1. People & Relationships

10 Things to Do After Thanksgiving

New Year's Resolutions for Your Friendships

By

I've already given you some tips on how to spend Black Friday, but what about the days after that? The week after Thanksgiving is perfect for getting ready for the upcoming holidays, thinking about your resolutions, and reflecting back on your life. Here are ten things to do immediately after Thanksgiving to help improve your life in the new year.

1. Reflect Back On Your Year So Far

quiet-reflection-with-compu.jpg
Image courtesy of David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mentally take a look back at some of the things you did (or didn't do) on the friendship front. Where do you stand? Do you want more people in your life? More close friendships? Whatever your goals, actively making a point to go after what you want will automatically set you on the path to achieving them. That's true for physical goals (number of friends) and emotional goals (increased closeness in friendship.)

2. Move the Focus Off Of Guilt and Onto Gratefulness

Don't feel bad because you overindulged with too much food and drink at Thanksgiving. Instead, remind yourself about the other part of the holiday, which is gratefulness.

Remember all the things you were grateful for, and keep them going into next year. Find something to be thankful for each day going forward. Gratefulness can even help with friendship. Here's how.

3. Forgive Yourself for Being Busy

Too Busy
Tim Robberts/Getty Images
This year, busyness might have forced you to cancel appointments with friends or even made you forget to connect with people. It happens. But now is the time to get a handle on it so you can make a fresh start going in to the new year. Learn how to keep your friendships going even when you are busy. It will help you achieve balance in life.

4. Start Your "Get Healthy" Routine

Are you one of those people who goes on a diet every New Year's Day? This year, grab a friend and go for a walk every day this week instead. Or ask a coworker to shoot some hoops over your lunch break. Not only will it help you feel better about yourself once New Year's does roll around, but you'll be spending quality time with a friend.

5. Get Your Christmas Shopping Done

shopping.png
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Do it all this week, so that in the following weeks you'll be able to focus on baking, wrapping, and even (dare I say it?) relaxing.

6. Get Out Your Calendar and Schedule Regular Friendship Dates

calendar.jpg
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Make a conscious decision to spend more face-to-face time with your friends in the upcoming year. The friendship calendar can help you stay organized.

7. Call Up Someone You Didn't Get to Spend Thanksgiving With

Calling a Friend
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Don't wait until Christmas rolls around to connect with someone you haven't talked to in a while. Do it this week.

8. Have a Friend Get-Together Meal

Dinner Party
Bruce Laurance/Getty Images
Call up a few friends for a potluck dinner. It doesn't have to be with Thanksgiving leftovers! Just have each friend bring a dish, and enjoy each other's company.

9. Let Go Of Past Baggage

Girlfriends at Dinner
Flying Colours Ltd/Getty Images
Hurt feelings and anger actually inhibit growth in new relationships. If you're upset with someone and still want to work it out, consider my four-week online course for resolving conflict with a friend. Each week's lesson brings you closer to coming to an understanding so you can move forward in your friendship. The bonus is that it can be delivered right to your inbox each week, or you can read through the lessons online. Either way, you have enough time to get it all done before the end of the year. Start now!

10. Learn to Be a Better Friend

friends-united.jpg
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We all have areas we can improve on, whether it is keeping in touch with people, listening, or being more compassionate, so figure out your weakest area and put some effort into making it better. Being a good friend isn't a "one and done" situation. You have to work at it, like any relationship that is worth having. But the work doesn't have to be difficult. The more you put into your friendships, the more love and support you will get in return from the friends in your life.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.