Family

7 Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Congratulations! Despite the sarcastic negativity and nay-sayers, you have chosen a path of self-improvement. Here are seven simple things you can do to make sure you achieve all of your 2016 goals.

Treat yourself.
Your goals require a special type of strength from your mind and body. Acknowledge this, own this, and love yourself for deciding to improve despite the challenge it will be.

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Books

Want to Make 2016 a Happier Year? Here’s How I Did It Month by Month

If you’re looking for ways to make 2016 a happier, healthier, more productive year, may I self-promotingly suggest my book, The Happiness Project?

The first day of the new year always feels so fresh and full of promise to me -- but at the same time, it’s very discouraging to look back over the year that’s just ended, and realize that I’d never accomplished an important, happiness-boosting change that I’d hoped to make.

This feeling is one of the major reasons that I undertook my happiness project.
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General

How Do You Use Your Limited Time & Brain Cycles?

There's a meme that started way back in 2007 talking about a professor who fills up a jar full of golf balls, pebbles, and sand to demonstrate that you should fill your life with the important things first (the larger golf balls), so that the little things (the pebbles and sand) don't take up all the room in your life (the jar).

There's a reason memes become popular and get shared online -- because there is some kind of universal truth connected to them that people recognize. This clever story of a jar and golf balls is just such a meme.

You have a very short time on this planet -- much shorter than you realize when you take into account the tens of thousands of years of civilization before you were born, and the likely tens of thousands of years in the future. How are you going to spend that time? What kind of things will you spend most days focusing on -- the little, useless things, or the bigger, meaningful stuff?

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General

Be SMART and Avoid Failing at New Year’s Resolutions

Do you know people who have a hard time maintaining their big New Year's goals past February? Who are the people around you who joke, "Yeah, I made a resolution to lose weight, but then Valentine's Day came around." Or "I made a resolution to quit smoking, but then I needed a break at work."

If making and sticking to goals is hard for you, it does not mean that you are helpless, hopeless, or should give up trying. Far too many people make goals that are too big, too general, way too difficult, and without any tracking tools. People tend to create large, grandiose, long-term goals with no short-terms goals to guide the process. Follow the SMART method below to reach your resolutions for 2016.
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5 Tips for Coping with the Post-Holiday Blues

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays. The moment when we realize the guests have left and the errands are complete. The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays.

Personally, the days immediately following New Year's Day are mixed emotion days for me. The first couple weeks of January, I relax in the glow of Christmas and the expectation of new beginnings. Yet, mingled amid my joyous feelings, there is a feeling of sadness as I realize that the holiday season has ended and normal life has returned.

Since I was a young child, I have loved the period from Halloween to New Year's because of the festivities, the traditions, the foods, smells, and sights. Yet it seems that as soon as Halloween is upon us, in a flash, we are past New Year's Day.

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Depression

Surviving January — the Most Depressing Month of the Year

January 24 is on record as being the most depressing day of the year. It’s not hard to figure out why. The bills come in from all those generous gifts you gave back when the holiday spirit had you feeling rich. The resolutions you made on December 31 are, well, broken. And it’s cold, dark, and dreary -- the roads wear the kind of brown slush that is unbecoming.

However, my mood dips long before the 24th. It does a dive the Monday after the New Year -- the first full week of January. I call it Yuck Monday or Yuck Week.
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Brain and Behavior

Why It’s OK Not to Make New Year’s Resolutions

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them? Many of us spend the last days of December thinking about what our resolutions should be in the coming year. This can lead to discussions with family and friends about what we should change and resolve to do differently. Then we make our resolutions and commit to them, or maybe not.

This has become rote behavior for many of us -- a ritual we follow, year after year. We typically choose resolutions to change ourselves into who we want to or feel we should be, but are not. Sometimes we choose something really big to accomplish, which can become too overwhelming. Why do we do this to ourselves?

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Anger

New Year, New Relationship

If you’re anything like me, you have high hopes that 2016 is going to be your year. And while, in many ways I make this claim every year and a lot of good happens in my life, there are those tried and true “resolutions” that just don’t seem to stick.

“I’m going to be a better (friend, confidant, spouse, colleague) for the New Year. “ “I aim to be more (giving of my time, generous with my loved ones, selfless, thoughtful).” “I vow to do less (blaming, cursing, feeling sorry for myself).” And so on and so forth. You get the idea. As wonderful and hopeful as these goals may sound, implementing them always seem to fall short.
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General

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’re Going to Break — and How to Plan for Success Instead


The first days of the new year are always the same. You start off strong, a long list of resolutions planned, ready to conquer your career goals. And you do -- for a week, maybe two, or even a few months if you’re on a roll.

Then, something throws you off track. The culprit may be a seemingly insignificant workplace annoyance, but it has the power to affect your motivation in a big way.

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General

Tips for Writing a Successful New Year’s Resolution

As we begin a new year many of us turn our minds and thoughts to resolutions. We use this time of the year to reflect on the year gone by. Actually, I encourage all of us to spend time reflecting on this past year, as long as your reflections aren't focused solely on the negatives nor used as a time to chastise yourself.

Mindfulness is about living in the moment. The past no longer exists, but in our minds. Reflecting on the past, when done nonjudgmentally, allows us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves from our past experiences and choices. We can celebrate those moments when life was wonderful. We can examine those moments when life didn't go well to determine what we can do differently now. We can plan for the future. In this way our past isn't ignored, it is honored for what it teaches us.

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