7 guilt-free resolutions

Indulging in the things you love can actually be good for your health

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winter joy

Do what you enjoy

If you’re committed to making next year even better than last, your first step is to stop feeling guilty for doing the things you enjoy. “When you take extremely good care of yourself, it means that you recognize and know that if you don’t, everything else will suffer,” says Stephanie Staples, a certified life coach based in Winnipeg.

These seven resolutions may seem self-indulgent, but they’re actually quite good for you.

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1. Daydream often

Dreamers may be mocked for having their heads in the clouds, but daydreaming can relax the mind, boost productivity and allow you to consider a wide range of possibilities for yourself. Make time to let your mind wander-you never know where your dreams may lead.

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day planner

2. Schedule “Me” time

You already spend hours organizing your workday, planning events and scheduling important appointments. But have you blocked off any time to spend with yourself? “Devote at least one percent of your day (14 minutes) to your own personal development,” says Staples. “Each morning, I roll off the bed and do push-ups.  Doing this makes me feel strong, tells me that I am committed and reinforces that I am taking charge of my life.”

Do what you love, even if it means taking time away from your family (they’ll thank you for it later). What matters isn’t what you choose to do, but that it makes you feel good about yourself.

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woman smiling with headphones

3. Make fitness fun

If the only reason you’re going to yoga or taking that spinning class is because you think you should, ditch it and find an activity you truly enjoy. “Think of wellness in a different way,” Staples suggests. Rather than force yourself to go to the gym, crank up your favourite playlist and start dancing and singing around the house. Or, try one of these five fun ways to get fit.

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4. Splurge once in a while

You can still dig yourself out of debt without sacrificing the joy of shopping. Purchasing a new power blazer after getting promoted is a reward worth having.  But don’t get yourself into a financial rut. “Focus more on what you are doing rather than what you are not getting done,” says Staples. “When you spend money, ask yourself, ‘Is what I am doing today leading me closer or further away from my overall vision?'” When you reward yourself, your brain associates pleasure to being focused on your goals.

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5. Savour comfort food

Comfort food gets a bad rap, but whipping up a batch of Grandma’s mac and cheese once in a while can help you think of happy times. Of course, if you frequently eat for emotional reasons-because you are sad, bored or angry-it is important to explore why and find other ways to cope. Just know that no food is the enemy as long as you control your portions. 

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ask for help

6. Ask for help

Don’t feel bad about calling a babysitter just so you can enjoy some alone time. “You can take extremely good care of yourself; it doesn’t mean you’re selfish or vain…[or] that you don’t care about other people,” Staples advises.  “This is unhealthy guilt-let it go and look at the bigger picture.”

Calling for backup can help keep you motivated and energized, which is good for everyone in your family.

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couple dancing

7. Try something new

Wishing your life were different isn’t going to alter your circumstances-only you can make your life what you want it to be. “If you don’t take action, your situation is not going to change,” says Staples. Start by doing just one thing differently; it can be as simple as trying a new kind of food or finally signing up for a dance class you’ve been meaning to take. Deviating from your routine can help enhance your memory and improve your insight on life.

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