10 Things You Should Do Every Day.

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Daily Mini-Resolutions

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because I think we should be working on self-improvement and overall life satisfaction on a regular basis, rather than on some arbitrary date.

Having said that—in re-thinking my anti-resolution stance—I recently realized that I practice mini-resolutions every single day.

Here is a list of 10 of those things.

 1.      Open your heart.

Don’t let life make you cold and callous. Remember that to truly enjoy life you have to be open to the reality that sometimes it hurts too. Keep opening your heart to love.

 2.      Give sincere compliments.

I’ve blogged before about how our society is so critical that people often don’t even know how to receive compliments. I’m not suggesting you go around throwing out so many compliments that they become meaningless, but sometimes letting someone know that you notice them in a positive way is exactly what that person needed—and that positivity will come back to you.

 3.      Put effort into life.

My husband often says that people have a sense of entitlement, that they think they’re owed success or happiness. Guess what? You’re not. The reality is that life isn’t fair; happiness often takes working at having a positive outlook and mindset and worthwhile success comes from effort. However, I truly believe that God, the universe, or whatever you believe in, helps people that help themselves.

 4.      Be honest, but not hurtful.

Honesty should be your only policy, but not when this honesty serves to make you feel better while hurting someone else. Learn when to be open and forthright—and when to keep your yapper shut.

 5.      Sing.

Yes, sing. Singing clears our energy and brings lightness to our hearts. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a good singer. Just close the door, turn on your favorite song and belt out a tune—I promise you’ll feel invigorated.

 6.      Play.

Every single day you should be doing something fun. Even if you have the craziest day at work or your kids are sick, there’s always one minute to joke and laugh with your spouse, to read a few pages of an inspiring book or to simply play along with your children (trust me, kids know how to have fun). Even making dinner can be enjoyable—if you have the right attitude.

 7.      Drink water.

I love water—a lot. If you don’t like water, too bad, drink it anyway.

 8.      Quit reading the news.

All right, I’m certainly not saying that we should become uneducated drones, but how often do you read unnecessarily damaging headlines—about depressing things that you can’t change or that don’t really affect you—and you feel like crap afterwards? So stop. Put down your phone or the TV remote and, I don’t know, sing a song instead.

 9.      Hug.

Hugging is so underrated. Hugs help you become happy and relaxed almost instantly. Too often the people that we love become ordinary faces that we don’t spend enough time loving in basic human ways, like hugging.

 10.      Forgive.

Almost every day presents us with challenging people or situations. These people and opportunities are put in our way because they serve to make us better people—if we allow it. So stop carrying old baggage around, and open yourself to the notion that every minute provides you the chance to start again—regardless of the date. Let yourself move forward—without the weight of burdens that don’t serve your best self.

While I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I definitely do believe that every day can bring us closer to our highest, happiest selves; so consider trying these 10 small things on a regular basis—because it’s these little steps that get you where you want to be.



Remember to Play (When Life Gets Too Serious). 

The Bravest, Sexiest Thing You Can Do in an Uncomfortable Moment. 


Relephant Bonus: For those days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed:



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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She’s also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.

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anonymous Oct 15, 2015 12:00pm

I welcome your suggestions especially not to watch the news ( over-depressing) and to drink water. Turning the corner away from depression, these two help the most, along with a healthy walk in fresh air every day. And , for other single dwellers out there, regardless of the presence of a loved one or not, make an effort to hug a tree, talk to a plant or a pet. Solitude is not necessarily the absence of company but the blessing of time to expand, and grow within.

anonymous Jun 11, 2015 4:03am

I don't know if this will be read this late, but just a thought on number 2. How about an aside that adds staying away from compliments on appearance. Promote things beyond body and appearance standards. Too often we compliment someone's appearance only to inadvertently promote some beauty ideal that person is killing themselves to meet.

anonymous Jun 9, 2015 1:52pm

Millions of people each year get injections for lip and face enhancement.
Although most are thought to be safe to use, a concern has been expressed
because some manufacturers still do not have long-term,
safety laboratory data available regarding their products.

