Now that we’ve stepped into 2017 I try (yes try, and depending on the feasibility implement) to take stock of what I could have done better the last year and how I could make some changes to the current year. It’s not that I wait for a new year to do this, rather I take this as an excuse to set things straight if I feel they aren’t.

2016 was a very hectic year for me. I had a tough time managing my personal To-do lists than my To-do lists at work. As challenging as it was to do so much in so little time, looking back I now wonder how I pulled most of it. At the same time, I wonder if I could have fared even better in certain aspects if I had laid down a few ground rules. Anyway, better late than never.

Here are a few things which I learnt over the course of the previous year, which I’d like to diligently follow in 2017 and in the years to come.

It’s ok not to do everything

In an ideal world, I would want to do a multitude of things. I’d want read, write, listen to a lot of music covers, workout, watch all good movies, eat as many dishes as possible, go on for as many holidays I can, bake/cook all those dishes I’ve been bookmarking. There is still more to go. When I try to do a lot, I end up either doing a mediocre job or messing up all of them. That’s what lead me to realize I can’t attempt multiple things at the same time and hope to excel in everything. That’s probably what taught me to let go of some things, however hard the choices might be. 2016 was the year I stopped doing a lot of things which came in way of something else. I’m happy I decided to let them go.

The importance of staying focused.

There are some people whom you can blindly trust and you know a task is done when they say it is done. It’s easy to do 90% of a task, but it’s challenging to do the remaining 10% and attempting a 100%. This year, I’d like to concentrate more on the things that I do and minimize my distractions as much possible. Not just social media distractions, I get distracted very quickly most of the times I focus on completing the work than doing it well, after a certain time.  From now, I’d like to get to the bottom of things and ensure the job well done.

To more meaningful friendships

A few years back, I used to have lunch/coffee with about 10 different people. You know why it was 10 and not the same set of people? It’s because whoever ate lunch or had coffee with me quit the organization in a few months. I wonder if I’m jinxed that way or if I’m just a lucky charm for people (that definitely makes me feel better). Similarly, after college most of my friends moved out of Chennai for different reasons and I had to start bonding with people again. Almost a decade later, it looks like history is about to repeat itself. It was easy to find genuine friends when we were younger and grow with them, but now it’s not easy to people who share the same wavelength. You meet a lot of people, but only few of them can stay friends for a long time and earn your trust. I know I’m lucky to have friends who are absolute angels but I wish I had more of such deep and meaningful friendships.

Mastering the art of tolerance.

I can safely say that my tolerance levels are reasonably good these days compared to how they were a year ago. I walk away from people I can’t tolerate. I shut my mind from conversations that make me angry and I ignore negative environments which can harm my happy state of mind. One part of me would definitely want to go back and give all of them an earful. But now I’ve learnt not to be bothered. It might look like people are desperately trying to do something just to annoy the rest of us. However I figured out that it was not my problem. I’ve also learnt that if something is not my problem, I should not open my mouth. Self-control is a virtue these days.

Looking happy vs. Being happy

I see many people desperately trying to portray the perfect life. It dawned on me that beyond a point people just don’t care about you. At some point or the other I realized I’m guilty of doing this. I understood that it is more important to be happy than to look happy. Honestly the world doesn’t care. And I think I don’t have to care about what the world thinks of me. Social Media does feed one’s narcissism, and makes one feel like a celebrity but this is definitely not a case of fake it till you make it. I’m going to focus less on looking happy and focus more on being happy.

These are my resolutions for 2017. No, not just for this year but for the years to come as well. I should probably check every now and then to see if I’m making progress.

Have you incorporated similar behavioral changes at any point in your life after a dramatic epiphany? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

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