The Olympian

Change Your Life With These 7 Habits

Ailsa Thai, Staff Writer

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Admit it. It’s too hard to stop procrastinating, to start eating healthier, and to “try something new” every year. These New Year resolutions ultimately become flops unless you’ve got the superhuman willpower to dramatically overturn your lifestyle overnight. So, this year, let’s zoom in on the picture and pick up smaller habits that make greater differences. Not to mention, they might just last.

1. Wake up with a smile.

Turn every frown upside down this year. Being happy makes you smile but smiling can also make you happy. When you smile and laugh your brain releases endorphins, chemicals that relieve stress and heighten your mood – even when your smile is forced. Try your best to smile – a wide, toothy grin – the minute you wake up, or simply smile more.

2. Stretch every morning.

Stretching is also another way to relieve stress and anxiety, but it also prevents tiredness, increases blood flow (even to the brain), and reduces the risks of injury throughout the day.

3. “Challenge accepted.” – Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

Make this your motto for 2015. Instead of letting life’s inevitable obstacles crush your spirit, look them in the face and proudly declare “Challenge accepted.” Moping around isn’t going to make any situation better, so if you can’t dodge trouble, take it on.

4. Pretend to be your hero.

Ask yourself, “What would [insert life-long here] do?” whenever you’re feeling stuck or you feel like giving up.

5. Take the first step.

Be the first to say “hi”, or the first to say “sorry”. There’s no harm in reaching out to new people; you’ll either find an amazing person hidden within that stranger, or you’ve got nothing to lose. Also, we’ve all gone through the dreadful tension of belated apologies – stop being stubborn and be the first to forgive. No more awkward silences this year, whether you know that person or not.

6. Use your agenda…

… And look at it. Writing your plans and assignments down on paper is a lot more dependable – and comforting – than that jumbled-up teenaged brain of yours. We all forget things at one point, but why should we if we can easily avoid it? It takes just a few seconds to write down your work.

7. Volunteer.

This resolution is actually listed as one of Time’s most commonly broken New Year’s resolution, but you’re a high school student – it’s a requirement either way. Do it to complete your hours, do it to help the community, or do it to meet new people. Keep in mind, you give and you get.

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Change Your Life With These 7 Habits