The new year brings with it inspiration to change your life, and your friendships are a big part of it. After all, don’t your friends make your world just that much better? If not, it’s time to examine the types of friendships you have. Maybe it’s them, or perhaps it’s you. Either way, here are some relationship-related resolutions to adopt for the new year.
Rid Yourself of That Toxic Friend
Call them what you like: toxic friends, frenemies, or even emotional vampires. These folks consistently bring you down and even make you feel bad about friendship. Spending too much time with them skews your view of what a good friend really is. Confront them, walk away from them, or just move on. Start the new year with a fresh attitude about bringing good people into your life.
Make Time for Friends
Isn’t busyness the biggest relationship killer of them all? Our schedules are so jam-packed these days, that seeing our friends sometimes becomes a burden rather than something we look forward to. It’s time to rearrange your priorities and the start of a new year is the perfect time to do it. A good way to do this is by scheduling regular friendship dates. These don’t have to be a big deal, and can even be something simple like grabbing coffee or running to the store with a friend. The point is to see and talk with your friend in person.
Limit Facebook Time
This is a good resolution if you find yourself getting burned out on a friendship or two. Let’s face it, hearing about your friends day, getting game requests, and seeing the multitude of “likes” can sometimes be overwhelming. Facebook is a good resource for keeping in touch, but if you feel like it is actually becoming a negative for your friendship, walk away from it for a week. Then, limit your time on it to help balance out your friendship. Tell your friend to email or call you to keep in touch.
Think About and Pray for Your Friends
Even when you’re not spending time in person with your friend, send good thoughts your friend’s way. Thinking about other people helps you put your own troubles in perspective, and will make you aware of changes in your friend’s moods or demeanor. Being more attune to your friend’s life will help you pick up on those times when your friend needs a kind word but doesn’t feel comfortable asking. You’ll be better able to see when your friend is having a bad day, or really having a rough time, because you’ll be paying more attention.
So pray for your friend. Actively want the best for them. Your pal may never know that you do this, but this action will change your mindset about the relationships in your life and make you a more compassionate friend.
Spend Some Time Volunteering
As long as we’re on the subject of other people, let’s not forget volunteering. If you’re like most people, your schedule is so busy that the thought of spending a few hours every week devoting time to someone else just exhausts you. But that’s exactly why you need to do it! Volunteering for a worthy cause can help you take your mind off of your own life and into the many different lives of people who may have nothing in common with you, and yet can teach you so much. You’ll actually feel more energized if you spend a few hours each week doing something for another person.
Sometimes the “getting started” on a goal like this is the hardest part. To make volunteering a meaningful part of your life, choose one thing to do once a month. After a few months, increase it to once every two weeks. Keep this going and evaluate the positive difference it makes in your life.
Try New Things
Even if you don’t need more friends in your life, make a resolution to expand your horizons. Try some new activities, take a class, or work on a long-lost goal. Make this the year you stop talking about doing something “one day.” You’ll increase your self-esteem just by trying something new, and it will give you more things to talk about as you make small talk and meet new people.