Every year on January 1, millions of people wake up thinking about the year that passed and the year that is yet to come. We analyze our successes, our failures and what we want to do differently in the year ahead. We think about what it will take to live a better life, we make plans to follow through, and then, sometime in mid-January, those plans go straight out the window. This year, don’t let that happen. Here are five ways to live better in the New Year!

1. Take it Easy

We know you work hard and play hard, but you probably also stress too hard and even think too hard! This year, give yourself a break from unnecessary stresses by slowing down. Forget running errands all day on your Saturdays. Instead, give yourself the gift of a leisurely walk, a Sunday night movie, or an afternoon spent gardening.

2.  Read the Bible

Reading the Bible is not only a great way to get in touch with God, but to relax and take time for you as well. Instead of spending your Monday evening watching reality TV reruns, reread your favorite verse in the Bible… or find a new one to help you get motivated for the New Year. There is definitely an amazing verse just waiting to become your mantra for living better in 2013!

3. Go Gadget Free

Yes, we know your smartphone is fun and it’s a great way to stay in touch with your friends and family, but it’s also an addiction. Make a rule for yourself that involves turning off all computers, cell phones, tablets, etc. at least once a week (Sunday seems like the perfect day to us)! At first this may seem like it’s hindering you from making connections, but it’s actually going to help you make even deeper connections with those around you!

4.  Remove Negative Elements

January is the perfect time of year to give up all the things holding you back from your best self yet! From negative friends to bad habits (smoking, drinking, gambling), it’s time to clear out all of the things you spent 2012 complaining about. Make a list of anything and everything you find negative in your life and remove them while you can. Now is the time to make yourself happy, so do it!

5. Add Positive Energy

While you’re removing all the negatives from your life, fill the void left behind with positive people and hobbies. Think about your funniest, most caring friends and ask them to lunch next weekend. Or, help yourself to stop obsessing with those cigarettes you’re giving up by keeping a journal of positivity. Every time you get the craving to smoke, head to your journal to jot in everything you’re thankful for in your life. You can also take up new hobbies like hiking, running, weight-lifting or yoga.

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