Be The Best Version of YOU in 2016

| Living

2016 is upon us and it's a new chance to start fresh. We aren't here to tell you to reinvent yourself, but instead to take steps in a new direction. We want to use the new year to remind you to continue to grow as a person. And the best way to do that? Be the best version of yourself. We've compiled a list of 30 things you can do this year to improve upon yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.

bicycle ride happy

1. Set goals for yourself. Whatever you most want to improve on, from weight loss to your budget, set realistic and measurable goals.

2. Stop procrastinating. If it can be done right now, get it done. You'll appreciate the free time you'll have later.

3. Start taking the stairs. Even if you have to take the elevator halfway, doing the other half of the trip on the stairs makes a difference.

4. Be grateful for what you have and then pass it on. Express your thankfulness to someone. It may just help spread a little more love.

5. Wake up earlier. Ten more minutes in the morning could mean starting a slow cooker meal, catching up on your social media or even doing a quick morning workout! Check out this 5-minute workout you can do before you jump in the shower:

6. Go outside more. Being outdoors can help you feel more alive. Push the stroller around the neighborhood, play in the snow, or jump in some rain puddles! You can use any weather as an excuse to play with kids in the mud!

7. Keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to give second chances or to change your mind. Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean they're wrong.

8. Make your needs a priority. As a mother, a wife, an employee, you are probably putting a lot of people first. Remember, this is your life and you need to take some time for you.

9. Start asking for feedback. Mentally prepare yourself for a little criticism and ask the people near you how you can improve. Talk it out with your significant other, your boss or your workout buddy! Let them help you to grow.

10. Have more sex. Take back your relationship in the bedroom. Sex makes your brain release feel-good chemicals which improve your mood. You'll feel more self-confident and sexy and your relationship will approve.

11. Learn to manage your time. We all want to be Super Mom, but it's just not possible. Keep a calendar, set alarms and stick to a schedule.

12. Add small exercises into your day. Whether you can hit the gym or not, small things go a long way. Drop a couple squats when you're brushing your teeth or do wall pushups as you wait for the elevator.


13. Start writing letters. Write thank you notes for gifts, hand written notes to business clients, long letters home and sappy love notes to your husband. Everyone will appreciate the time you've taken and it's a great way to remind yourself why you love the people you do.

14. Floss your teeth and keep it up! Your dentist will thank you.

15. Evaluate your friendships. If there's a negative person in your life, decide if it's worth it. You don't need to surround yourself with people you don't enjoy. Instead, strike up a conversation with the super trendy mom you always see at the park! A new year is a great time to make new friends.

For 15 more tips to improving yourself, go on to the next page.

16. Start a journal. Jot down funny moments, insights, frustrations and more. It'll help you to de-stress and it may be nice to look back on later.

17. Unplug. We spend so much time on social media, surfing the web and watching TV that we are missing out on what's happening right in front of our own noses. Pick a night of the week where the whole family commits to putting down the smartphone and spending some quality time together.

18. Start a book and actually finish it.

woman reading book in bed

19. Kick an old habit. Pick your worst habit and commit to quitting. It could be smoking, biting your nails, skipping workouts — anything! Pick one thing and really focus on fixing it.

20. Express yourself. Don't be afraid to share your feelings. Be kind about it, but don't feel like you need to bottle up your frusrations. It may help keep you a little more sane.

21. Drink more water. This is an easy change to make. Invest in a large water bottle and challenge yourself to see how many times you can refill it in a day. Your health will thank you. Read about the benefits of drinking more water here.

22. Be more eco-friendly. We aren't saying you need to install solar panels, but start packing lunch in reusable containers! Invest in a recycling bin and try taking the bus to work. Your habits will be passed on to your kids and the world will be just a little bit cleaner.

23. Start volunteering. This could be a great opportunity to spend more time with your kids and teach them valuable lessons.

24. De-clutter your space. Clean out your car, donate all the old clothes in the house, get rid of your junk. It feels good to say "out with the old!". It'll leave a lot more room for the new. Plus, you'll stay a lot more organized.

25. Swap out one meal a day for a something healthier. Replace breakfast or lunch with a healthy smoothie or a tasty salad! We have tons of recipes that can keep you full without over-eating. Try out this delicious Pink Power Smoothie!

26. Conquer a fear. Hate public speaking? Grab your girlfriends and try out karaoke. Heights? Hike to the tallest point in your town. You'll feel good about taking small steps to a tougher you.

27. Get a hobby. You could start hiking, rock climbing, knitting or leaning Italian cooking. It doesn't matter! Find something you enjoy and pursue it.

28. Stay informed. There's a lot going on in the world and you won't want to miss it. There will be a ton of US politicking in 2016, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! If watching the news is too depressing, look into something like The Skimm, a free daily email subscription that gives you a brief, lighthearted, and easy-to-understand look at current events.

29. Start running. Not only is running a great way to get in shape and stay that way, but it does wonders to clear your head! Hit the pavement and let your mind wander, or better yet, take a break from thinking.

30. Treat yo' self. Book a massage at your local salon, take an extra 10 minutes to paint your nails red or go ahead and buy that dress you saw online. It's okay to give yourself a gift!