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10 Ways to Change your Life (and Your Health) For the Better this Year


Do you often feel grumpy or disgruntled? Would you rather scowl than smile? Do supermarket parking lots make you want to go postal?

Whether it’s with your job, your financial situation, your relationships, or your life in general, you might always feel like you’re struggling with a half-empty glass. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

No one ever said you had to live an unhappy life!  If you're unhappy with aspects of your life, change them.  You can change your life for the better. 

Here's a list of 10 ways in which you can improve your lifestyle this year and make yourself healthier and happier in the process.

Accept your mistakes.

No one is perfect and everyone learns from their mistakes.  If you don't make mistakes you can't learn, and you can't become a better person.  Accept who you are, apologize if necessary, and try to learn from your actions.  Start over when you have a terrible life experience, because that's what life is all about.  Remember, you are human, and humans make mistakes.  There’s no need to punish yourself forever.

Accept the mistakes of others.

Understand that others will hurt you (mostly unintentionally.) But these mistakes are easier to accept when you realize that your friends (like you) are only human and must also learn from their mistakes.

Start a healthy habit.

We often go through life on auto pilot. So it may be time to stop and decide what you want to attract for your life.  Decide on the steps you need to take to start a new habit; change something about yourself or learn something new.  Write it down as a step-by-step process. Use a simple format: step one (go for a walk or jog; take a cooking class), step two (enter a 5K race; host a dinner party), etc.  Tape your step-by-step process to the mirror, the wall, or someplace where you can see it and follow it every day. This is a great way to build up your self-discipline.

Make new friends.

Decide to contact and socialize with new people. You can start with a simple "hello" to your neighbors.  Join associations, classes, a book club or any other social club to bring new friends into your life.

Start a new pattern of eating (not necessarily a “diet”).

Diets often fail, because they don’t go to the root of the problem – or they are too restrictive of the foods you love. If a diet has worked for you – go ahead. If not, decide to eat certain foods in moderation.  Sometimes it is easier to lose weight by eating less, rather than eliminating certain foods from your diet.

Exercise!

You don’t have to set a goal of running an ultra-marathon, or doing an Ironman . . . but make it a priority to get a little exercise in every day. Whether it’s walking the dog, or taking a new fitness class at your local YMCA (Zumba anyone?), try to incorporate some sort of activity into your daily schedule. Not only will you see physical benefits (lose weight, improve your heart health, help ward off cancer), but your mental health will drastically improve as well.


Take risks.

You may be bored with your life, but you should realize that you made the choice to live like that.  Try new activities and projects--take on new challenges, do something you've never done before or offer to help do something different.

Go to bed early and wake up early.

By getting enough sleep, you rejuvenate and re-energize your body. Simply by logging 7-8 hours on a consistent basis, you can start to feel younger and healthier. And by rising early, you'll get a fresh, energetic start to your day.

Avoid fighting.


A family fight, feud or discussion causes stress, which in turn causes illness.  This doesn't mean you should “lie down and take it,” but you can find more effective ways of communicating.  Stop wasting your life energy on pointless arguments. If you can’t reason with someone, perhaps it’s time to let go of that relationship.

Find reasons to love your life.

Look outside, take time to smell the roses, enjoy nature, spend time with your family and just cherish the small things.  Even if life seems unfair . . . it may be, but it is also fantastic and unique.  Enjoy each small challenge, opportunity, laugh or tear. You will feel better, live happier and be healthier.

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