New Years Resolutions — we all make them, but come February, many of them are mysteriously cast to the wayside. Given this truth, take the opportunity to set a second round of resolutions to start today.
Maybe a good option — one you'll actually keep — is to set more realistic goals for the coming year. I recently picked up “The Happiness Project,” a great book about the little things you can do to be a happier “you.”
It got me thinking — maybe we shouldn't be thinking about changing ourselves at all, but becoming better versions of ourselves. Check out the following 10 tips to become a better, happier you in 2014.
1. Start wearing bold lipstick.
According to a L’Oreal survey, 75 percent of women believe that lipstick makes them feel more confident — you can bet that I’m wearing a shade of red lipstick when I walk into a big presentation or client meeting. When I’m in a bad mood or feeling under the weather, a tube of MAC is the first thing out of my bag. A girl can’t conquer the world without her lipstick.
2. Start acting the way you want to feel.
Pay attention to this one because it will make a world of difference in your life. In “The Happiness Project,” author Gretchen Rubin encourages her readers to act the way they want to feel. It’s a slightly different version of “fake it ‘til you make it,” but guess what? It works. When you walk into the office on Tuesday morning and have that “Oh my God, it’s only Tuesday” feeling, put a smile on your face. Pretend that it’s Friday. Before you know it, you won’t be miserable anymore.
3. Call up a friend with whom you’ve lost touch.
It’s easy to lose track of time. Old friendships fall by the wayside, but that’s okay, it happens to all of us. Chances are, you’ve forgotten how much fun you used to have with your old college roommate or childhood neighbor. But, stop making excuses, call him or her and meet for drinks, coffee or Skype!
4. Give at least three people a compliment today.
It always makes me feel good to make other people feel good. It’s why we spend so much time picking out the perfect holiday present and birthday card. We want to make others feel good, so stop waiting for an occasion to do so. Make a point to compliment the people around you every day.
5. Make every hug last a bit longer.
Scientific evidence has revealed that hugs that last longer than 20 seconds increase levels of oxytocin (a happy hormone).
6. Let arguments go.
Arguing sucks, and oftentimes, both parties leave feeling worse than they did pre-confrontation. We all argue more often than we need to, so this year, let’s try to pick our battles. Stop getting irritated about your mom’s nagging. Forget that your roommate forgot to lock the door on her way out. Cut people some slack and only address the things that really matter.
7. Spend five more minutes per day tidying up your space.
This advice comes from someone who turns her room into a tornado every time she gets dressed to go out. But, lack of organization causes stress. Think of how serene you feel walking in the door after completing your spring-cleaning. Commit to spending just five more minutes per day cleaning up after yourself — you’ll feel better when you wake up to a clean house each morning.
8. Pick something new or different to try each month.
Pick up a book you would never normally read. Go to Chinatown. Sign up for Photoshop 101 on SkillShare.com. Trying 12 “new” things per year is not difficult to do and the commitment will make you feel much more accomplished.
9. Have more conversations with strangers.
This one might seem a little strange. After all, our parents always told us to never speak with strangers. But, I’m most flattered when a compliment comes from someone whom I don’t know or a when a stranger commits a random act of kindness unto me.
10. Stock up on cute greeting cards.
Everyone wants to be more like that thoughtful friend who never forgets to send a note for a birthday. Maybe she’s the family member who never fails to gets her Thank You notes out on time. Stock up on greeting cards so that soon, you can be that friend.