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At the start of a new year most of us are eager to make a list of resolutions that give us a step up on the ladder of self improvement. After all we are once again the main characters in an unwritten book that gives us another 365 blank pages and thus 365 opportunities to create the best possible version of ourselves.

CURSE OF THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
So, will we be heroes or losers in our own great new novel? That is the main question that will most likely not be answered until this year has ended. Just keep in mind that you are the writer and like most authors you will probably write a pretty good story. Best case scenario: you write a chapter for your upcoming bestselling autobiography. Worst case scenario: you produce an average story that will not make it on Oprah’s reading list. Either way, you will have made an effort and that is what really counts.

KEEP IT REAL
New year’s resolutions. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. And we have failed miserably in succeeding, most of the time. Except of course for the times when we forced ourselves to forgo all those great self imposed rules. The trick to sticking to your resolutions is to keep them real, simple and realistic so you don’t end up like an enthusiastic little kid in a candy store, chewing off more than you can eat and giving yourself a stomach ache.

SMALL RESOLUTIONS, BIG RETURNS
To help you feel good about yourself we have made you a list of easy New Year’s resolutions that you can keep without too much effort. These won’t require you to eliminate all the fun but instead will bring sunshine to your days and those of others. Even better you will improve yourself and that, surely, must help you further on your path to reach your goals. If that isn’t a big return on a small investment, we don’t know what is. Good luck with writing your own bestseller this year!

EASY AND SMALL RESOLUTIONS

1. Try a new food each week
Instead of strict diet rules try it differently this year. Eat more consciously and try new things and above all try to keep it healthy. In a world that offers us an abundance in exotic foods at the local supermarket you should be able to keep this up. Besides you never know what tickles your tastebuds on your path to a more healthy diet.

2. Do something nice for others every day.
This can be in the form of an unexpected kiss for a loved one or a simple smile you offer a stranger. You have no idea what a small gesture of kindness and positivity can mean to someone else.

3. Try to visit a place you haven’t been to before.
You don’t actually need to fly to far away places to be amazed by the beauty your world has to offer. Stay close to home and let new landscapes surprise you.

4. Get your photo taken in three interesting places you’ve always wanted to see
At least this way you motivate yourself to travel more. Travel expands your horizon, and will give you the opportunity to meet new people and visit interesting places.

5. Make at least four new friends this year
No need to go in search of a new BFF but simply try to connect with someone at work you don’t normally talk to. Show a little extra interest and you might be surprised in a positive way. And you can never have too many friends, now can you?

6. Aquire a new skill
Learn something. Be it by taking up a new hobby like painting, knitting, getting your divers certificate or learning a new language. Creation is one of the biggest motivational factors for people to feel fulfilled and happy.

7. Face your fears.
Afraid of heights, speaking in public, spiders or bungeejumping? Whatever stimulates your terror hormones it will most likely give you a sense of pride and achievement if you confront and live through your fears. It might be not the easiest task at hand, but certainly one that will give you a sense of feeling good about yourself and well, you have 365 days to prepare yourself mentally…

8. Grow a plant
This sounds funny but actually caring for something and making sure it thrives gives you focus and intention. And it might be easier to care for a plant than for a goldfish.

9. Limit your phone access.
Switch it off for two hours a day to start with. The world will not end, we have proof of that, and it might give you a fresh outlook on the world around you.

10. Care for your body.
This doesn’t mean you have to frantically start a work-out schedule 6 days a week. Take the stairs more often, take a 20 minute walk each day and again leave your phone at home. Simply stroll, take in your surroundings and use it as a moment of reflection or to organise your thoughts. Exercise in whatever form is the best gift you can give to your body in addition to fueling it with healthy wholesome foods. It builds resilience, makes you more resistant to illness, keeps you flexible and is great for your mind since it releases happiness hormones.

11. Read books…
…and expand your world. Don’t glue yourself to your tablet for a new netflix marathon, instead grab a book and submerge yourself in a whole new world or culture. Books can inspire you, move you and motivate you. A world without a book in it would in our modest opinion be a very bleak world…

12. Help people less fortunate.
Whether you give your money, your time or your love to those in need you are bound to give something positive and possibly even life changing. And giving is not only good for the receiver but good for you too. Read our blog on THE SCIENCE OF GENEROSITYif you want to find out how that works.

13. Create a new ritual.
Rituals keep us grounded and focussed. And on a more meaningful level they give us something really important: purpose. Create a new habit and make it a small one so you can actually succeed at fulfilling it. Leave your spouse a fresh cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Create a weekly to do list on Sunday night to cover your week ahead, schedule weekly me time or learn a simple yoga or meditation exercise to practice just before you go to bed.

14. Express yourself in kindness.
One of the most powerful things you can give someone else is a compliment, a positive remark or a little insight into your feelings. It is so easy and simple to give so why do so many people hold back? Kindness can change the world and is potentially contagious. So start today and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you… more inspiration on how to be more kind, can be read here: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

15. Share the ritual of light. Light a candle each week to remember and honor the people who are no longer with us or give a moment’s thought to those familiar and unfamiliar who are less fortunate. The ritual of lighting a candle gives you the time to reflect on things that really matter. Watch our video and start spreading some light! SHARE THE RITUAL OF LIGHT

Whatever you choose to do, make sure to keep it simple and practical and you will be sure to succeed!

This post is also available in: Engelska Nederländska Spanska Franska Tyska

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