As we embark upon a new year, there are so many ways to view our lives and the chances ahead of us – new opportunities, old regrets, the same cycles people go through every year. However, if you want to change this year-  if you want to shine this year as a human being and as the best version of yourself – then you’re going to need to work at what makes you tick. What makes you happy, what makes you sad, your strengths, weaknesses, your days and nights. Everything about yourself has to undergo an examination if not a re-evaluation.

So, for those of you who are looking to shine this year and be the best you you can be, here are ten tips for how to achieve it.

1. Drink water every morning.

One of the easiest ways to shine this year is start every day off by drinking plenty of water as part of your early morning routine. The reason? Drinking water first thing in the morning has an incredible set of health benefits, including purifying the colon and allowing better nutrient absorption, aids weight loss and better metabolism, helps give you glowing skin thanks to flushing out toxins, and helps balance your lymph system. In short, it helps rejuvenate your system and helps you start every day off in the right way.

2. Change your morning routine to suit you.

Everyone has a morning routine and one of the ways to shine this year is to go through it and modify aspects of it that can be best suited to you. After all, everyone’s different and has their own way of working things in the early hours. If you always feel like you need more sleep, go to bed earlier or use a sleep calculator to find out when you should be going to bed to work with your circadian rhythms and cycles. Add in time for a morning shower if you always feel better with one but never have time. Make sure you have breakfast. All these little things can have a big positive effect on your morning routine and wlll help you shine this year.

3. Make an active effort to see the good around you.

The world is, surprisingly, a good place despite the bad things going around and not a lot of us actually choose to see. Let’s face it, with the news creating catastrophe and calamity in every news item, some pretty seriously twisted ideals of perfection and beauty being pushed on us, and a general feeling that cynicism is the standard, it can be hard to be optimistic and someone who sees the silver lining when everyone else sees an oncoming storm. If you want to truly shine this year, look for the positive. Surround yourself with positive friends and be more considerate to people going through their own situations, so that by looking for the positive, you transfer it forward and become the positive change yourself.

4. Exercise at least three times a week.

Exercise is a bit of a hate word around people – it brings back memories of school gyms and forced running and mandatory activities. However, choosing to go out and engage in something that gets your body moving is absolutely a fantastic thing to get involved in and something that is certain to make you shine this year. Find the kind of exercise you like to do, rather than immediately going down the gym even though you’ll hate it. If you like slow rhythmic movements, take up tai chi or yoga; if you like high-energy stuff, check our Zumba or aerobics. There are more than enough exercise options out there for you and if you really want to shine this year, it’s a good idea to go and get your body moving.

5. Get plenty of sleep.

This one cannot be stressed enough – sleep is key. All of our culture seems to be screaming, ‘you don’t need sleep, you can go for longer’ – but to do is to put into jeopardy your physical and mental health because sleep is an option. Sleep is a legitimate physical need that will cause you severe problems if you don’t get enough. A way to truly shine this year is to take care of yourself by engaging in some sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom the best kind of sleeping environment possible for you. Sweet dreams.

6. Make sure to dance at every opportunity.

A bit of a cliche, perhaps, but let’s be honest-  people who shine through life are always ready to dance at the drop of a hat. Dancing is both ridiculously simple and complex – it’s a true expression of human emotion and the ability to translate our physical body into a joyous or mournful or reverential proclamation. Plus, dancing has incredible health benefits as it helps you keep fit, works your legs and arms through rhythmic movement, and releases endorphins into the bloodstream providing an entirely natural rush. Whenever you find the chance to, put on your favorite kind of music and dance to it. Dance with a friend, dance alone, let your body do the talking and feel yourself begin to shine.

7. Try something new at least every month.

There’s nothing that kills as quick as routine nor boredom – so the paraphrased saying goes. One of the most enjoyable ways to shine is to keep putting yourself out there more and trying new things as often as possible, within a minimum of one new thing a month. There’s an entire world out there waiting for you to experience it – a world full of fantastic films and delicious food and astonishing plays and beautiful music and joyful dance and great TV. People who shine always try and broaden their horizons and their own perspectives, so make sure you give into that childlike curiosity with that new album, new restaurant, new film. After all, you might just find a new favorite.

8. Visualize your happiness.

If you want your happiness, you’ve got to visualize it. See it, imagine it. Work through it so it becomes an approachable goal rather than a lofty ideal which is as unattainable as it is ill conceived. We create our own happiness and shape our own lives so if you want to truly shine this year and be the best version of yourself that you can be, is to decide what makes you happy and either cultivate it if you have it, or work towards it if you don’t. Create a vision board, a Pinterest channel, a sigil – whatever you need to try and plan out your happiness, use it. The future is yours.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing your life and yourself to other people is one of the most toxic and self-destructive things you could ever do to yourself as it undermines your own experiences and your personality and erodes away at all the positive achievements you’ve managed to accomplish throughout your life. Simply, you need to finish with both the negative and positive comparisons to other peoples’ lives in order to focus on your own. Comparisons lead to negativity, anger, jealousy and gossiping which not only makes you look more petty and negative, it also stops you from focusing on your life and your goals. Cut the comparison and truly shine this year as an example.

10. Stop the ‘should have’ thoughts in your life.

We’re constantly being told what we should have and shouldn’t have in our lives. Designer clothes, cars, the latest electronic products, haute cuisine and expensive coffee, everything is construed as a status symbol, an indicator that the person has met untold requirements for being seen as desirable. That is an incredibly toxic way of viewing life and viewing ownership, because if you live your life by the ‘should haves’, then you will be forever chasing trends because what is a la mode always changes, always evolves.

Your life, however, should be based on the wants and needs that you yourself cultivate and desire. It’s not the end of the world if you want the latest tablet or phone or a cup of coffee or shoes – that’s fine – but what you need to assess is why you’re wanting it and then go off your instinct as to whether or not it’ll make you happy. If it makes you happy, go for it. If not, then find something that does make you happy. And then you’ll truly shine this year, and the years to come.

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