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Start the Year Fresh: 7 Lifestyle Changes for a Clear Mind and Positive Energy

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Will Durant

Our days are full of stress and expectation. With our crazy schedule and a constantly plugged in society, it can be hard to recognize what’s important in life.

It’s even harder to make positive changes in your habits. It’s easy to get bogged down and lose motivation. Habits are hard to break. But it is possible to make small changes in your life that over time make a big difference. To make real positive changes in your life, that won’t stress you out or convince you to give up, try this list. Even a few minutes a day could be life-changing.

1. Take Up Running

Running is a fantastic hobby that is easy to start! It takes no special equipment, you don’t need to pay for a gym membership, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a stretch of road. Not only does running help you lose weight and live longer, thanks to its effect on your heart and circulation, but it’s known to be very good for your stress levels. Fresh air helps keep you healthy and sunlight can give you needed vitamins. Running also produces endorphins which boost your mood throughout the day. And many runners report the meditative headspace that helps them stay stress-free.

2. Change your diet

If you find your eating habits aren’t giving you the energy or shape that you want, or maybe you’re just taking one too many opportunities for over processed junk food, a new diet may be just what you need to feel cleaner, healthier, and clear-minded. To keep yourself motivated, try a diet that isn’t built on eating less. The Keto diet tricks your body into a state of ketosis, by cutting out sugar and carbs, and replacing them with healthy fats and proteins, like oil, dairy, and meats. It seems too good to be true, but by paying careful attention to your macros, that is, your portions of fat, to protein, to sugar, you’ll feel better, look better, and live better in no time. Before you start, consult with your physician, to help you figure out the diet that is best for you.

3. Take Time For Yourself

The best way to deal with stress is to remember to take some time for yourself. This means different things to different people, but if you’re unsure how to start, meditation is a great option for lowering your stress levels and looking for clarity in your life. Whether you believe in the metaphysical aspects of meditation, the science is sound. At its most basic, meditation is a way to calm the fight or flight reflex in the body. It’s especially helpful if you deal with anxiety. The breathing techniques found in meditation are sure to help you with your peace of mind, and overall health. And sitting still can even improve your productivity in the workplace!

4. Set Realistic Goals

A big part of why we struggle to make change is the unrealistic expectations that lead to shame. Learn how to set realistic goals. Follow the method outlined by Healthy Women, set reasonable goals with timelines and get the help and support you need from family and friends. As long as you stay honest with yourself and accountable to you and others, you’re sure to find it easier to set realistic goals that you’ll be proud and excited to achieve!

5. Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep has a huge impact on everything from your looks, your health, and your mood. To make a change in your life, make a change in your sleeping habits! Cut out caffeine in the afternoons, and stick to chamomile. Try lavender sleep sprays, and keep your room at a cooler temperature, making it easier to sleep. The most important aspect to getting a good night sleep is good sleep hygiene. That means using your bedroom for sleep, and keeping regular night-time hours, with a schedule if necessary.

6. Make Time For Reading

Reading good books is a good way to expand your mind, but most of us just can’t seem to find the time. Audiobooks and ebooks are a good way to get your reading in on the go. Non-fiction books or apps that specialize in bite-sized versions of non-fiction books can help you expand your mind and learn new things. Fiction is a great way to be entertained on a long commute, or during your daily walk or run. It’s a lot better for your attention span than Netflix, that’s for sure! So make a positive change, learn something new, and squeeze in more reading time!

7. Make Time For Family And Friends

Strong family connections make for a healthier mind and healthier body. Often, we forget about our social connections in the business of our day to day lives. Fortunately, even the most introverted can find their tribe. Dinner with family, a daily Skype date with loved ones, a date night with your significant other… Even once a week can have a huge impact on your stress level and overall health. And it has the added bonus of helping someone else’s stress levels too!

Self-improvement is a sometimes overwhelming task. It’s too easy to give up and fall back into old habits. By making small steps toward larger goals, and learning what your priorities are, you can make big, lasting changes in your life that will help you deal with stress, get you looking and feeling the way you’ve always wanted, and help you live a better, more positive life. And all you have to do is take the steps to get started!

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