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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 is here. How’s it going with those resolutions?

Well, no judgment here—I myself have not yet hit the treadmill this week, my diet hasn’t made much of a noticeable change, and my monthly coffee shop budget is almost in the red.

For the longest time, I used to shy away from even making New Year’s resolutions at all because I was afraid I’d never reach them anyway. Now, I use this time of year to evaluate, more broadly, the things in my life I can change in order to live healthier and happier. I may not be able to make it to the gym every day or cook only the healthiest of meals, but I can still make an effort to be more active and learn to cook some healthier new dishes.

Around this time last year, I wrote a post on New Year’s resolutions for people living with cancer. If you’re looking to live well in 2015, this is a great place to start—but if you still aren’t a fan of the traditional New Year’s resolution, take a look at some of these suggestions for getting a fresh start this year:

Write down what makes you happy. One time, a friend posted on Facebook an idea she came across for keeping track of life’s little successes. Put out a jar and some slips of paper, and every time something good happens to you during the year, write it down and put in in the jar. Then, open the jar on New Year’s Eve (or whenever you need a pick-me-up) and take a look back at all the positive moments you’ve had. I did this last year, and all kinds of wonderful memories and small victories I had almost forgotten came flooding back upon opening my jar.

Pick a theme instead. Is your New Year’s resolution too rigid? Pick a general theme to focus your habits on instead, suggests U.S. News & World Report contributor Melinda Johnson. For instance, instead of vowing to lose a certain number of pounds or to go to the gym every day, choose a single word, like “strengthen” to guide your efforts throughout the year. Then, make an effort to do things that strengthen your body and mind throughout the year.

Create your mission statement. Your own personal mission statement is something that describes what you really want to get out of your resolution. “People wanting to achieve weight loss should ask themselves, ‘What happens if I don’t change? Why is losing weight important to me?’ The resulting mission statement might be: ‘I want to be a role model for my children, an extraordinary parent who has the energy, health and stamina to support them in their dreams,’” writes NY Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope.

Do you have a resolution for 2015? What steps are you taking to fulfill it? Weigh in on our Facebook or Twitter page!