7 New Year's resolutions for a happier 2015
Happiness is a choice. Ok, so there are things outwith our control that can affect our happiness, but how many of us approach the start of a new year filled with optimism, promising ourselves we are going to be happy? With lists of all the things you want to achieve and places you want to go (not to mention health and fitness goals), the beginning of a new year is a great time to start planning for the future - so many of us view January as a fresh start. We know lots of you will be starting a healthy diet, beginning a clean eating regime or working on your fitness as we approach the new year, but we don't want you to forget about your mental well-being and happiness too.
So we've come up with 7 handy new year's resolutions that will help you to be happier in 2015. Put yourself first, because if you're happy and healthy then those around you will be happier too. Let's see how you can enjoy a happy, fruitful year, starting right now.
#1. Put yourself first
We've said it before and now we're saying it again. Being altruistic (caring about others) is all well and good and you do need to look after your nearest and dearest, but what good are you to others if as a result you run your own health and happiness into the ground? We lead increasingly busy, hectic lifestyles but that doesn't mean you don't have five minutes in the day to relax and do something for yourself. Whether that's taking a bath with your favourite book, going for a run, heading to a yoga class or even just spending five minutes meditating before the kids get home from school, take a little time out of each day to do something that makes you feel good. So resolve to put yourself first this new year and we guarantee you'll feel healthier, and happier for it.
#2. See the good in every situation
We can't control what happens to us in life, no matter how much of a control freak you are! But you can choose whether to view a situation positively or negatively. Of course, there are always going to be situations that it's impossible to view in a positive light, such as a bereavement, but for most other situations, you can find the silver lining. For example, if you're heartbroken after the breakup of a relationship, you'll probably need some time to come to terms with what's happened. Your life will be very different now, but think of all the things you can do! Maybe it wasn't the right relationship for you, and now you're free to go out there and meet the perfect person for you- it's an exciting time rather than a depressing one. By trying to turn a situation on its head and view the positives, you'll quickly find you adopt a more optimistic mindset - mindfulness can really help you to be happier.
#3. Be a better friend
Have you been a good friend in 2014? Good friends are there for each other even when times are tough, so if you've avoided phoning a friend when they were going through a difficult time, just because you didn't want the added stress, chances are you've not been as supportive as you could have been. Whilst many of us have hundreds of friends on social media sites such as Facebook, in real life most people only have a few close friends, and as you grow older it can be harder to meet new people. So take the time to be a better friend in the new year - call someone you haven't seen for a while and catch up over coffee, surprise a friend with a thoughtful gift or offer to help a friend who's having a difficult time. Not only will you reap the benefits by becoming closer to your friends, you'll also feel happier as a result.
#4. Stop focusing on things, focus on experiences
All too often, we associate having the latest gadget or the fastest sports car with happiness. We focus on things rather than experiences, but it's not this which makes us happy. When you're old, it is the life experiences you'll remember - the people you met and the things you did - rather than what you had. It's normal to want nice things, but by focusing more on spending your money on socialising and experiences, you'll find you are far happier.
#5. Try new things
Make 2015 the year you try new things! From the little things, like trying food you've never tasted before or going to that new Thai restaurant in your neighbourhood, to big things like going on a round-the-world trip, volunteering abroad or signing up to a fitness challenge, trying new things is incredibly beneficial for your health, happiness and confidence. Once you know what you're capable of, your self-esteem will receive a real boost, and trying new things can boost your energy levels and get endorphins flowing, leaving you feeling excited and happy. Whatever you've always wanted to do, make 2015 the year you do it!
#6. Work out what makes you happy (and unhappy)
January is a great time to evaluate your life and see where improvements could be made. Perhaps you're unhappy in your current job? Maybe you feel like you don't have a great work/life balance going on? Or perhaps you wish you could spend more time socialising with friends. Whatever makes you happy - that's what you need to focus on and do more of, whilst slowly minimising or eliminating the amount of time you spend on things that make you unhappy. Life is too short to be stuck in a boring desk job which makes you feel depressed. Even if it means taking a slight pay cut whilst you train, pursuing a new career could mean you'll be happier in the long run. If you're unemployed, strike the balance between finding a job quickly and choosing something you'll enjoy. Perhaps you could take on a temp role whilst studying or training for your dream job?
#7. Draw up a budget
Life isn't all about money, but in order to be able to socialise and have exciting new experiences, you do need at least a bit of cash! By drawing up a budget in January, you can work out what your essential outgoings, or living expenses (such as rent, bills etc) cost. Netflix is not an essential outgoing; although for some of us it might feel like it at times! This allows you to work out how much money you have left every month for socialising, travelling etc. By saving some money on months when you have more, you'll always have plenty put aside for times you need a boost. So next time there's a party happening or a night out with friends, you won't have to turn down invitations because you're short of cash.
We hope these New Year's resolutions ideas help all of you to have a happier 2015 - but remember, you need to stick to the resolutions you make!
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