If gums bleed regularly or when you brush your teeth,
then this is a sign that you have gingivitis or you are at the early
stage of periodontal disease. This is totally justified because we are living in an age where an attractive appearance counts a lot.

anonymous Nov 16, 2014 7:53pm

This is the best article I have ever read. Thank you.

anonymous Nov 16, 2014 6:12pm

This is a lovely post. Beautiful work.

anonymous Apr 6, 2014 1:41pm

It hasn’t occurred to you that you’re coming across as one half of a smug couple?? “My husband often says..” “Joke and laugh with your spouse”, “hug” – all alienating advice for single readers…

anonymous Jan 22, 2014 8:03am

I have this saved on my desktop, along with dalai llama, pema chodron and other assorted essays-mostly from elephant journal….read it today, it is so helpful….thanks.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 10:00pm

Forgive? FORGIVE? goddamned BS

anonymous Jan 25, 2013 1:53pm

[…] […]

anonymous Jan 15, 2013 6:08pm

It does! Opens the heart and throat chakras easily! Thanks for your gorgeous comment.

anonymous Jan 15, 2013 11:06am

[…] And for the record, I’ve learned that there is as much love in saying no as there is in saying yes. […]

anonymous Jan 12, 2013 8:12pm

ℒℴѵℯ ℒℴѵℯ ℒℴѵℯ :: All Beautiful Points :: Singing Out Loud So Gets The Energy Flowing and Opens The HEART Up Tremendously :: Thank You नमस्ते

anonymous Jan 12, 2013 1:41pm

love this! so right about the news….

    anonymous Jan 15, 2013 6:07pm

    Honestly. At least American news. Since when should celebrities and murder consist of our lives?

anonymous Jan 11, 2013 8:01am


anonymous Jan 10, 2013 10:07am

You are right on!! A few months back, before I became a Yogi, I would wake up each morning to watch the news on TV. Nothing positive ever came of that. Now, I spend that time meditating and doing a few sun salutations to start my day. I find out the news as it comes to my computer when it is relevant. If more people were forgiving, the world would be a better place to live in. Thank you.

    anonymous Jan 10, 2013 11:48am

    Thanks! And that's fabulous you've discovered yoga. It's wonderful for every part of us—body, mind and soul.

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 2:07pm

Thanks, everyone! And, yes, dance every day! (Even if it's just cooking in the kitchen 😉

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 12:35pm

and dance!! This is beautiful, thank you

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 11:57am

LOVE love love this!!! Honesty, but not reckless honesty, is always necessary and an art. A list of values rather than resolutions is always good because it is refreshing and real rather than obligating. Thank you!

    anonymous Jan 15, 2013 6:06pm

    Thank you! Sincerely. And I second your thoughts.

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 11:43am

This is a great post – thank you!

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 11:17am

I love this! Thanks

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 11:13am

I'd add a lot more to the list, and that's a great one! I practice yoga every single day, on my mat and off. Meditation is key to success in life. Great thoughts/additions, thanks!

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 11:02am

Love the post!
I’m the same way too, I was once anti new years resolutions and promote regular mini-resolutions.
The only thing I’d like to add to the list is to meditate and/or practice yoga regularly.


anonymous Jan 9, 2013 9:33am

Woo hoo! Sing it! Thanks for the feedback. I think it's just as important to make our own headlines as it is to stay educated.

anonymous Jan 9, 2013 6:59am

Thanks Jennifer – You are so right about giving up reading the news! I did so several years ago and somehow I always know if something important has happened that I need to know about. I'm off to go play and sing a few songs now!

anonymous Jan 8, 2013 10:01pm

[…] nothing ever didn’t happen because I couldn’t do something; it was because I stopped trying, gave up or just chose a different […]