5 Habits You Don't Actually Have to Break in the New Year

2021 is almost here.

If you're a New Year's resolutioner, you already have a list of goals you want to achieve in the new year. New Year's resolutions are so popular because we all look forward to a clean slate and a chance to start over. The most popular resolutions usually include stopping bad habits like "I'm going to stop spending so much money" or "I'm going to stop being so negative."

We have some good news for you. There are a few habits that you don't actually need to break. In fact, they can be beneficial rather than harmful! Here are five habits you don't need to break in the new year.

You Don't Need to Stop Drinking Coffee

You don't have to give up your iced coffee! Coffee isn't bad for you in the correct dose. Some people do become caffeine-dependent and consume more coffee than what's considered healthy, and reducing your caffeine consumption is an excellent resolution, but you don't have to give it up completely. Coffee can actually benefit your health. According to Health Line, coffee contains nutrients like vitamin B2, vitamin B5, manganese, potassium and vitamin B3. Coffee is also full of antioxidants, which protect you from diseases.

Most experts agree that if you're between the ages of 12 and 18, you should consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day, which equals about a cup of coffee. Depending on your tolerance level and what your parents allow, you may consume less or more, but as long as you're drinking a healthy level of caffeine, you don't need to cut out your morning Starbucks.

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You Don't Need to Stop Eating Sugar (In Moderation)

Sugar is not the enemy. Unless you're reducing your sugar intake for a medical reason, there is no reason you have to completely avoid it. You can, and should, enjoy sugar in moderation. You will begin to crave sugar even more if you eliminate it from your daily diet. Life is too short not to have some sweetness! Like caffeine, it's great if your goal is to reduce your sugar intake, but you don't need to cut it out completely.

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You Don't Need to Stop Experiencing Negative Emotions

The phrase "toxic positivity" means expecting other people, or yourself, to be positive all the time. Toxic positivity discourages you from experiencing negative or uncomfortable emotions. This may seem good in theory, but in practice, it's very unhealthy. We need to experience a wide range of emotions. Allowing yourself to be angry or sad helps you process your feelings. Experiencing sadness, grief, jealousy and anger helps us grow and emotionally mature. Ignoring the negative feelings won't make them go away, but it will rob you of an essential part of the human experience.

It's a great idea to start a gratitude journal or to try to think more positively, but completely ignoring any negative emotion won't help you or anyone else. There are no "good" or "bad" feelings. There are just emotions. You let yourself experience them because you know they will all pass.

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You Don't Need to Stop Caring What Other People Think of You

Humans are wired to care about people's opinions of us. Most people care about what other people think of them and it's not necessarily bad if it's not negatively impacting our lives.  Psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps noted in a Web MD article that "there are good reasons for caring what others think." It can help you navigate relationships and provide you with valuable feedback.

However, it becomes a problem when you allow people's opinions to affect what you do and how you view yourself. Deciding that you want to care less about people's opinions is a great intention, but it's unrealistic to think you can force yourself to not care. It's better to set a goal to become more confident, so you don't need external validation as much. People don't think about you as much as you worry they do and their judgments ultimately have no effect on you. If you still care about what other people think of you? That's okay! As long as you don't let it stop you from doing what you love and being yourself.

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You Don't Need to Stop Being Yourself

It's great to have self-improvement goals, but you don't need to change yourself into a new person. You are amazing just the way you are. You have unique qualities that you don't need to change to fit in. If you like being introverted, you don't have to force yourself to be an extrovert. If you love wearing makeup, you don't have to stop wearing it because people tell you to be more natural. Of course, we all have areas we can work on, but you should always seek to evolve rather than completely abandon the person you are now.  Never stop working on yourself, but love yourself and stay true to yourself every step of the way.

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Now let's focus on what you want to start doing in the new year. Here are five tips for setting realistic New Year's resolutions that you'll actually stick to this year!