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With another new year almost upon us, it’s now more than ever that we find ourselves filled with goals and aspirations for the year to come. Knowing we have a chance to turn over a new leaf, we might also justify continuing certain unhealthy behaviours between now and the stroke of midnight on January 1st, but the overlying intention remains positive.

We all want to improve our lives in a number of ways, even if our track record when it comes to sticking to these annual resolutions is quite poor.

As someone who has always taken pride in my ability to set and go after goals, especially since my mid-twenties, it should come as no surprise that I laid out a number of resolutions (20, to be exact) for 2017 around this time last year. (Read them all here.)

While I can’t say that now, a near full calendar year later, I succeeded in every instance, I can say I did better than December 2016 Mark DeNicola probably anticipated. But of all the resolutions I stood by, here are the five in particular I am beyond grateful to have accomplished, and therefore highly recommend you try realizing in 2018.

1. I Stopped Running From My Problems

We all have problems, and boy oh boy did December 2016 me have some doozies, most of which he feared irrationally. While I can’t say choosing to address them was always an easy thing to do, I can say the relief that came shortly after it was monumentally better than the torment my mind was putting me through prior to.

This new year, remind yourself of two things when faced with a problem: (1) 99% of what your mind has created surrounding the issue will not take place, and (2) it won’t become any easier to address in time. So bite the bullet and set yourself free from the fear these problems are both consciously and unconsciously inflicting upon you.

2. I Invested in My Future

I know the statement is cliché, but sometimes the oldest advice is the best. Over the course of 2017 I properly launched my own business, and rather than letting either frugality or the belief that I’m unworthy dictate my course of action, I opted to do what I knew would be best for me and my company.

The end result? My company is leaps and bounds ahead of where it would have been had I not made certain decisions, and I am able to accomplish much more thanks to the optimization many of my “investments” enabled. I’m not suggesting you spend completely out of your means, but that you do take a bigger picture approach to some of your financial decisions.

3. I Made More Time for the People I Love

I’ll admit, this is the one I’ve struggled with the most on this list, especially in the final three months of the year, as things have gotten substantially busier in my life. But that experience has helped me realize just how integral creating a work/life balance really is, since I can feel how taxing this imbalance has become on my mental and physical health.

We will always have things we should be doing, and it’s important to make the time to do them to the best of our ability, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the people and things we love the most.

4. I Stopped Overthinking Everything

I’m willing to bet most of you are familiar with what life is like functioning with an overactive mind. And while there is a time and place where this comes to be helpful, I’ve learned that it’s beyond integral that we also learn how to disengage from it when needed.

While tools such as meditation can be wonderful for calming the mind, a far more immediate and practical approach I took in 2017 was to simply force myself to take action instead. Even if the action step was relatively small, the more I did this, the more I realized how much we intuitively know what needs to be done but let our minds cloud that knowing.

5. I Got Enough Sleep As Often as Possible

I know that to some of you, getting adequate sleep regularly seems like a pipe dream, but all of us — no matter how busy our lives may be — have ways in which we can increase the amount of sleep we get.

As I briefly alluded to earlier, 2017 was undoubtedly the busiest year of my life, but I didn’t let that stop me from getting the seven to eight hours of sleep nightly that I function on best. And I truly believe my dedication to doing so helped make this year into the wonderfully busy one that it was.

While there will undoubtedly always be exceptions and outstanding circumstances, and there should be, make sure they are only exceptions to the rule, not standard practice, so you can give your body the chance to surprise you with how capable it is when reenergized.


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