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We always think of a new year as a fresh start, and it’s a fantastic feeling that gives us a kick and reminds us to get in the driver’s seat of our own lives. It’s easy to forget that every day gives us the opportunity to make positive changes. In my experience, nothing worth having and holding on to comes easily – from relationships to jobs to healthy habits; it all takes work and drive, so I’m all for resolutions!

Goals differ from resolutions in my mind. Resolutions are changes I’ll make in attitudes and habits to help me reach my end goal, and my goals themselves are more quantifiable, such as “have 10 photo sessions booked by March 1st.” My dad was a “realist” as he put it, was always prepared boy-scout style, and insisted I have a physical road map in my car as a teenager. The point is, I learned from him that you have to know where you’re going, or at least plan the best way you can. If you don’t have goals, you’ll never achieve any either. Here are some resolutions of mine for 2014. Goals? Still working on that list!

Find something about yourself you love (physical or not) and focus on that quality at least once a day.

Yes, you’re your own harshest critic. Try being your loudest cheerleader. How often to you look in the mirror and seek out something you DON’T like about yourself ? Try the opposite! Replace the negative thought with a positive one. Positive thinking is under-rated. I get it! Everyone has been in a rut at one point or another, and the last thing you want to hear in a moment of self loathing or pity is a happy go lucky mantra. But seriously, try it.

Don’t eat something you wouldn’t feed your kids or pet.

“Here ya go, sweetheart, have some soda in your sippy cup.” Add that to the list of things you’ll probably never say. Substitute any unhealthy food or drink. So why should you eat it? Treat yourself with the same care as you give to those you love.

Banish clutter

This is my favorite. I love to blast through my house and remove anything that isn’t serving a purpose that can be given away, up-cycled or thrown out. I fantasize about having a full day in my house totally alone – not even the cat home – with a box of contractor bags, and empty storage bins of all sizes to organize from the attic to the basement. (I’m fun, I swear.) This goes for the intangible negative garbage in your life as well! Toxic relationship dragging you down? Repair it, or end it. 

Be present

Sometimes, 3 words more important than “I love you” are “I’ll be there.” Be present in your life for your loved ones and for yourself, and stop using each precious minute of right now to plan for the next. Remain an active participant in each moment of your day.

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 Here’s to a happy, healthy, clutter and drama free 2014!