9 Tips for a Happy 2015

Can you believe it's February? Usually the summer months are the ones that fly by, but in seemingly a blink of an eye, January is over and the calendar page has turned.  The first month of the year is always filled with changes, renewals and goals, and in an effort to keep that momentum moving, we've created a list of 9 ways you too can keep that excitement charged as we roll into 2015.

1. Have an attitude of gratitude :: There is a quote I love that says to be grateful for the things you have, because someone else is praying for them. So often we get caught up in the things that other people have (hello social media!) that we take for granted the wonderful things we do have. Make a list, either on paper or mentally, of the things you for which you are grateful.  Sometimes it's the little things like "hot water in the shower" and some days it's the larger, big picture items, but I've found happiness in acknowledging 5 things, no matter how small, that I have in my daily life. 

2. Put down the smart phone :: I love my iPhone.  From the apps to the fact that I am connected at all times, but sometimes too much of a good things isn't a good thing.  Disconnect to reconnect (see here, here and here) and enjoy life in real time every now and again.

3. If you don’t have anything nice to say… :: Mom was right – if you don’t have anything nice to stay, don’t say anything at all. In the same breath I can mention "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." No body is perfect, but an attempt to keep gossip at bay is a good first step. I guarantee you’ll feel like a better person.

4. Put yourself first :: Take 15 minutes for yourself every day and do something that fills up your (metaphorical) cup. If your cup (aka. you) is only 1/2 way full at all times, then that's all you have to give to others. In an effort to be the best me that I can be, both for myself and others, I make sure that I take time out for my own well-being everyday. Putting yourself first for 15 minutes --  doing a few yoga poses, dancing to your favorite song, or reading a chapter of a book -- will make you a happier, better person for yourself and for others.

5. Set Yourself up for Fitness Success :: Believe it or not, I get nervous before trying a new workout. I say to myself "I know that I can do if it I really wanted to, but I just don’t feel like it.” Truth be told, I'm fearful that I'll look silly while doing it. At the end of the day, who really cares, right... do it anyway and enjoy! Plus, most of the time people are so focused on themselves during a fitness class that they're not even paying attention to what I'm doing. I've never been a coordinated dancer, but I really enjoy it.  I went to a hip hop class and discovered that setting wasn't for me, but then tried a few more online dance routines (here and here) at home and really like it! It taps into muscles other than those used in running or swimming and I have fun doing it.  Yesterday, I bought a trampoline and resistance bands to have at home on the days when I want to blow off steam, but only have 10-15 minutes. I'm determined to eliminate all excuses, make movement an easy choice and set myself up for greater fitness success in 2015. (Want to try a new workout in the privacy of your living room? Check out Radius Fitness -- launching today through OnDemand and available via app on iPad and iPhone)

6. Distinguish between “wants” and “needs :: Determining what’s really important.  I need food and water; I want a new pair of shoes.  (This also helps with #1 -- grateful for what I have.) 

7. Be honest with yourself :: Be aware of your own actions. Be accountable to yourself.  If something benefits your life, do it again! If it’s harmful, try something else.

8. Make daily decisions that will positively influence your health in the long run :: Make water your drink of choice. Every single day, drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Add cucumbers, berries or a squeeze of lemon for flavor.  Fall face first into a chocolate cake? Don't dwell on it, but get back on track.  Making a poor nutritional decision doesn't mean you have to throw the rest of the day away, nutritionally speaking.

9. Be aware of the people around you :: Jim Rohn famously said "You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely." Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be a better person. Friends who eat well, exercise, are passionate about their hobbies and read are people who will inspire you to be a better person.

Did I miss anything? What makes you happy?