1. Say Yes, No Excuses


2016: How many times do you get invited out, to dinner, events or just hangouts and say no.  Make up an excuse like “Oh, I am tired…” “I don’t have any money…” STOP!  I used to do it all the time, I would work a long day and just want to go lay in bed, if someone asked me to go out after 8pm I would say no, too late, too tired.  All these bills had me drowning, I never had any extra money and would always miss out on the best times.  Recently I was asked to go see Dan + Shay in concert, I was too tired and I ended up missing out on Meet & Greets.  I was so mad at myself.
2017: DRINK COFFEE!  Dry Shampoo and Eyeliner, suck it up Buttercup.  Missing out on opportunities because we are tired just isn’t going to cut it in 2017.  New Year’s Day I was exhausted from partying till 5am.  Took a nap, still felt like crap.  Got a call…Garage Party at 8!  Really? Chugged a Large Coffee put my hair in a bun covered in dry shampoo, sweater, leggings and boots, some foundation and eyeliner and BAM! I looked hot.  15-minute process.  Yea I was exhausted but once I got around people I was awake and ready for round 2.  Do I regret it? No because being around friends and great people made me feel great!

Just say Yes, don’t have to spend any money, drink water it’s free.  You could meet the love of your life or your new best friend.  You could be making so many new memories by just going out and doing things.

2. Moisturizer & Vitamins!!

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

2016: At 27 year’s old you think “I am at the Prime of my Life! I am so young!”  But, 30 is creeping up.  I am showing dark circles, too many responsibilities to afford being sick.
2017: I googled skin elasticity… I do not want wrinkles by 30!  It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin, mostly your face.  I bought Daily-Moisturizer and a Night Cream.  I wash all my makeup off before bed and even put cold compresses under my eyes.  For Vitamins, I take Hair, Skin and Nails, Vitamin D and soon enough a Women’s Multi.  Got my phone reminders on to make sure I keep up with this one.

Take the steps at becoming a healthier you.  Doesn’t take long, a minute in the morning and at night?  So, worth it for healthy skin and a healthy body.

3. Smile More!

2016: I used to smile all the time.  But, then life started slapping me in the face till I just didn’t feel like smiling.  If I was happy or in the moment I would smile, but just walking down the street, or just hanging out with family and friends I would have a sad look on my face.  Why? Because I just got used to doing it.  I was in such a depressive funk for most of 2016 that smiling just wasn’t happening.  Who would want to be around someone like that.
2017: Few months ago, I found a reason to smile.  Suddenly everyone wanted to be around me.  I was happier, I had a huge smile on my face and I felt genuinely good about life.  Yes, I have a lot of reasoning to be so happy in 2017 but why can’t I just be smiling all the time even when I am not happy.  Smiling doesn’t just effect your mood it effects everyone around you.  I went to the store and smiled at the cashier who seemed unhappy to be working.  She smiled back saying “isn’t it a wonderful day?”  Yes, it is.

Just try to smile more this year, if you are walking down the street, or in Aisle 5 and you make eye contact with someone, just smile.  If you are at a party or social event just be conscious of what facial expression you are making.  Will make a world of a difference in your mood.

4. Don’t Be Stressed…Back Away and Relax!

2016: Money, work-load, drama, health, everything…  I was so unhappy at my job for most of the year.  I was always stressed about money.  People were making unnecessary drama and I was always in the middle keeping the peace.  My health wasn’t great.  Just little things would get me stressed.
2017: Made a few changes at the end of 2016.  For the New Year I want to focus on not letting these things stress me out to the breaking point.  Grocery lists, couponing, being wiser with how much money I spend when going out.  Starting fresh at a new job means not letting the work-load get to me, I bought a planner to keep things in check (went traditional). Drama…just not happening.  I walk away from conflict, if I am not specifically targeted then it’s none of my business.  Distractions are key to stay away.  I’m also getting a Salt-Lamp, keep seeing studies that it does help decrease stress.

Tips…Coupons, lists, get a planner or an organizer app.  Walk-away, distract yourself from conflict.  Take a breather, think of the positives.

5. Be Fashionable

2016: I used to wear t-shirts, a flannel and jeans whenever I went out.  Didn’t care how I looked, I went to work in leggings and a sweater.  Wore flats or boots every day, little to no makeup, never any jewelry or accessories.  Curling and straightening my hair? HA! That took effort.  Who was I trying to impress? I didn’t feel motivated.
2017: So Yes, I have a few new reasons to dress up…but do I need one?  I want to start 2017 with some extra confidence.  I do my hair, not every day but most.  I put my makeup on every day.  I am conscious about what I am wearing, I add a scarf, some jewelry.  I go get my nails done.  Just little daily things to keep me motivated and ahead of the game.

You never know who you will meet.  Going to the grocery store you could meet the love of your life.  Didn’t Chelsea from Teen Mom 2 meet her Husband at a gas station?  Yea, always put a little extra effort into your routine.

