Helpful Hints for Starting Your New Year Right – January 2016

January 1 – Refuse to take anyone’s crap. There is absolutely no need to be everyone’s dumping ground. As soon as someone starts giving you crap, you point one fabulous finger in their face, say a very firm “No.” And off you strut.

January 2 – Do you, baby. Wear your favorite t-shirt, your favorite dress, your favorite tie. Do your makeup all pretty or throw some gel in your hair. Whatever makes you feel good.

January 3 – Eat an avocado. They’re so good for you. Get a good ripe one (pull back the stem: green means go, brown means no, and a defiant stem means it’s not yet ripe), sprinkle a little salt and pepper, and eat it plain or on toast. Your body will thank you.

January 4 – Put on some upbeat music as soon as you get up in the morning. Dance music, party music, whatever gets your heart pumping and gets you in a good mood. Face your day with optimism, but like, aggressively.

January 5 – Write to three of your friends…it can be over social media, it can be a handwritten letter, or a text message, or whatever. Pick three people you care about but don’t get in contact with much, and tell them that you care about them and are happy to have them in your life.

January 6 – Pick a quiet time in your day to write down ten things you’re grateful for. It can be hard to come up with ten, but it can be something simple, like that you’re glad you have a roof over your head or that you are no longer in high school.

January 7 – Try to fight negative self-talk. Everytime you see yourself in the mirror today, try to smile and think something nice about yourself, and if anybody’s got something negative to say, now’s your chance to punch them in the eye. Go for it, I believe in you.

January 8 – Go for a walk. Literally, just take fifteen minutes and walk around the block and breathe in some fresh air. Plug into your iPod if that’s what you’re into. Let the world feast upon your glory.

January 9 – Pick a word to sneak into conversation as many times as you can. Try to subconsciously get other people to say it. I like doing this with the word “indeed.”

January 10 – Go through your living space and throw out the trash, wash the dishes, put some cleaner in the toilet, and put away your clothes. If you feel motivated to continue cleaning after that, good for you. If not, that’s okay. What are you, anyway, some kind of cleaning wizard?

January 11 – Turn to the ever-helpful internet and learn a few basic phrases in sign language (“hello,” “good-bye,” “thank you.”) It’s so important to try to break down communication barriers, and this is one very easy – but very effective – way to do it.

January 12 – Listen to some new kind of music. Like, you know those bands that you’ve heard of, but you’ve never heard any of their songs? Just pick one and listen to a random song on YouTube or Spotify or whatever you use. You could discover your next ANTHEM.

January 13 – Before you go to bed tonight, open the window for, like, ten minutes. You’ll sleep so much better with fresh air in the room.

January 14 – Draw a picture of a random animal: a cat, a giraffe, an elephant, whatever. Hide it somewhere for your family or roommate or SO to find. If you live alone, put it in the windshield wipers of somebody’s car. Pretend you had nothing to do with it. Extra points if the animal has sunglasses.

January 15 – Change the background on your computer to something that will make you really happy and motivated every time you see it. It’s so important to surround yourself with things that make you want to LIVE.

January 16 – At the end of your shower, rinse your body and hair with cold water. It’s especially good and hydrating for your skin.

January 17 – Rediscover your youth. Disney movies, Spongebob marathon, legos, coloring books, Lunchables – savor the things you loved as a kid.

January 18 – Call a random local business and tell them you won’t be in for your shift today. Go into a detailed story about how you’ve felt this cold coming on for a while but now it’s really taking a toll on you and you just need to stay in bed and rest for the day. Be sure to apologize for any inconvenience.

January 19 – Catch up on the news. Do you even know what’s going on the world? Learn something about current events so you have something meaningful to discuss with your friends. Bonus points if it’s from an independent/reputable news source and not, like, Fox.

January 20 – Take a selfie. Take the most beautiful selfie you can. Post it on Facebook. When people tell you that you look great, reply “I know.”

January 21 – Send a postcard to someone who lives in the same city. Refuse to acknowledge that it was out of place in any way.

January 22 – Take pictures of your stuffed animals doing various everyday things. Send them to people. If you don’t have any stuffed animals, then I don’t even know how I can help you, you soulless bastard.

January 23 – Learn some geography. I recommend this site. It’s easy enough to learn if you just invest a bit of time, and it’s something too few people take the time for. Besides that, it’s kind of fun. You’ll probably make a lot of mistakes at first, but the more you play, the better you get.

January 24 – Cuddle up with blankets, a hoody or sweater, warm socks, and some tea or hot chocolate. Watch a documentary.

January 25 – Imagine you were your own little sister or brother. What would Big Sister/Brother You say to encourage Little Sister/Brother You? Try some gentle self-talk. Ease your mind. Tell yourself that everything will be okay.

January 26 – Break the routine and do something a little bit different today, even if it’s just brushing you teeth with your non-dominant hand (or your feet, I guess, if you’re ambidextrous, really flexible, and don’t already do that). It’s good for staying mindfully aware of your surroundings, for being present.

January 27 – Walk into your workplace or school, start slapping people, and declare that you are now in charge. Repeat slaps for anyone who defies you. It works for cats, so why not for humans?

January 28 – If you want to call anyone today, lay down, put the phone on  your forehead, and telepathically tell them to call you. If they don’t, accuse them of not accepting you as a superior mental force and for not being open to your powers.

January 29 – Go to your workplace/school wearing some ribbons and gift wrap. Get creative, but don’t restrict your ability to move. When people ask  you why, say with a straight face, “I may not be the gift this office/school/etc. deserves, but I am the gift this office/school/etc. needs right now.”

January 30 – Get your body moving – go for a jog, hit the gym, dance around in your room, learn some yoga positions. Whatever. The point is you’re moving.

January 31 – Ask a friend you haven’t seen in a while to meet you for coffee. Ask them how their year has been so far. Don’t shame them if they weren’t able to keep up with their original resolution. Remind them there are 11 months left of 2016 and they have your full support.

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