WORDS BY Katelyn Rew

WORDS BY Katelyn Rew

Remember how new the year felt in January? You made fresh goals, you rebooted your motivation and you were ready to go! Problem is, the year isn't so new anymore and somehow you’ve found yourself 'accidentally' sitting on the couch, eating junk food and watching re-runs of The OC more than you'd like to admit.

Well enough is enough, time to pick yourself up and start living, achieving, and making the most out of your life! 2015 is the year to be the best person that you have ever been, so blow Ryan and Marissa a kiss goodbye and get to it. 

1. Inhale, exhale

There are so many benefits to meditation. Not only does it increase concentration and help alleviate stress, but it’s also great for combating depression, anxiety and sleeping problems. It’s also fantastic for your relationships as it makes you a much calmer and more chilled out individual. There are some great phone apps if guided meditation is more your thing and a monumental amount of books and websites dedicated to the benefits of this ancient practice. Now is as good a time as any. Cross your legs, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax.

2. Make friends with books

Reading is great for expanding your vocabulary and another great way to relax and immerse yourself in a fantasy land. You would be surprised how much reading increases your knowledge of geography, history and just downright random facts. Whether it be fiction, non fiction, biographies, or whatever you are into, aim to read at least one book a month. There are some fantastic book clubs around which can also serve as a great place to meet new people and make new friends. If you are stuck for a good book to read, go online and check out various best sellers lists, read some of the classics, or simply ask a friend for a good recommendation.   

3. Volunteer your time

Helping other people is always a rewarding experience and a great way to meet new friends. Head down to your local nursing home, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or find a charity in your area that you would like to get involved with. Animal lovers, head down to your local animal shelter and lend a hand. There are also so many fantastic youth mentoring organisations if hanging out with kids is more to your liking. Never underestimate the positive impact you could have on someones life, a little piece of your time goes a long long way. 

4. Have more parties for one

Spending time alone is the best way to recharge your energy, concentrate on yourself and reflect on life. Don’t rely on the company of others to make you happy or entertain you, be independent and the ruler of your own happiness. As we get older we begin to understand ourselves a little better, however we all struggle from time to time with personal demons. Spending time alone allows us to reevaluate our paths, refresh our minds, and also makes us appreciate our loved ones more when we do spend time with them. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.  

5. Explore the world

If I had to give someone only one piece of advice, it would be to travel and see as much of the world as you can. Visit places that you’ve only ever dreamed of, immerse yourself in different cultures, challenge yourself and be open to new experiences. Travel makes you grow as a person and it allows you to see the world from a different perspective. The broad range of people you will meet on your travels and the kindness shown by strangers will restore your faith in humanity. Write a bucket list of travel destinations and a list of the various things you want to see and do all over the world. Next, see how many you can tick off in the next couple of years.   

6. Practice forgiveness

Don’t hold on to anger, it will eat you up inside and materialise in ways that will effect all different aspects of your life. Forgive and forget is another life motto that I stick by. Why waste your time holding onto grudges or perpetuating arguments when you have much better and more rewarding things to do with your time. The next time someone challenges you or makes you angry, simply show kindness and compassion. Smile and be happy, life is too short to let your mind be poisoned by negative thoughts and hostile emotions. 

7. Lend a helping hand

Always help out the people that love you the most, and make more of an effort to visit friends and relatives. Call your Mum and Dad more, take some flowers around to your Grandma, show up to family gatherings. If someone you love is moving house, offer to help, if someone you love is a bit on the broke side, offer to cook them dinner. Forging a closer connection to those that you love and becoming a better friend/daughter/son/sister/brother etc will improve your overall quality of life. Are you In a relationship? If yes, then do something special for your significant other. Write them a cute little note or give them a little massage. Never forget to tell the people close to you how much they mean to you and how much you love them. 

8. Welcome challenges with open arms

Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Now is the time to push yourself, face your fears and accomplish something that has always scared you. It can be as little or big as you like, the main thing is that you are trying and continually striving to do better. Do you have social anxiety? Take yourself out for a solo dinner and bask in your own company. Are you subconsciously afraid of success? Write down a weekly plan of at least one thing you can do every single day that will bring you closer to your goals. No matter what your fear, you can overcome it with hard work and determination. Challenge yourself every day to be a better person. 

Do you have any more tips to add? Share it with us!

Image Source via: Wildfox Couture

WORDS BY:  Katelyn Rew

Katelyn is a freelance fashion photographer and writer extraordinaire. This adventurous, quick-witted creative enjoys making jewellery, and misses the days when Christmas used to mean still believing in Santa. One day she hopes to write a No.1 best selling novel. No biggie.