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December 31, 2015

10 Things To Do in 2016

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fireworks
It's the end of 2015, already, and I know you haven't met at least one or all of those silly resolutions you made last year. I stopped making them long ago since I don't think I've ever kept to any of them.

But this year will be different. It is the year of 9 in numerology: a year of universal love, faith, and a completion of things to come. It is the year of the Fire Monkey, when every person on Earth is meant to meet some divine and profound inspiration into themselves and the world around them.

In line with these two predictions for 2016, I have made a list of 10 things you have to do this year:

1. Be kind. 

Think about what you say and how it will be interpreted before you say it. Think about the effect your words will have on others. Think about how your actions, vocal tone, and body language can emit negative undertones that bring negativity your way and inspire negativity in others.

2. Be grateful. 

No matter what you are without, you have much. Be grateful for what you have and, more importantly, who you have in your life. You never know when it will be too late to show your gratitude.

3. Tell your loved ones you love them.

If you're estranged for any reason, if you don't get along for any reason, if you forget to call because life is just life, a simple message of love is all someone may need to improve their mood for the day.

4. Send unexpected letters, notes or texts to those closest to you to share your love with them. 

Research has shown that unexpected messages from people you love instantly lift your mood.

5. Improve your posture. 

My posture is one of my worst problems. I hunch over without even thinking about it. I feel taller when I correct my posture but it becomes slouchy again within minutes. I hope to change that this year with some posture-improving yoga exercises, since good posture positively effects health, happiness, and self-confidence.

6. Listen to mainstream news less. 

The fact is that major news outlets are owned by individuals in the guises of corporations, so remember that when you watch coverage of any particular event. Many media outlets focus on the sensational with the specific aim of urging you to click on that link or tune into that report to make more advertising money. How is that trustworthy? If you want to know what's going on the world by watching the media, supplement this information with good research. Don't form opinions based on a single news report. It also makes you feel happier. After all, there is nothing you can do about most of it except pull out your hair. And that won't benefit anyone. Except advertising companies and corporates. They benefit, even when you're bald.

7. Read more books. 

I think this is something that appears on everyone's New Year's Resolution list. I haven't even met my target this year *blush* though I have accomplished things that cannot be measured. Firstly, books make you happy. Happiness makes you healthier. Reading makes your smarter, it makes you think for yourself. It teaches you to be alone, to enjoy being with yourself. It makes your more empathetic and increases your brain function. Tactile reading also helps your memory. So go ahead and challenge yourself to read books this year. Stick to it this time.

8. Don't become a lazy consumer. 

Read the labels of the products you consume and research items you're not certain about. Many cereals and crisps in South Africa are produced with products that contain genetically-modified organisms. Many items that are put into your food are only there to enhance flavour, so think about what it is that the food is lacking that it needs to be enhanced. Consider what inorganic ingredients in your soaps, dishwashing liquids, shampoos, and toiletries are doing to the environment. Recycle. Think about the animals you eat and make informed decisions about what you consume.

9. Laugh more. 

Do whatever you have to do to laugh more.

10. Appreciate your pets. 

If you don't have one yet, get one. Pets are always said to be the entry vehicle for those training to care for children later in life but everyone who has ever owned a pet know that every single one of them are your children and have significant other benefits aside from testing whether you'd at the very least keep a baby alive or not. Keeping pets welcomes lessons in responsibility, fear, regret, and empathy, lessons we all need in this day and age.

Here's to a 2016 that meets all your expectations, declines to meet those that won't suit you in the end, and gives you a reason to be happy every day!

{Image credit: By Magnus Johansson (HAPPY NEW YEAR!!) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons}

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