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7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happier and Healthier Existence

Learn to Do Something with Your Hands
Research shows that creating something with our hands increases mental well being and happiness. Learn to knit, weave, garden, play a musical instrument, lay tile, sew, woodwork, bake, pain, screen print— something that occupies your hands and fuels your creativity. Set time aside each week, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, to spend time on your new craft.

Complete Five Random Acts of Kindness a Day
That’s right: Five. In a 2005 article published in a Review of General Psychology, researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, published her findings that people who completed five acts of kindness over a 24-hour period experienced significantly increased levels in happiness and well-being over those who completed five in a week-long period. Acts of kindness don’t have to be grand; they include small gestures, such as letting someone cut in front of you in traffic, putting your neighbor’s trash bin out or complimenting a stranger.

Learn One New Skill You Can Put on Your Resume
Wherever you are in your career, whether just starting out or if you are ten years in, your resume could probably use a little sprucing up. Take a course in digital marketing, photoshop or HTML; sign up for Toastmasters and become a rock star public speaker; become advanced in Excel. In addition to growing your professional attributes, learning new skills enhances your experience at work and has the potential to introduce you to passions you never knew you had.

Pamper Yourself
Now, this is a resolution we can really get behind. Whatever makes you feel oh, so incredibly beautiful and confident — facials, eyelash extensions, a blowout, mani/pedi, massage — commit to doing it on a regular basis. Even if pampering has never been “your thing,” you will quickly discover how amazing it will make you feel as you navigate day-to-day life.

Use Your Vacation Time
Fifty-two percent of Americans didn’t use all of their vacation days in 2017, and of those who did, nearly sixty percent continued to work remotely. Workers who use their vacation time are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress-related illnesses. Additionally, when they return to work, they are more productive and creative. Commit to using your vacation time this year, whether all at once in a grand trip, or by spreading short, refreshing getaways throughout the months.

Eat Dinner as a Family
Studies show time and time again that eating dinner together cultivates better family relationships, increases academic performance in children and reduces overall stress. Create a ritual around dinner time — set the table, play music (alternate who gets to choose dinner time tunes) and have everyone share one thing they loved about their day.

Master One New Recipe a Month
Becoming proficient in home cooking is not only healthier for your body, but can be therapeutic as you work through the process and end up with a tasty reward. Whether your most advanced dish is toast or you have some serious skills in the kitchen, expand your repertoire and learn how to cook one new thing a month and master it. This means that when called upon, you will be able to recreate the dish and it will turn out the same way (delicious) time and time again. At the end of the year, you will have 12 new recipes under your belt and confidence in the kitchen.

By: Renee Franklin

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