As 2018 comes to a close, we start thinking about goals for the new year.  Years ago I swapped out a new years resolution with a word of the year and that tradition seemed to stick for me.  Words from years past have been trust, brave and accountability.

Even after the new years shine wears off, I find myself returning to my word of the year as an anchor to sticking to an annual goal.  Try it for yourself this year! But in addition, I wanted to share 5 simple tips you can change right now for a healthier and happier new year!

Depersonalize – it’s probably not about you!  We get so tangled up in the overthinking web wondering “what did I do to upset them?” when it rarely has anything to do with us!  I love the phrase – ‘don’t function from assumption!’ Be careful not to jump to conclusions based on assumptions you’re making. Keep your thoughts and reactions in check by staying aligned with only the evidenced-based true facts.

Say NO! Stop over accommodating. It’s ok to say no. Boundaries help us stay healthy and grounded. And at the end of the day, if you ruffle feathers by not always rushing in to save the day or say yes to every request, then that’s on them. Not on you. When we put ourselves and our needs first, we ultimately are better equipped to help others when we feel available to do so. On the flip side, if we chronically over-extend ourselves, we end up resenting the very people we’re trying to love!

Be gentle.  Don’t be so hard on yourself or on others.  Let’s give ourselves and other people the benefit of the doubt.  Assume that everyone is doing the best they can. And validate that you are too.  Anxiety and depression symptoms flare up when we push and push and push ourselves to the brink of collapse! When you feel overloaded, pause and repeat the mantra “be gentle.”  It’s a simple way to invite in more compassion, awareness and love.

Self-care like crazy! Anytime is a good time to up your self-care game because every choice you make is like a small investment in your bank of resiliency.  We know life challenges are bound to pop up from time to time and if you are well rested, eating clean, exercising and have healthy outlets for stress, you’re ability to cope will be so much stronger!  Pay careful attention to your 5 pillars of self-care; sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise and outlets for stress and stop making excuses! Make 2019 your best year for self-care yet.

Make it mindful.  Want to wring more joy out of life? Imprint moments by being mindfully present. How do you do this? By setting aside distractions (like your phone) and awakening your senses. When we bring our 5 senses to the present moment, it increases our gratitude and when our gratitude surges, we feel more positive emotions like joy, happiness and hope. While mindfulness has been shown to help us with distress tolerance and coping strategies,  I want to focus on how mindfulness can make good moments even better. When we practice being in the now and we give ourselves and those we’re with our full presence and attention, mundane, ordinary moments begin to feel memorable and extraordinary.

So let’s begin.  Let’s make 2019 a healthier, happy year for body, mind and soul!