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Happy New Year! Get resolution-ready!

Hello 2016!

A new year means it’s time to reflect on the highs and lows of 2015. Did you get that promotion you wanted in your workplace? Did you meet someone that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy? Or did 2015 drop you down into a dark place and make you struggle to get out of it? No matter what you’ve gone through, all your experiences are valuable in shaping you into the person you are today. Take a deep breath because the new year is here and it’s time to start forward-thinking again. Time to start another year. Be bold and be brave. Time to chat New Years resolutions! Here are some tips to guide you while you're shaping yours for 2016!

1 // Fitting in Time to Exercise

After all those Christmas and New Years feasts, it’s time to start that healthy regime! But, like many of us, you may be wondering how to fit in time to exercise when you have three kids to run around or a boss that likes you to work crazy hours in the office. Consider this: what if exercise didn’t have to be taking time away from your daily activities to sweat on a cross trainer in the gym? Exercise doesn’t always have to be high intensity exercise all of the time. If you can incorporate fitness into your daily routine, you’re more likely to stick to it.

We like to work smaller incidental exercise into our day that can help even when you're time-poor. If you’re coming home from the supermarket, put the heavy items together and do some weight lifting exercises. Introduce skipping to your kids and have some fun jumping rope with them in the backyard. On your lunch break, walk to your local grocer that’s a couple of blocks away to pick up something healthy to eat. Take the stairs instead of the elevator wherever you can. Or team up with a friend and enrol into some outdoor fitness classes. There are so many ways to exercise without even realising! Google it!

2 // Positive Thinking

Training your mind to block out negative thoughts is a powerful life skill. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to maintain. But fortunately, you can practice positive thinking exercises no matter where you are! One of our favourite positive mind exercises involves a two-syllable word – Thank you. Every time in your day you experience something that makes you feel good, think out loud to yourself - “thank you”. It can be a simple as sipping your perfectly roasted coffee or basking in the rays of a beautiful sunny day. When you experience negative thoughts, picture a bubble and fill that bubble with the negative thought. Close your eyes and watch the bubble in your mind, slowly and gently float away, out of sight, out of mind.

And always remember to make the time to do things that make you feel good. Taking time for yourself is not selfish – in fact, by doing so you are replenishing your mind and body so you can be the best version of yourself for the people in your life!

3 // Financial Support

It’s something most of us dread, but re-evaluating your finances at the beginning of the year can help set you up for stability and success. Start by establishing how much you roughly spend in a month, so keep all those shopping receipts for your records. Are you finding that you are spending too much or would like to spend less? Find out which areas you can cut down on - maybe it’s eating out less or holding off from buying a new dress.

Another idea is to start up an emergency fund that can be used in time of need. Financial researchers suggest that your emergency fund should be made up of 3-6 months worth of savings. If you’re looking for financial gain in your work place, look for the support of a mentor that can help you achieve that next promotion and don’t forget to exercise your networking skills!

4 // Travel Goals

Do you dream of seeing a different part of the world? There are a vast variety of unique cultures and experiences you can have outside of your everyday life. Traveling allows you to meet new friends and make lifelong memories. If you have a special place you’ve been dreaming to explore, start searching for when is the best (or cheapest) time to fly to that destination. Set a realistic time frame for saving money so you can enjoy your holiday experience! Each week, put a little bit of money aside into a different account that you will swear not to touch! Ask around to see if there is anyone you know who lives in that destination your traveling to, and would be happy to have you stay. By doing so you can save on accommodation and indulge in living like one of the locals!

To have the best travel experience, remember to stay organized. Book your time off work in advance. Research the best travel visa option for you. Back up all your important documents, both online and in a travel folder. Are you packing your suitcase yet? Because we are!

5 // Get Involved

Do you sometimes feel like you spend too much time in the office, at home alone or in front of a screen? Interacting with people is a great way to unwind from your regular stresses, feel a part of society and feel supported. Schedule in regular coffee dates with your best friend. Sign up to do some volunteer work with a festival or charity. Have a friendly chat to that elderly lady on your bus. If you’re a mother, join a mother’s group. Take up a team building sport, like netball or rowing. Even try putting yourself in a work environment where people appreciate your hard work and determination.

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Whatever you do, write your resolutions down so you can keep yourself on track and come back to them throughout the year. It's a lovely thing to close each year down by looking at how far you've come before you set new ones for the future.

Many thanks to our beautiful Madeleine Gill for this insightful article!