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what is your new year resolution

So often, New Year’s Resolutions are about what we need to give up: alcohol, caffeine, junk food, soda. Or, the focus is on what we need to do more of: eat more veggies, do more exercise, etc. We highlight our bad habits, and make everything a chore. It’s no wonder most resolutions don’t last through January! Instead, choose to make the next year about being kind to yourself. Here are ten resolutions that focus on positive vibes, for your body, your mind, and your life.

1.  Get more sleep

I truly believe that there is nothing a good sleep can’t fix (at least, when it comes to your mood and energy levels). We all know that lack of sleep makes us cranky and short-tempered, and ruins our concentration. But over time it can also mess with your body’s ability to deal with stress, weaken your immune system, and your overall wellbeing. Some of us can survive on only a few hours sleep, but why survive when you can thrive? Try turning in a little earlier each night until you can reach seven (preferably eight) hours of sleep per night. Your body will thank you. Need help? Here are four ways to get a better nights sleep.

2.  Drink more water

This may be another obvious one, but most of us are fueling our bodies with caffeine, sugar, and adrenaline, instead of the good stuff: H2O. I’m not saying I don’t have a mug or three of tea in the morning, but I also know that I have to up my water intake if I want to have less headaches, more energy, and better concentration. This is doubly important if you love exercise! Why not make drinking water fun? Try an app that reminds you to drink more, or a water bottle that records how much you’ve had to drink (either by technology or good old fashioned lines).

3.  Move more

I’m not saying you have to fall in love with running if you’ve loathed it all you life (I can relate). But there is much more to exercise than running on a track or treadmill. From DVDs and YouTube videos to classes and trainers, there is so much out there to explore. Don’t punish yourself at the gym if you know that membership will be wasted – try walking around your neighborhood, or simply taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. It’s about finding something that works for you and makes you happy. Because loving your body is a journey, and it’s really hard to enjoy the ride if you hate getting up every morning because you dread the gym.

4.  Practice gratitude

When was the last time you paused for a moment and thought about all the little things in life you’re grateful for? And I don’t just mean hot coffee in the morning and long weekends. Most of us don’t take the time to stop and enjoy the little things, because we’re so busy rushing from one activity to the next. Try ending each day or week by writing down one thing you’re thankful for. By the end of the year, you’ll have a handful of reasons to feel grateful, and your outlook will have changed for the better.

Related Post: 6 Ways To Maximize The Positives In Your Life

5.  Think positive

Some of us have a little voice in our heads that tells us all the things we’re doing wrong. It’s not our conscience (at least most of the time), it’s our own negative self-talk that’s eating away at our confidence, telling us what we can and can’t do. The way we think really does make a difference, because our thoughts become our reality. Try to catch yourself the next time you have negative thoughts, and change the dialogue to something positive. For example, instead of “I always make mistakes,” try “It’s natural to make mistakes, it’s a part of life, and it just means I’m trying hard to accomplish something.” Practice thinking positively, and eventually positivity will be second nature.

6.  Give back

Volunteering is one of the best ways to empower yourself by empowering others. Selfishly, it also feels good to help out, all while you meet new people, expand your network, and make an impact on people’s lives. Whether you volunteer to walk shelter dogs, host bake sales, or walk for a cause, it’s all about stepping outside of your day-to-day and doing some good in your corner of the world.

7.  Make time for you

I don’t know about you, but I’m often guilty of putting other people’s needs before my own. In doing so, I sacrifice sleep, exercise, and peace of mind. While it isn’t always possible to say no to others (your kids, for example) sometimes you have to put the brakes on and take some time for yourself. Take a nap, do some gentle yoga, take a few minutes to just breathe. Sometimes it really is all about you, and that’s okay. You can’t pour from an empty glass, so it’s important to look after yourself.

8.  Try something new

For once, don’t look, just leap. Sign up for the dance class you’ve had your eye on. Buy that ukulele and learn how to play it from YouTube videos. Take that cooking class you’ve always wanted to try. Be spontaneous, get a new hobby, go out and meet some new friends. Being brave and making waves will boost your confidence and empower you to make more changes in your life. It’s never to late to embrace change.

Making small changes that make you feel good, instead of guilty, will help you keep that feeling of happiness well past January and on into the new year. Rules are meant to be broken, but resolutions that are good for you will be a lot easier to keep.

Related Post: 10 Incredible Books That Inspire Life Changes

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What are your resolutions for the new year?

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