Every new year we get a fresh chance to get things right, which often includes promising ourselves we will try to be healthier in all aspects of our lives. While this is a great overall plan, setting too many New Year’s resolutions and goals can actually be an obstacle to achieving them. It is best to stick with just a few important resolutions and really commit to them. Consider the following five New Year’s resolutions you should make to be a better, healthier you!

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Eat Healthier: One of the most common New Year’s resolutions year after year is to eat healthier in order to lose weight. While this is a great goal, eating healthier has so many other benefits for your overall health. For example, reducing sodium intake, even by just a small amount, can greatly reduce risk of heart disease. Eliminating or reducing intake of processed foods can give you more energy and improve your overall emotional well-being.

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Reduce Stress: In today’s fast-paced world, stress reduction is key to living a happy and healthy life. Make a promise to yourself to take a few moments out of everyday to meditate, journal, take a relaxing bath or something else you can do to relax. Dedicate this year to learning new ways to reduce stress like deep breathing, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and aromatherapy just to name a few.

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Exercise More: This is probably the most common New Year’s resolution each and every new year and for good reason. Excising regularly not only helps you lose weight and tone up, it can also increase your energy levels over time and elevate your mood, and who doesn’t like that? And while this resolution often seems easier said that done, exercising more doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend hours at the gym seven days a week. At minimum, as long as you spend 30-40 minutes three days a week doing some form of physical activity that raises your heart rate, you will get results. For time efficient, super effective, booty-kicking exercises, check out Skinny Mom’s workouts!

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Improve Relationships: Even with the various social networking sites around today, our busy lives often cause us to lose friendships or bonds with our families. Make a resolution this year to improve those relationships and strengthen bonds with your children, siblings and other relatives. Get reconnected by hosting a cocktail party or game night and invite both friends and family. If you’re married and find it difficult to have quality time together alone, promise to have one date night a month, at minimum.

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Give Back: Although it is often hard for us to find time for ourselves, let alone people we don’t even know, it is really rewarding to give back to your community. Start the year off right by finding a charity or other non-profit organization in your area where you can volunteer. If this is not at all possible due to available time, write a check to an organization you support or donate items to those in need.