7 Resolutions for a Happier Start to 2017

It’s officially 2017. You’ve made it through yet another holiday season and survived one of the busiest times of year. Now that 2016 is behind you, it’s time to consider just how you’d like to kick off the new year. Even if you had an incredible past 12 months, those ahead are bound to be even better, so long as you actually do what’s necessary to make it happen.

So, go ahead, kick those slippers off and slip into some business shoes, because 2017 is your year — you’re going to knock its socks off. Here are seven resolutions for a happier start to 2017.

1. Give up on non-productive anger

businessman shouting on the phone with gesture on the car

There’s no point in getting angry over things you can’t control | iStock.com/Tomwang112

Yearly taxes or the newest president-elect might make your blood boil, but consider whether or not there’s anything you can personally do about it. Although it may directly impact you, if there’s literally nothing you can change about the current situation, there’s no sense in wasting your energy being ticked off. Learn to let go, and you stand a much better chance at happiness.

According to U.S. News & World Report, your anger often has a ripple effect, impacting the emotional well-being and productivity of those around you. Additionally, it increases fatigue, impairs your ability to get quality sleep, and is a total energy drain. There’s no arguing that trading anger for happiness is the way to go.

2. Cut down on the clutter

young woman is lying on the grass and thinking

Decluttering your life leads to a happier existence | iStock.com/LittleBee80

If your place is a mess, work is overtaking your home, an social networks are causing you stress, making moves to declutter your life will help you achieve an awesome 2017. It’s impossible to live a happy existence if you’re constantly bogged down by clutter, so it’s time to get out from under that dark rain cloud, and cut down on things that aren’t doing any good in your life. By making a conscious effort to declutter, you’re choosing a future of success and happiness.

3. Surround yourself with good company

Three happy friends watching tv

Three happy friends watching TV | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

You are the company you keep, so if you’re hanging around a bunch of pessimists, some of that cynicism is bound to rub off on you. Think intentionally about the people who inspire you. If your coworker’s work ethic motivates you, make a point to spend a little more time with him or her. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, recommends using the strategy of other people. Because you pick up the habits of those around you, it’s in your best interest to choose your company very, very wisely.

4. Make time for things you’re passionate about

backpacker on a hike

Backpacker on a hike | iStock.com

Remember when you were a kid and your only worry was fitting in time for things you really loved to do? Playing your favorite sport was your top priority. Or checking out the newest art exhibit at your local museum never got old. Well, there’s no better time than now to get back to the things you love. While being an adult may be more complicated than being a kid, making time for extra-curriculars is still a worthwhile venture. Be sure to carve out time to go hiking, see a movie, or read a new book. Do what makes you happy, without it being directly tied to things you have to do.

5. Make mornings positive

Happy man waking up, stretching in bed

Make mornings positive | iStock.com

There’s nothing quite like kicking off your day by hopping out of bed with a smile on your face. Even if you’re not a chipper early riser, it’s never too late to work on changing your ways. Kristi Lang, author of Operation Happiness, tells Reader’s Digest starting each day with healthy habits and a positive outlook will make a big difference in your overall happiness. Her morning routine recommendations include listening to uplifting podcasts, eating healthy food, and incorporating an inspiring practice, such as a quick meditation. You never know the difference it could make in your everyday life until you give it a try.

6. Give yourself a break

young black woman sitting on floor at home with cell phone

Happy woman sitting on floor | iStock.com/m-imagephotography

Everyone’s hard on themselves from time to time, but what are you really gaining from this kind of behavior? Holding yourself accountable and having high standards is great, but there’s a fine line between doing your part, and beating yourself up. There’s no sense in crying over every little thing, so consider this next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up. In allowing yourself to be a little kinder when it comes to your own faults or shortcomings, you’ll be making great strides and will soon be well on your way to your happiest year yet.

7. Go to bed phone-free

young woman smiling while sleeping

Ditch your phone before getting into bed | iStock.com/GeorgeRudy

There are several benefits of a digital detox. Ditching your phone can help improve your relationships by way of more in-person contact, keep you from stressing over work emails as you fall asleep, and the list goes on. Leaving your phone in another room will ensure you fight the urge to scroll through social media, which, as Vogue points out, is hardly the best reading material.

Do you ever wake up and check your email first thing, before you’ve even gotten out of bed? Well, back to the point of adopting a healthier morning routine — quit doing this, now. There’s no need to stress yourself out over an email first thing in the morning. Furthermore, relying on your phone to check the status of your workday before it’s even begun doesn’t necessarily encourage hopping right out of bed in a good mood.

So, cheers to a happy 2017. May it be your very best year yet.

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