Contributed by Christine St. Pierre

New years resolutions: we make them, we break them, and then it’s Valentine’s Day. Most of them require huge life changes, like losing X amount of pounds by spring break, or eating a diet of vegan gluten-free raw foods, or being able to play Stairway to Heaven on your new guitar by summertime. Try these resolutions that cost zero dollars, require minimal time, and will definitely make you a healthier, happier person.

Wake up ten minutes early, rise, shine, and stretch. Practice the basic vinyasa flow of sunrise salutations that most yogis practice multiple times a day. You may find that, after a while, you forgo your daily coffee, or switch to yerba mate—one healthy decision is often a catalyst for many more to come.

Before bed, write a sentence that encapsulates your day. Journaling is incredibly therapeutic, but is also time-consuming. Avoid the “Dear Diary” death that many journals experience, and, instead, take a few minutes to sincerely summarize your day in one to two sentences—feelings, accomplishments, events, fears, etc. In a year, you’ll be glad you did.

Believe in the power of “yet.” One reason we don’t accomplish things is because we allow ourselves a way out. We find our own limitations and highlight them, rather than seeking out our strengths. Each time you say “I can’t do that,” or “I haven’t done that,” finish the sentence with “yet.” You may find that you actually start believing yourself. Self-love and self-empowerment are just the beginning.

At the beginning of every month, write a typically overlooked chore that takes a maximum of fifteen minutes into each week—or, if you’re feeling daring, every day—of your planner. Suddenly, you’ll find that your house is much cleaner, your yard looks healthier, and your life seems a bit more organized.

Begin your own traditions. As a child, life was made more exciting by “Taco Tuesdays,” or the smell of your mom’s banana bread baking in the oven every Christmas morning. Even if your life does not involve a constant flow of people and family, even if it’s just you and your kitty—treat yourself to companionship and be your own friend. If you find yourself going to the dog park a few times a week, let Sundays be the day you treat yourself to a grande holiday spice latte.

Replace surfing the Internet with mind-sharpening puzzles. They say that people who live long lives tend to share habits of dancing and doing crossword puzzles. Keep a book of crosswords, Sudoku, or another similar puzzle with you at all times—at your desk, in your bag, in your car (for ferry rides, of course)—and resort to playing these when you find yourself tempted to mindlessly peruse the internet for funny videos of cats sleeping in sinks. Limit your screen time, get out a pencil, and think.

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