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New Year, New You: Tips for Improving Yourself

Sonya Friedman coined this great quote: The way you treat yourself sets the standards for others. Forget about New Year’s Resolutions, set new standards that improve the quality of your life over time. This will require a certain level of discipline, but without the necessary enthusiasm and self-care, these self-induced rules will fall by the wayside. If you want the New You to emerge, you should make manageable changes and reward yourself along the way. When you make changes at home, they naturally seem to flow into your work life. Here are some helpful tips to guide you along the path of self-discovery.

Eat chocolate and prevent heart attacks. Yes, you read that right.

Chocolate Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, discovered that if you eat chocolate five or more times a week, you may be 57% less likely to contract coronary heart disease. It doesn’t even have to be dark chocolate, these statistics include milk chocolate as well. Experts assume that the antioxidant flavonoids in chocolate protect the heart by lowering blood pressure. So go ahead and splurge, but remember – everything in moderation. (Employers: be sure to stock up on chocolate for your breakroom and reception area.)

Reread the Little Engine that Could. Channel that energy.

Little engine that Could According to research by Albert Bandura, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, peoples’ ambition is directly related to what they believe about their abilities, not on how objectively talented or brilliant they are. Henry Ford quipped –Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You’re right. Keeping positive isn’t always easy but if you believe you deserve that raise, chances are you will get it. If you believe you deserve a loving, long-term partner, he or she is bound to be your new next door neighbor.

Change is the only constant in life.

Change Frank Busch, who coached three Olympic swimming teams, agrees that is hard to remain enthusiastic when everything stays the same. He constantly challenged and surprised his athletes by adding something new to their exercise routine or allowed them to skip a practice and have a little down-time. Routine has its place and is necessary, but life is meant to be lived and we must be open to new experiences.

Be your own best friend.

Best Friends So often, we are own worst critics. Slow down, take a breath and listen to your body. Pamper yourself. Remember this is not selfish or indulgent but necessary for us to be healthy and reduce our stress levels in this busy world. Your inner critic may have motivated you in the past, but it is harder to be kind to others when we are constantly beating ourselves up. Let’s face it, none of us dropped all of our bad habits and fully embraced physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being on January 2. Even if you make one small change a year, the years add up. The point is to be a better person than you were the day before. Be present. Natalie Goldberg, in Long Quiet Highway, said it best – Every moment is enormous, and it is all we have. Our life is a path of learning to wake up before we die.