This is a guest post from Paisley, our resident vegan hottie

Although, change is constant and every day gives us a fresh slate for self-betterment, there’s nothing like the start of the new year to provide a little extra motivation to make things happen.

Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking about what aspects of my life I’d love to improve and what necessary steps I need to take in order to do so. I came to the realization that none of the major goals I want to accomplish in 2016 can be achieved without one important factor: wellness. As much I try to promote healthy eating being an important key to wellness, there’s so much more to building it’s solid foundation than just a well-rounded diet. Actually, there are seven dimensions that work collectively to improve the quality of one’s life.

With that being said, as the dawn of the new year approaches, I decided to weave out some of my more superficial resolutions like “build a bigger booty” and tailor my list to cater to each of these key elements.

  1. Physical: Okay, so I may have stretched the truth a bit by saying building a bigger booty was cut out. To expand on that idea, I want to take advantage of every opportunity I can to be more physically active. In the past week, I’ve switched my gym membership to a facility that offers group fitness classes to motivate me to workout more. Let’s also not forget the little things count as well, like opting to take the stairs instead of the escalator, or walking to run nearby errands instead of driving. Every step counts.
  2. Spiritual: Probably one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year was removing the television from my bedroom. However, one thing I want to work on is not snuggling up with my phone at night like my four year-old self did with Tickle Me Elmo. I find myself infinitely scrolling down my Instagram feed and watching never ending Snapchat stories at night, rather than letting my brain wind down, tapping into my own thoughts, and reflecting on my day. Admittedly, I find myself shuffling through the sheets to find my phone and do the same thing as soon as I wake up. I’d like to start powering off before bed, and trade screen-time for more meditation and journaling.
  3. Occupational: Ideally, I wish I could say not working is a resolution for 2016 but I’m not quite there just yet (or anytime in the foreseeable future lol). However, what I can do at the moment is make sure that I continue to maintain a healthy balance between work and play so I don’t drive myself insane.
  4. Environmental: My household has been collecting our food scraps and yard waste for weekly pick-up for years, but one thing I’d like to do is start composting and using the product to start my own edible garden. Aside from cutting down grocery costs, and knowing exactly what is going into the production of your food, growing your own produce benefits the environment as well. By not using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, organic home gardening cuts down on contamination in our water supply, and the chemical run-off that can harm small animals as well.
  5. Intellectual: Being that I’m not in school, I have to take a self-starting approach and motivate myself to seek information, but that’s a good thing! Now I have complete control over what material I read and and take in. Next year, I want to devote more of my time to reading for pleasure and maybe even joining a local book club.
  6. Social: Slightly tying into a couple of aforementioned goals (numbers 2 and 5), I want to zone out of the internet and focus more on interpersonal relationships. It’s so easy to get consumed in the virtual world and forget that the intent of social media is to aide in transitioning these online connections into the real world. For me, the internet has been such a great tool in finding people with similar interests, and I’m ready to take advantage of it. Along with joining a book club, I’d love begin regular vegan potlucks and meet-ups. Who’s down for the cause?
  7. Emotional: Last but certainly not least is emotional health. Managing self-esteem has been-no, wait. Managing self-esteem had previously been (let’s speak positively, right?) an on going challenge for me. I’m currently in the process of creating personalized affirmation cards, to be reviewed in the morning and applied throughout the day.

With consistency, I hope my list will lead to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year… and I wish you all the same!

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