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6 Ways to make your resolutions less stressful

Natalie Bracco is a freelance writer and an amateur baker. When she's not busy in the kitchen, you can find her writing about technology, travel, food and finance. Follow her on Twitter @nataliebracco.

How to take the stress out of your resolutions this year

New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to stick to, no matter how hard you try. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking or manage your time better, the pressure to achieve these goals can fill your life with misery if you fail to meet your expectations. If you want a better chance at a healthier and happier new year, try to keep things simple.

Adopt a positive attitude

As another year has finished, it’s time to reflect on lessons learned and new directions that you would like to take. If you’ve noticed that your life has taken on a negative tone through the various roadblocks that you may have hit, try adopting a more positive attitude. If you’ve recently gone through a bitter divorce, look at the changes as a start to a new chapter. If your finances are in disarray, set a realistic budget that allows you to get out of your monetary depression. No matter what is thrown your way, it’s best to see the positive side in what you’re dealt.

Update your surroundings

If a move is on your list of things to do in the coming year, you can set a smaller achievable goal until you’re able to make that happen. Updating your dwelling with a fresh coat of paint or furnishings can boost your mood.

Enjoy in moderation

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is dieting and exercise. Unfortunately, it’s a resolution that is typically broken before the end of January. Instead of depriving your body of the things that you enjoy most, you can welcome them in moderation. If you have a passion for chocolate, you can still indulge. However, limit yourself to one piece of chocolate each day. If you’re looking to eat healthier, try to incorporate a few nutritional items into your diet such as blueberries and yogurt, salmon or whole grain bread.

Make it count

Hitting the gym during the week can be challenging with work and family life. You can make every movement count by keeping active no matter where you are. If you have an office, keep a few dumbbells on hand and do some curls and squats in between customer calls. During lunch, take a walk instead of sitting at your desk perusing the Internet. Grab a co-worker or plug in your favorite book on tape or podcast as you walk. After a long day, you would probably rather spend time with the family instead of working out. But, you can get your partner and children involved by going for a bike ride together, walking to the park, sledding or ice-skating.

More: 4 Ways to stay healthier in the winter

Be nice to others

Nothing can zap your good feelings more than talking badly about someone. In addition to the shady gossip, this form of bad-mouthing is a poor reflection of yourself. Adopt the mantra: “If you have nothing nice to say, refrain from saying anything at all,” for a healthier outlook on life. While everyone has their faults, you’ll feel happier focusing on a person’s positive attributes instead.

More: How do you want to be a better partner in 2016?

Treat yourself

If you try to cram as much into your day as possible, you may be feeling stressed and out of sorts. One of the easiest and most achievable tips for a happier and healthier new year is to be good to yourself. You can start by getting a good night’s rest. Before bedtime, ditch the electronic gadgets in favor of some relaxing stretches and meditation. You should also schedule time into your busy planner to do something for yourself each day, such as taking a walk, reading, gardening or catching up with friends.

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