With the start of this new year in full effect, I think it's extremely important to set goals for yourself. Now, I know you're probably thinking "Not another new year resolution article," but I want you to view this in a different light. Rather than looking at this as a list of things you may or may not accomplish this year, think of it as the ultimate encouragement to make this year the most beneficial and successful year of your life!

1. Do more things that you love.

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Focus more on the hobbies and talents you have that make you the most-happy and go out and do them!

2. Keep yourself busy with more healthy activities. 

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This can go along with step #1 (Doing more things that you love), but I've found that practicing a healthier lifestyle, such as eating healthier and exercising regularly, can make me feel better when going about my week. Although exercising 24/7 and eating only fruits and vegetables isn't the most rational thing in the world, its never too late to start practicing healthier habits, whether that be slowly cutting out sweets, or just making it a point to go to the gym a couple times a week!

3. Don’t dwell on things that make you upset or have hurt you in the past.

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This is a hard one, but it can be done! Instead of staying sad or upset about certain things, turn that hurt into something positive. It's so much better to try and transform your pain into something that can be used for good rather than dwell on it and hinder your own growth. In saying that though, these things can take time, which takes me to my next point.

4. Take the time to confront your pain and deal with it rather than suppress it to appear fine to others.

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Often times when something bad happens, we tend to rush the healing process with the thought in mind that life goes on and therefore we must suppress our own hurt and keep it moving so that we don't miss out. Although we can't dwell on the bad things forever, it's important to mourn sometimes and confront your pain, because, without that, you will never truly be able to move on and be the best version of yourself, because that thing you never fully dealt with will always keep you bogged down.

5. Keep a planner or journal with you to write down your goals and how you plan on accomplishing those goals.

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This is something I've recently started and it has brought me so much joy, especially when you get to check off the things you've done. This is a great way to track your own progress!

6. Take a break from social media if you feel yourself getting ‘lost in the sauce'.

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Social media can be both a positive or negative addition to your everyday life, but that depends solely on how you use it. At one point for me, I used social media as a way to get validation from others which was a very negative way to utilize it. I posted to get the likes and comments from other people to feel better about myself because I ultimately was unhappy. When you use social media like this, it can only further depress you because you start to compare yourself to everyone else and feel unaccomplished when you don't receive that validation or recognition from your peers.

When I found myself doing this, I took a break so that I could be reminded of who I was–who I was apart from the likes, the quality person I was, and what I had to offer in this world. This was one of the best things I could've ever done, and it made me take a positive approach to social media when I got back on it again. Ever since, the approval of others has been the last thing on my mind because I am starting to be truly happy with the woman I am becoming, which brings me to my last point.

7. Work towards being more confident in your own skin

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This society is becoming more accepting of all people–from all different shapes and sizes to ethnicities and sexualities, but even with that, how the world views us shouldn't define how we view ourselves. We have to work towards being comfortable and confident in our own skin, because that will ultimately bring us the most joy when going about our busy lives, so always be you and own that shit!