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New Year, New You

Here are some ways to become a better version of yourself.

By Sam David

Now that a new year is here, there’s no better time to figure out what is it about yourself that needs improvement. Not only is this process good for you, but also for your other half (or potential new partner). After all, you want to be a positive influence on them!

Always been the quiet, shy one? Break out of your comfort zone and attend more events and gatherings to build social connections and interact with others. You don’t have to deal with big crowds immediately if you’re uncomfortable; start small with more intimate gatherings. Socialising will help your mind stay sharp, and is excellent for developing an outside perspective to your own experiences, which is important when it comes to building a strong relationship with your significant other.

Feeling out of shape and unmotivated? Being active can really improve your quality of life because when you work out, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Again, you can (and should) start small to avoid injuring yourself, then train harder as time goes by. Exercise will soon become a habit, rather than a chore. Also, playing sports helps to instill self-motivation as it challenges your mind just as it challenges your body to push itself to the limit.

Constantly all over the place? Keeping yourself too busy is never a good thing. In fact, it can make you feel exhausted and stretched thin. It can also make it difficult for you to be fully present and focus properly, and in the long run, it can cause issues such as anxiety. Make an effort to slow things down. Get organised so that you can go about your day with greater ease. Make sure you allocate time to relax and de-stress, or learn to meditate. You can also practice yoga or do something simpler like take evening strolls alone (or with your partner) after work.

Stuck in a rut? Whether you’re burnt out or bored, doing the same things over and over again usually leads to feeling less enthusiastic than you once were. If this sounds familiar, shake things up by picking up a hobby to find a new interest, or begin work on something you’ve been putting off, like a photoblog for your snapshots. It could also be as straightforward as switching up your routine. The point is to reignite your passion for life, and in turn, this will help boost your mood and productivity levels.

Stick to those New Year’s resolutions!
We all know it’s not easy achieving goals, so here are some tips to keep in mind when setting your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Make sure your goals are specific and attainable.

If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If your aim is to lose weight, don’t set just that as your target. Look at what you’ve done in the past to see what works and what doesn’t. Is exercising daily for an hour almost impossible due to your schedule? Then do it three times a week instead and keep it to 30 minutes per session.

2. Focus on one thing at a time.

You can only do so much before you feel overwhelmed and give up completely. Don’t bite off more than you can chew; take baby steps to make a change and gradually work on more resolutions.

3. Share your resolutions.

By telling those closest to you about your plans, you involve them. They can help you track your progress, overcome difficulties by providing support, and even join you if their resolutions are in line with yours.

4. Reward yourself.

Rewards help motivate people. For every milestone you reach, do something to celebrate your little victory. Want to learn how to swim? Just tell yourself to get from point A to point B without your feet touching the floor in the pool first, reward yourself with a small token, then move on to perfecting swim strokes.

Remember, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. But more importantly, don’t forget that changing yourself should always be for you, never for others.