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Now, 2014 was a blast, but 2015 has all the makings to be the best ever. But before you go rolling your eyes at the idea of making yet another promise that you can't keep, it's time to rethink what it means to make a New Year's resolution.
We've all lost track of the resolutions we've made at the beginning of each year. If you didn't, you wouldn't need to make it in the first place. This year, before making any resolutions, first resolve to recommit to your goals when you inevitably lose site of them. So put the champagne on ice and pucker up those lips, because it is time to ring in the New Year and make a toast to a better you.
These are the six resolutions all gay men should make.
Focus less on the exterior and more on the interior.
No matter what your body shape or size is, we all can get caught up in the desire to look better. This relentless quest, however, can leave even the most aesthetically inclined feeling inadequate and empty. And no matter how hard you try, there will always be someone prettier, fitter, and younger than you.
This year, teach yourself to love and embrace the way you look, no matter how you may look at that moment. Whether you think you need to gain 10 pounds or lose 50, develop the voice inside of you that tells you how wonderful you are. No matter how hard you try, you will never be your ideal image of beauty until you realize that there is, in fact, no ideal image of beauty. So look in the mirror, fall in love with your imperfections and move on to more important things.
Don't just be nice. Show kindness.
Anyone can be nice without any substance or meaning behind it. Maybe they want a bigger tip, a promotion, an invite to your party, your business. Perhaps they just want to avoid any drama instead of saying how they really feel.
This year, move beyond the "nice" and try to show a little kindness everyday. Unlike being nice, being kind requires actual effort because it requires you to geninely give a damn about the other person and his or her wellbeing. And often, extending kindness means doing something for others just because you can, without any expectation of reciprocation.
Sounds easy enough, right? But as your schedule starts to fill up and you get back into your normal routine, some of your friends' and acquaintances' important events can easily fall off of your priority list.
This year, whether you are too tired, too busy, or just not that into it, make an effort to show up. It means more than you think, and chances are you will probably have fun when you get there anyway.
Make a new friend.
There is quite a big difference between being a friend and acquaintance. To make and keep a friend takes an investment of your time and energy; an acquaintance simply takes a Facebook friend request. You may like a person enough, but your social circles don't connect very often and neither of you ever follow through with that coffee date.
In 2015, make the effort to upgrade an acquaintance to an actual friend. Set a date for dinner or a drink. Extend an invite to your next movie night. You may find that the two of you don't have much in common after all, or you may make a connection that turns into a lifelong friendship.
Don't punish yourself more than once.
So you made some mistakes in 2014. The good news is, so did everybody else. But humans are the only living creature on the planet that continue to feel shame and guilt from a mistake long after they made it.
When you make a mistake in 2015 (you will, it's OK) take a moment to learn from it. Acknowledge what you did wrong, and then forgive yourself immediately. Carrying around the shame from all of your mishaps doesn't help you at all. Shed your regrets and hold your chin up.
If it has a power button, use it.
This simple resolution will have the most impact on your life -- that is, if you can manage to follow through. Quite simply, we are addicted to our devices and are often in complete denial about it. Ask yourself how many times you have been in front of a real-life person but were distracted by virtual, empty social media noise.
Nobody really cares about seeing a picture of your dinner. That text message can wait. Your phone has a power button for a reason. Put it to good use and pay attention to the person in front of you.