7 Things You Need To Take Responsibility For

When things go wrong, we tend to immediately blame others first. It’s OK for smaller stuff — like when the dishes pile up in the sink and you blame your boyfriend for being a slob, even though you live there, too — but for larger things, it’s really not cool. There are just some things you need to hold yourself accountable for, and that you shouldn’t blame anyone else for when they go wrong. You’re an adult, after all — so start acting like one.

  1. Your decisions. We all make irrational decision sometimes. Whether or not you’ve made a good or bad choice, you need to know that you’re the one who made it, and that no one forced you into it. If you decide to go to Vegas and blow all your savings in one weekend, only to come home and find out your apartment had been broken into and you’re left with nothing, then you need to take responsibility for your recklessness. It’s easy to blame the thief, but you were the one who gambled thousands away and decided not to take out renter’s insurance.
  2. How you spend your time. Netflix is a time-suck. So are Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps the whole Internet in general (even Wikipedia, which we like to think spending hours on is productive, but really, how much are you actually going to remember about moray eels?). So when you waste several months of your life binge-watching reality TV, or you realize you have a paper due tomorrow at 8am, the only one to look at is yourself.
  3. Your relationships. Relationships are two-sided, meaning you have an equal say. If you’re going through a string of bad relationships, it’s easy to blame the guys, but is it right? Aren’t you the one agreeing to those dates, even though you don’t feel good about them? Aren’t you the one allowing that freeloader boyfriend to move in? By holding yourself accountable for who you date, you might find yourself making much better decisions.
  4. Your money. If you’re one of those people who never seems to have money even though you make a decent wage and work full-time, then you need to look at your spending habits. You need to take responsibility for how you spend your money, and on what or whom. Nobody’s telling you to order take out five nights a week.
  5. Your future We may think our bosses are in control of our future (since they’re the ones who can give us a raise, promote us to the top, or take away our money stream in two seconds), but they only are if you let them – meaning, you allow yourself to have a boss in the first place and limit yourself to the corporate world. If you want to be something more in life, then you need to hold yourself accountable for what you do to get there. Your boss isn’t forcing you to work there — at least I hope not.
  6. Your health. It’s easy to blame huge corporations for pumping stuff into our food, but you’re the one giving them money for it so they can keep doing it. You also make the not-so-great decisions to skip the gym and never learning how to cook for yourself. If your health is suffering, you need to realize that you’re the only one in control of it, and take responsibility to get fit.
  7. Your overall happiness. You’re broke, you hate your job, your roommate makes you miserable, and you’ve gained 15 pounds in the past year because you’ve been eating your feelings. You’re in a bad situation indeed, and while it would be easy to point fingers, the only one who sat there while all this was happening was you. You don’t budget. You’re afraid to find another job or roommate. You hate exercising. You’re too proud to move back home with your parents and get your act together. All this was the result of several poor decisions that you’ve had control over, but never acted upon. But now that you know you got yourself into this mess, you know you can also change it. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions, or lack thereof, and change where and who you are.
Chelsey is a freelance writer in NYC. She's pretty normal by today's standards, or at least that's what her mother tells her.