6. Fast-Food Choices

2016: Fast-food was great hangover food.  If I went out to dinner I would eat the unhealthiest food.  Moe-Mondays and Chipotle were my weakness.  Taco, Taco, Taco!  Every day if I could.  I drank way too much soda.  It’s like a frenzy, once you taste carbonation you want more and more.  I gained some weight this year, wonder why…
2017: I will NEVER give up my Tacos.  But, I can be a bit more careful with what I put into my taco.  I go veggie now, no meat and just a little queso.  McDonalds?  Best hangover food but in small doses.  Instead of the large fry just get a small.  Water…with some lemon in it, it’s not bad!  Cutting soda down to one glass a week.  Instead of snacking on crap, I am snacking on healthier options.

Don’t give up the foods you crave and love.  Just eat them less, make better choices on quantity and what exactly your ordering.  Bring a water bottle everywhere, soda is expensive.

7. Read more Biographies & Self-Help Books

2016: I went through a bad breakup in 2015, so spent most of 2016 in a slump and very depressed.  After I had a nice-long pity party I bought a few self-help books.  John Gray’s ‘Men and from Mars, Women are from Venus’ and Matthew Hussey’s ‘Get the Guy.’  I learned from my mistakes and I learned to grow as a person.  Wish I had read more.
2017: I am making it a goal to read as many of these books as I can.  I just bought Lauren Graham’s ‘Talking as Fast as I Can.’  ‘Gilmore Girls’ was a HUGE staple in my life so why not read a book about a woman who influenced who I am as a person.  Mindy Kahling’s series of books look intriguing.  Theresa Caputo’s book is on my list too.  Then some books about self-confidence might be next.

Be influenced by someone, read!  Grow as a person based on the experiences around you.  Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or do some research into becoming the person you want to be.

8. Travel somewhere, leave your State.

2016: This one hit me hard.  Facebook put out my year in review and well, I did NOT leave New York State ONCE!  That’s bad.  I am so close to the border to Vermont and Massachusetts.  What was my excuse.  Even if it’s to different corners of the state, just get further than 3 hours away.
2017: I have a list of places, weekend trips, day trips… just reasons to leave NY and get some outside perspective.  I need to make them happen.  I am not confining myself to one state anymore.  Even if it’s just to Buffalo or Niagara Falls…New York City.  Just need to get far enough away to experience new things.

Get out of the same scenery.  Go with friends and split the price.  Look up holiday weekend festivities.  Take a train, go to a Bed & Breakfast.  Sight see.  While you can, just go out and do it.

9. Put the Phone Down.

2016: Everyone is on their phones constantly.  You can’t have a decent conversation without the other person looking at their phone.  People are so unapproachable now because they are too engulfed in social media.  I am guilty of it too, talking to a new guy, or just not feeling like being social.  Even when I am home alone I spend hours on my phone.
2017: This year my goal is to cut down on phone use by at least 50%.  If I am out with friends or just around people I am going to use my phone as a camera and that’s it.  Unless it’s something important I am keeping my conversations in person.  At home I am going to limit my social media browsing, I could be doing so much more with my time alone than be on my cell phone.

Seriously, look up, look around you in 2017.  So much the world can show you, so much people can offer you if you just look up and socialize.  Look at the person you are talking to, listen to what they are saying.  Don’t have side conversations.

10. Rock that Dream Bikini

2016:  The Summer of 2016 was awesome, I truly enjoyed being out on the lake, at the beach or swimming in the pool.  Nothing better than being out in the sun and by the water.  But, I was not fully confident in my body.  I wanted to buy a new bathing suit so bad but I hated how I looked.  I spent my summer covering up my stomach.  I remember just feeling so uncomfortable at the beach, looking at women with the perfect bodies, wishing I had something close to that.  But did I work hard to get the body I wanted? No, I could have had that body but I was too lazy, didn’t put effort in.
2017:  I am going to look through a Victoria Secret catalog, find the bikini of my dream, disregard price and get it.  I am going to put it on all the time, I am going to use it as motivation to get my body in shape.  I want my man to not be able to take his eyes off me.  I want to feel so good in my skin.  Every night when I get home from work I am going to be active while watching tv, I’m going to watch my eating, drink A LOT more water.  Little things to get myself in gear.  Even bought Zumba DVD’s tried it once, kicked my butt.

If you are not happy with how you look, go to the mall, buy that dream outfit.  Use it as a motivator.   Whether it’s a bikini or a little black dress or even better a Wedding dress.  Give yourself the tools to become the person you want to be.

So yea, here is my list, it’s going to be difficult but it’s not impossible.  If you want to join me in this journey to a better you in 2017, comment, let’s do this together!  I want to go into 2017 with a positive mindset that I can accomplish anything.

-Mary Margaret

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Mary Margaret

My life is completely focused on living every-day to it's fullest. I try to better myself every-day whether it's the food I am eating, daily activities or my mental state of mind. Living with Anxiety issues and a crappy immune system makes life tricky but I have managed to float above water. I'm here to share my experiences and help others grow and maintain a better and healthier lifestyle.

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