5 Things to Start Doing in 2021 for Your Happiest Year

2021 is going to be an amazing year.

We're speaking it into existence. 2020 has been such a challenging year and we all deserve a fabulous 2021. It's a new year full of hope and opportunity. However, it's not enough to wish that 2021 is going to be amazing. You have to take action.

On January 1, you should have a game plan for how you're going to make positive changes. You want to be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself. Here are the five easy things you can start doing to make sure you have the best year yet.

Start Every Day with a Solid Morning Routine

Lemony Snicket said, "Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have." Starting your day on a positive note will always help set you up for a positive day. There are a million different ways to set up a morning routine. It usually includes positivity and organization. You can start by drinking coffee, having a great breakfast, taking a nice long shower, reading for a few minutes, stretching or exercising, meditating or listening to your favorite music. Next, you schedule some time to look over your to-do list or write down a few goals for the day. Wake up 10 minutes early to do one thing that makes you happy and organizes your day. If you want to create a morning routine with more steps, that's also great!

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Start Creating Boundaries With People in Your Life

Most people wildly misunderstand the practice of creating boundaries with our families and friends. They think that creating boundaries means that you don't want them in your life or that you're pushing them away. On the contrary, setting boundaries with friends and family allows you to be closer because you've set limits in your relationship, which strengthens your connection when respected.

It can be awkward to speak up for yourself and tell your loved ones when something makes you uncomfortable or need more space, but you must protect yourself. If they try to make you feel bad for setting boundaries, that's not your problem. You will feel so much more free and happy when you have clear lines with the people in your life.

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Start Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Say it with me—your mental health is just as important as your physical health. There are various ways to take care of your mental health and everyone has a unique situation. You might need to incorporate more relaxing activities in your day or start writing positive affirmations about yourself to increase your self-esteem. You might need to talk to friends and family if you're struggling or seek therapy, and that's okay too. No matter what steps you have to take care of your mental health, it's valid. Your mental health is the basis of everything in your life. You need a strong foundation, so everything else in your life can thrive.

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Start Viewing Health in a Balanced and Sustainable Way

A lot of New Year's resolutions involve dieting and exercising. While focusing on your health is good, starting to diet and excessively exercise is harmful. The major red flag is if you're doing crash diets or obsessing about losing weight. You want to change your eating and exercise habits for the right reasons, like improving your energy or feeling stronger, not for the wrong reasons, like wanting to diet for spring break.

Exercising and eating shouldn't be centered around weight loss. It's best to focus on eating healthy and balanced meals, which include many fruits and vegetables, but also ice cream when you want it. You should balance your relationship with exercise too. Move your body in a way that you love because it makes you feel good. Remember, before you drastically change anything in your life, check with a nutritionist or doctor to make sure it's healthy. If you're struggling with your relationship to food, exercise, or body, reach out for help.

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Start Prioritizing Yourself

2021 is your year, which means putting your health and happiness first. This doesn't mean that you avoid helping people or only care about yourself, but it's essential to know that you deserve the love and attention you give to other people. Many of us are used to putting other people before ourselves because we feel obligated to help and don't want to be selfish. However, you need to take care of yourself before you can truly help others. This might mean saying no, when you feel overwhelmed or need to set aside time to pursue your own passions. Remember, if you want this to be your year, you need to make time for yourself.

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Speaking of healthy habits, it's pretty common to drop healthy habits in the winter when we're not as motivated. HERE are four self-care habits we should keep doing, even in the winter.