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5 Tools for Accomplishing Your Resolutions

Now that we’re one week into the new year, how are those resolutions looking? Below are our Top 5 resolutions, with practical tools for doing them daily.

1. Deepen your mindful practice, do it daily.
Mindful meditation has many health benefits, including mental and physical ones. Even if you are new to mindfulness, simply beginning to practice it may make you more aware in each moment. You may notice that you gain control over behaviors that you would like to change, and learn to accept those that you cannot change. Begin a mindful practice with a just a few minutes a day to establish a rhythm that works for you, and begin to build and deepen your practice from there.
DO DAILY – Set aside a few minutes in the morning or at night  to practice mindfulness, perhaps before you brush your teeth, or when you crawl into bed. You might try the  Mindfulness Daily App to get started.
2. Take better care of your body.

The human body is a complex instrument that requires fuel, movement and maintenance. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and engaging your body in movement helps keep it healthy and strong. Too often we ignore warning signs from our bodies when we’re busy or stressed, so make a pact to pay more attention to your body, and  keep it well-tuned for years to come!

DO DAILY  – walk 10,000 steps, drink 8 cups of water, stretch for 2 minutes, eat something green, and laugh out loud. A great free tool to track  progress is the Argus App.
3. Show appreciation to your closest friends.

According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, every person is “the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” While this is not proven by science, you might find this to be anecdotally true- for example, when you catch yourself saying a phrase that your best friend uses all the time, or adopt your significant other’s favorite band as your own. People tend to build their identities from those they hold near and dear, so this year, show some extra appreciation for your closest friends who collectively influence your life. Host a small dinner party for them “just because,” send an encouraging email to a stressed-out friend, or surprise a friend with a thoughtful gift.

DO DAILY  - Send a friend a message to share something funny or interesting that you saw or learned today. Rotate through a list of your closest friends each day. Facebook is an easy place to start.
4. Do random act of kindness.

Studies show that being generous makes us feel happy and can even benefit our health. Why, then, don’t we give more often? Consider all of the opportunities you have in one day to do a random act of kindness that might bring a smile to a stranger’s face- and now go out and actually do one.

DO DAILY  - Set a “kindness goal” for yourself each morning as you get ready for the day. For example, your goal might be to compliment three people today, or to pay the toll for the car behind you. Set a location based reminder on your phone to go off as you leave your house so that you don’t forget to carry out your act(s) of kindness.
5. Try something new.

Having a routine is nice, but sometimes making just a small change can spark your creativity or allow you to notice details you never have before. Try taking a different route to work or listening to a new podcast while you get ready in the morning. Or, if you want to try something significantly different, commit yourself to learning something you have always wanted to learn but never made time for. Master your sauteing skills in a cooking class, hone your comedy chops in an improv class, or finally learn HTML5. If you feel out of your comfort zone, don’t worry- trust that any nervousness you feel in the beginning will quickly subside as you learn.

DO DAILY – Decide on that “new thing” and print out a reference guide or cheat sheet and lay in a prominent spot. Looking at it daily, you’ll begin to familiarize yourself and be ready to dive in fully. I recommend finding a Meetup, or using tools like  Lynda.com or Kahn Academy to move forward.i

Have any tips or suggestions on making your resolutions stick? Leave a comment below!

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