advice books before and it’s true. You can’t work on creating a better year without improving yourself. It can be as specific as reading more books or as encompassing as working on being kinder to yourself and to others. It doesn’t matter how big or small the steps you take are, so long as those steps are all towards a better version of yourself. In a time of trolls, neo-nazis, and misogynists, being a decent human being has almost become an act of subversion. The world needs more good people, so becoming a better person will go a long way in helping create a better year for all of us.

2. Have a little more courage.

How often have we let go of things we want because we were too scared to try and reach for them? Or have gotten too comfortable in our current situations to change anything? Trying new things and going after what you want may be terrifying, but the thought of being stuck in a rut for the rest of your life should be more terrifying than that. Anything that’s life-changing is always going to need a leap of faith. Just imagine how happier you would be if you make 2018 the year you actually go after your dreams!

3. Realize that it’s not always about you.

Last year, we saw a lot of influential people use their freedom of speech not only to express opinions but also to spread fake news. It raised the question of whether our freedom to speak our minds is absolute– it’s not. Your rights end where my rights begin. In other words, you don’t have the freedom to step over another person’s rights. It’s not always about you.

2018 will be a whole lot better for everyone if we’re able to remind ourselves of this– that’s it’s not always about ourselves. We tend to be indifferent towards other people but they have the same rights as we do. We’ve been taught our whole lives to care about others and to have more empathy, and that lesson still rings true.

4. Make a stand.

If we’re being honest, a lot of the things that happened last year happened because we let them. We tell ourselves that it’s beyond our control so we just let it be; we adjust our sense of reality to accommodate what we’re seeing and call it our new normal. So if we want 2018 to be truly better, we have to realize that it is within our control to change things and to have the courage to act upon that realization.

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