13 New Years Resolutions That Will Actually Make You A Better Person

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When you're caught up in the day-to-day, it's easy to lose sight of the big picture. The things you want the most for your life are lingering past an imaginary line that you feel you can only cross after tending to all other responsibilities and obligations. It's easy to feel defeated before even embarking on a new goal. But a new year is a natural pause; a good time to hit the refresh button and set yourself up for success. Choosing new years resolutions that will actually make you a better person doesn't have to be a stressful endeavor. In fact, getting what you want out of the next 365 days is likely easier than you imagine.

Before you put pen to paper on those resolutions, make the time to think about how you want to feel. Identifying the feelings you desire in your life can shed light on the activities that will cultivate those feelings. It's a lot easier to stick with a goal if the steps to attain it make you feel good along the way. Whether you want to give back to your community or start working to achieve your dream, these 13 resolutions will help make you a better person before the next new year rolls around.

1Cut Back On Electronic Distractions

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If the thought of being away from your smartphone or other electronic devices makes your eyelid start twitching, you may need a digital detox. According to Forbes magazine, limiting the use of smart phones and social media to defined times of day can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. Unplugging also encourages you to have face-to-face interactions and enjoy the moment, which will definitely make a difference in your overall mood.

2Embrace The Great Outdoors

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For a year filled with tons of benefits, resolve to schedule more hang time with Mother Nature. As Business Insider explained, the effects of spending time outdoors have been scientifically proven to make your life better. With results such as stress relief, improved short term memory, and restored mental energy, soaking up the great wide open should be at the top of your list for the new year.

3Become A Book Worm

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Want to keep your brain young while giving it a workout? No gyms or power shakes necessary, all you'll need is a library card. "Reading can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease, slash stress levels, encourage positive thinking, and fortify friendships," according to Reader's Digest.

4Volunteer

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When you volunteer, you're wracking up two-for-one in the good vibes department. Not only do you help others, but you also feel pretty damn good while you're doing it. Sign-up for either a one day or ongoing project that needs volunteers, and let the warm fuzzies start rolling in.

5Spend Money On Experiences, Not Things

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Who needs another pair of shoes when there's a whole world out there, waiting to be explored? Preferring spreading your wings to having things is no fluke. Research shows that experiences bring people more fulfillment than do possessions, as The Atlantic reported.

6Forgive Others & Yourself

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If you're craving more freedom and lightness in the coming year, start practicing more forgiveness. "Forgiveness is a paradigm-shifting solution for transforming anger," as Psychology Today explained. It liberates you from the trap of endless revenge so that you can experience more joy and connection.

7Have A Gratitude Attitude

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It's easy to go down the rabbit hole of everything that's wrong in your life, but the vortex of negativity can make you dizzy with dissatisfaction. Find gratitude in the little things (an ice cream cone on a hot summer day) as well as the big things (you have a loving family) and you'll start to notice all the positive things you have going on.

8Be Mindful With Commitments

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Being stretched too thin will leave you stressed and exhausted, common feelings for an over-commiter, like myself. Instead, try setting limits on your commitments to feel more in control of your life, as Psychology Today suggested.

9Let Something Go

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If you've been holding on to something that's standing in the way of living your best life, there's no better time than the start of a new year to let it go. Clinging to bad relationships, negative emotions, and grudges certainly won't boost your happiness. But letting things go can help you move forward in your life, as Mind Body Green suggested.

10Schedule Personal Time

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I am an extrovert through and through, but as much as I vibe on the energy of others, I still need to refresh myself with some "me time" every now and then. Taking personal time allows you to reconnect with yourself and restore the energy that is depleted from being around others. Making alone time a priority will rejuvenate you every time.

11Create A Mission Statment

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If you really want to hone in on your purpose this year, start my crafting a personal mission statement. Use a template like this one on Franklin Covey's website to help you get super specific about what matters most to you.

12Choose Quality Frienships

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The sentiment "you are what you eat" goes for who you hang around; you become who you spend the most time with. Seek out the people who support you, respect you, and make you feel good, and spend as much time with them as possible. Surrounding yourself with people you'd like to be like will help you to be your best.

13Exercise

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You knew this one was coming. But the truth is, adding exercise to your life is a no-brainer. Aside from improving your physical health, exercise boosts mood and energy, while building up a strong immune system, as Mayo Clinic reported.