By Sara Cody

We’ve all heard the phrase “new year, new me” at the beginning of every year for what feels like an eternity. To most, this looks like a new hair color or getting a gym membership that you’ll forget about by Valentine’s Day. Instead, it should be “new year, better me.” Start off your 2020 by trashing the famous fleeting “New Year’s resolution” and focus on incorporating small lifestyle changes into your every day.

Master self love– Self love is a broad term with different meanings for everybody. Self love can be cuddling up with a good book or treating yourself to a new outfit. We can practice self love, but to master self love is to believe in and accept ourselves for who we truly are. An excellent place to start is with positive affirmations and mantras. It is important to find positive words that feel tailor made to you, but you can start with this one: “I accept and love myself as I am.” Try repeating this to yourself in the mirror and throughout your day…in the car, at the gym, in the shower! You’ll be surprised by the power of positive words.

Hold yourself accountable– With self love comes self discipline. Remember those fleeting resolutions I mentioned? 2020 is the year of setting goals and actually taking steps toward achieving them. Imagine the direction you want your life to be in by the end of the year and create attainable milestones for yourself. There is no better time than now.

Invest in a journal– Life doesn’t slow down for anybody, and sometimes our mind resembles an internet browser with too many tabs open. Your journal entries can vary from to-do lists to love poems. No matter what you decide to write about, self expression is always a good way to mentally de-clutter. You might even notice some negative thought processes you possess so you can break the habit.

Embrace your solitude– We all have things that we want to do but have nobody to do them with. You grow as a person when you stop waiting around for other people to live your life. You don’t need a partner for everything. Go to that concert alone, take yourself out on a date. Jump on a plane and explore that city you’ve always dreamed of. You will be surprised what you learn about yourself when you choose to be your own best friend. A lot of people think that doing things alone has to be lonely, but it is in fact the opposite. Allow yourself to feel empowered by the courage to do things alone. Plus, you don’t know who you might meet in your solitude.

Be more present– Along with doing things alone comes the overall ability to be more present in your life. Take a break from social media, whether that means deleting social media apps off your phone or just decreasing screen time. Do what works best for you. When you find yourself feeling insecure while browsing social media, take a hiatus. Try to focus on the simple pleasures of life. Take a few moments to jot down some things you’re grateful for in your own life. When you’re with people, put your phone away. Put your energy into a new hobby to resist the temptation to check your Facebook likes every five minutes. Derail from the habit of documenting everything you do. Soon enough, you might not even feel the desire to use social media anymore.