UNITED STATES—So many of us plan on those New Year’s Resolutions that we want to accomplish for 2019, but the bigger question we should ask ourselves is what can we do to improve ourselves. Yes, it might sound strange, but it’s something I want to challenge people to think about as the New Year emerges. The first thing that comes to mind for so many people when it comes to resolutions is lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, stop drinking, save money, all good things in their right, but what about improving things related to our personality and inner self.

Yes, it may sound foreign when you first hear it, but it has some currency. What do I mean specifically? Well, let’s say you’re someone who easily says ‘YES’ to everything people ask of you. It can sometimes place you in a conundrum where you feel used or people simply take advantage of you. They know you won’t say ‘NO’ so as a result you sometimes find yourself doing or giving away things that in reality you really do not want to give away. It can become a never-ending cycle that actually causes you more harm than you expect.

That was one example, but I’m more focused on personality traits. Like, if you’re someone that is short-tempered and find yourself getting easily flustered, let’s work on preventing that from happening. There are a ton of exercises one can do to combat it. Taking a deep breathe, counting to 10, exercising, doing something that calms the nerves. I would argue that I don’t have a temper, but I can get flustered at times because of people’s excessive demands or wants and needs.

So for 2019, I’m going to work on not allowing others to get underneath my skin or cause me to lose my composure over something that quite frankly I cannot control. Not all personalities are going to mesh and that is something that has taken me years to understand, but I have started to understand it. In addition, some of us might plan to be more sociable, relaxed, bigger givers, more empathetic or happier. That last one I think is VERY IMPORTANT. Life is too short and holding onto grudges or anger only makes the situation worse for the person holding onto that resentment.

This is not to say you have to make up with someone right away, take your time in choosing when you want to reopen that door that you may have closed. However, don’t allow someone who wronged you to control how you feel, think and act. You dictate your behavior; don’t give someone that control over your mind and body. Lastly, when it comes to resolutions think about the things that you want to accomplish professionally. I know that is something that is going to be big on the horizon for me. I’ve talked about this before, but I really plan to put it into action in 2019: I will WRITE MORE.

I write a lot now, but its all work based, I cannot tell you the last time I took a day, a week or a month and just focused on screenwriting. It is a massive passion of mine, but I’ve allowed life and work to simply get in the way of things and it has upset me largely. This is the reason I paid thousands of dollars for college, this is the thing I think about when I want to get my creative juices pumping and moving. So I constantly have to ask myself the question: why am I NOT doing more?

Frankly, I don’t have an answer besides I’m become complacent and lazy. Complacent is a word that I hate to utter and I hate to use, but too many Americans become complacent with life, with work and their finances. If you don’t like the way things are you have the power to change them. It’s a New Year, make it happen.

Written By Kelsey Thomas