Make 2016 count

12 ways to make it your best year yet!

It’s 2016 -- can you believe it?!

There’s something a little amazing about the fresh start that comes with a new calendar year. The new year celebration reminds us that no matter what happened in 2015, you’re entitled to begin again. Maybe you outdid yourself and had an awesome year. Or maybe things didn’t go quite as planned.

From personal relationships to career development to fitness and health, this is your new beginning, your do-over, your chance to make the changes you want.

Of course, the start of the new year shouldn't just be about improving, or completely changing yourself. The fresh start of a new year should be about making yourself happier, your life more enjoyable, your day-to-day a little less “grind” and a little more “pleasure.”

It's a brand new year, and it’s time to have some fun!


SOMETHING TO WATCH

XHIT Workouts - 5 Minute Cross Training

Between the new year and the winter blues (for those of us in the northern hemisphere, anyway -- southerners can go on enjoying their summer sunshine!) you probably have exercise on the brain.

But finding time to gear up, get to the gym, and put in half an hour on the treadmill is more than many of us can manage. That’s why we love XHIT.

It’s our favorite YouTube workout channel for busy women (and men!) Casual, fun, and inspiring, they feature short videos that can all be done from the comfort of your living room and still make a huge impact. From five minute cross training to ten minute butt-busters, they’ve got something for everyone -- and every schedule.

Here's 3 of their workouts you should try:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0djFVJ9LFSg]
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfro6hhw95Q]
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qfClFFjlFk]


SOMETHING TO READ & TRY

12 ways to make it your best year yet!

If you want to make a few resolutions for 2016, look no further for some inspiration we've put together just for you. We’ve rounded up twelve of our favorites, from personal growth, to health, to style and beauty to make you feel more confident, beautiful, and cherished. And because we don’t want to leave you hanging, we included a little how-to read to get you started for each one.

12. Learn a new language.

If you only remember five phrases from high school Spanish, it’s time to step up your game. Learning a new language keeps your brain sharp and improves your professional appeal -- not to mention making it a lot easier to take that international vacation you’ve been dreaming about! Duolingo is a great app available for your devices that makes it fun and easy to pickup a new language!

11. Find your perfect jeans.

Everyone deserves to have a pair that makes her butt look perfect and her legs look a mile long. No matter your shape, the perfect pair is out there; when you find them, angels. will. sing. Check out Refinery29’s guide to finding the perfect pair for every body type.

10. Drink more water every day, no seriously.

An oldie but a goodie. It’s good for your skin, your mood, and your appetite. And in the grand scheme of healthy things you can do for your body, it’s actually one of the easiest changes to make, just set reminders in your phone!

9. Manage your finances and maximize your investments.

You’ve probably heard it all, save for the rainy days, pay off your loans, let your savings compound. But out of all those advice and tips you hear, how many are actionable? University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack was able to cram his best financial advice into the size of an index card, and it went viral. But he’s now also written an easy-to-digest book on managing personal finances with Helaine Olen, aptly named “The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated”.

8. Stop using expired makeup.

What sort of bacteria are growing in that 2-year-old mascara? It’s probably better not to know. If you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s time to toss it out and commit to keeping your makeup bag fresh and clean. Popsugar has a great reference on when most products expire.

7. Squeeze exercise in throughout your day.

It doesn’t have to take up that much time, but even 10 more minutes of moving a day can make a huge difference. Whether you start taking dance classes, stretch or go for a walk on your lunch break, or even throw down a solo dance party in your living room, more exercise will be better for your physical and mental well-being.

6. Improve your posture.

Because your mama always told you not to slouch, and she was right. Better posture is good for your spine, prevents pain and sleeplessness, and makes you look younger, stronger, and more confident.

5. Take a break from your devices - Blue light hinders your sleep patterns

As awesome as Instagram is, sometimes you need to get your head out of your phone and back into the real world. Learn to shut down from your busy schedule at least a few hours before bedtime. If you must use your devices at night, try these tips to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your devices. Blue light has been found to disrupt sleep patterns by causing melatonin suppression - a chemical which controls your body clock.

4. Clean your cell phone every month. It's bacteria-ridden!

Ever notice that you break out on one side of your face? Your phone is probably the reason. Think about all the surfaces your phone and hands touch during the day… and then think about all that bacteria touching your face. Ew.

3. Improve your diet. (Plus a cooking app we love!)

Even little changes can make a big difference, and health food is a lot tastier (and cheaper!) than it used to be. Bonus points if you actually learn the correct way to pronounce quinoa. Pro tip: There's a great app called "FitMenCook" (hey it works for us ladies too), which gives you tons of great healthy receipes with custom servings, with all of the nutritional info, cooking instructions, and even tells you what you need to buy and allows you to create your own meal plan. Time saver right?

2. Find the perfect red lipstick.

It’s an instant pick-me-up whenever your wake up feeling uninspired, need to distract from that pimple growing on your jaw, or can’t decide what to wear to your friend’s party. It may take a little experimenting to find your perfect shade, but once you do, you’ll never want to let it go.

1. Make time for yourself.

Because you deserve it, no matter how busy you are. Selflessness is good, but not at the expense of your own emotional well-being. Commit to prioritizing yourself, and you’ll be amazed at the changes you see in 2016.

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