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8 Small New Year's Resolutions you'll Actually Want to Keep

New Year’s resolutions are often overwhelming and unrealistic. You likely won’t go from an inactive lifestyle to a marathon runner, but by doing these small things every day you allow yourself to become more productive and balanced. Choose some realistic resolutions, build on them slowly, and make this year a year of positive change.

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8 Small New Year's Resolutions you'll Actually Want to Keep

1. Take a few deep breaths as soon as you wake up. It's tempting to roll out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off and immediately start your morning routine, but try not to start your day on autopilot. As soon as you wake up, notice your body. Take some breaths, move your fingers and toes, start your day by taking inventory of yourself.

2. Move your body for a minimum of 15 minutes. Whether it’s talking a walk at lunch or doing a quick yoga video you found on youtube, exercise reduces stress, increases blood flow and makes you feel more grounded.

3. Spend 10 minutes cleaning. Aside from the obvious benefit of slowly getting your apartment, office, car and closet in order, cleaning and organizing gives you a sense of control that will transfer into all areas of your life.

4. Talk to someone. If you work from home or have a day off, it can be tempting to retreat into your own little world and avoid, well, everything. Call a friend or family member, chat with a neighbor or even a friendly old woman at the grocery store. Talking to someone gets you out of your own head and reminds you that you’re not alone.

5. Do one thing you really don’t want to do. Pay a bill, do a load of laundry, write that thank you note you’ve been putting off since your birthday in November. Decide early in the day what Annoying Task you’ll knock out that day so you’ll be mentally prepared to get it done. You’ll be more productive, and you’ll increase your willpower to plow through tasks that aren’t pleasant. Then, immediately after...

6. Do one thing that you really want to do. Putting aside time and resources for yourself often feels selfish and unreasonable when your daily to-do list never seems to end. Take a hot bath, paint your nails, listen to your favorite podcast. Taking the time to do something strictly for you makes the daily grind feel less stifling. It reminds you of your self-worth and the fact that you deserve to feel good.

7. Listen to at least 3 songs. It can be all at once on your commute to work or at intervals throughout the day, but listening to music reduces stress and rates of depression. Listen to a song that make you feel good during transitions throughout the day and enjoy the flood of positive feelings that come with it.

8. Look in the mirror. Don’t judge your appearance or look for imperfections, but take a few seconds to truly look at yourself. Remember that you are a human being, and that you are present in your own life. Give yourself a small pep-talk, notice something positive, or simply look yourself in the eye and remember that you exist. Sometimes the shuffle of daily life gets so overwhelming that you begin to feel like a bundle of anxious energy bouncing around just trying to keep up. Look at yourself, remember that you’re here, and do your best to slow down.

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