6 new years resolutions to improve your life in 2015

People look at the start of every year like a new beginning. This is generally a good thing, as it gives us a specific date to attempt to change the things we don't like about our lives - however, the pressure of actually keeping these life-changing habits can put a definite damper on the new year.

I know I'm not alone when I say I've broken more resolutions than I've kept over the past few years (according to Time magazine, only 10% of resolutions are actually kept). But this year can be different! Here are 6 resolutions that will better your life in 2015, and won't be impossible to keep.

1. make time for yourself.

As soon as life gets busy and stressful, people have a tendency to let their self-focus fall to a back burner. Unfortunately, as soon as we put ourselves last, that's when we get sick, the stress gets worse, the irritability increases, and we kinda just suck to be around.

This year, keep yourself in mind when things get stressful, and vow to always make a little bit of time for yourself - an hour here or there to do something that relaxes you and makes you happy. Additionally: take your vitamins, exercise where you can, don't rely on junk food for nourishment, don't forget to drink water, pay attention to your health and hygiene, and if necessary, meditate before bed.

2. stop hitting snooze.

I am a relentless snoozer. I hit the Snooze button 3-6 times before I wake up in the morning, thinking that it will be better for me and I'll be less tired. As it turns out, it's worse for you to hit the snooze button, as every time you fall back asleep your body tries to entirely reset its sleep cycle (rather than continuing the sleep cycle you just woke up from, which was my reasoning).

Try downloading a sleep cycle app that will wake you up at the correct point in your sleep cycle, and enjoy waking up on time, having a coffee, reading the paper... and not being late for work.

3. do something different with your money.

If you have a little bit of savings, or you find yourself spending the money in your bank account just because it's there, why not do something different?

Talk to someone about setting up a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account), an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan), or an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). Set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account into one of these savings accounts - it will not only give you a sense of financial security, but you'll be amazed how much you can save up when even $50 is taken every month!

4. say "yes" more.

I want to start off this point by clarifying: I don't mean saying yes to everything (especially things you don't want to do). I mean saying yes as in putting yourself out there, even when you're feeling lazy or unsure or nervous. Whether it's a project at work, a new friendship, a new hobby, a new experience - try saying yes this year and see where it gets you.

Trust me, I know it's hard sometimes to turn off Netflix, change out of your pajamas and accept an invitation to go for drinks with friends... or volunteer for that new project at work that is maybe a bit out of your depth... but keep in mind: which will benefit you more in the long run?

5. go somewhere you've never been.

I am a firm believer in the idea that traveling to new places is one of the most successful ways to feel accomplished, happy, and adventurous - and one of the quickest ways to get rid of that "stuck in a rut" feeling that happens during the year. So why not plan a trip to somewhere you've never been before?

Whether you go to another continent or just the next city over, plan it into your year. Look up fun things to do, restaurants to eat at, attractions to see. Try couch surfing or renting someone's home. Go on an adventure!

6. get rid of the "Treat Yourself"/"You Only Live Once" mentality (except once in a while).

I am guilty of this, and I know I'm not the only one - this is a part of my generation. We see something we want, and we think "I worked hard today/I got a raise/I exercised already/I have the money - I'm going to treat myself with this clothing/food/gadget/whatever because you only live once". But this Treat Yourself mentality is a slippery, slippery slope, because eventually you end up "treating yourself" way more often than you should.

Don't get me wrong - you deserve to spoil yourself once in a while! But if you find yourself justifying purchases every other day by saying "treat yourself", try cutting down. Chances are, if you're telling yourself that it's a "treat", deep down you know that you don't need it.

cheers to a new year!

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