2020 was a doozy but it’s over now. A new year is here, and with it, the possibility for a healthier, happier 2021. Let’s dig into some of the ways we can all achieve a bit of happiness in the year ahead.

1. Fix your credit score

The New Year is more than a date change, it’s a fresh start. Begin 2021 by fixing or increasing your credit score. Doing so can help you find a new home, buy a new car, or even land that new gig. Fortunately we have some useful tips and resources available to help improve your credit.

2. Get security

An increasing amount of things get done online these days. While that has many benefits, it also leaves open the potential for fraud. Keep yourself secure by exercising caution online and taking steps to protect your identity and your finances.

3. Find your dream home

Homeownership is a dream for many and with the right resources it can become a reality. We have numerous articles dedicated to all the ins and outs of the home purchase process

4. Save more

The COVID pandemic has impacted finances, but a recent survey also found that it has encouraged some to start saving. An emergency savings is crucial for weathering tough times, but it can also help you achieve other goals in the long run. 

5. Spend less

Of course the first step to saving money is to reduce spending it. This can often be difficult, but just as the current pandemic has created possible saving challenges, it has also presented opportunities. Instead of that trip to Cancun, put that money in an interest-bearing account and let it work for you. Continually look for ways to save, from DIY projects to dinners at home.

6. Eat better

Eating healthier is one of those things that’s easier said than done. However, it isn’t an impossible task. By making little goals you can avoid biting off more than you can chew. For example, start by reducing your intake of sweets and eventually extend that to sugary drinks. From there, incorporate more vegetables into your diet and so on. If you’re really feeling adventurous, try going vegan and see what that can do for your waistline and your wallet.

7. Read more

Mental health is more important than ever, and reading has been shown to combat depression, prevent cognitive decline as well as a whole host of other benefits.

8. Take a break from social media

Social media is great for connecting with friends and family but it can also become a negative habit if overused. Take some time this new year to disconnect. Walk outside, call a friend or, read a book 🙂

9. Build relationships

Research has consistently shown that having positive relationships leads to a happier life. Take the time to check in on friends and family this year, you’ll be glad you did.

10. Exercise

Like eating healthy, exercise is easier said than done. However, if you set small, realistic goals (like a 15-minute walk twice a week) and track your progress, you will feel more motivated to continue. Coordinate your goals with a friend to give yourself an extra bit of motivation. Studies show that working out increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which in turn boosts your mood.

11. Get some fresh air

We’re not talking a week-long hiking trip here (although that would be great too) just a simple stroll down the street or even in your own backyard can do wonders.

12. Breathe

Meditation can be a loaded word, conjuring visions of chakras and auras, but at its core it’s really just about breathing. Start small. The next time you’re feeling stressed just stop, close your eyes and count your breath. Ahhh, wasn’t that nice?

13. Get a pet

A pet is a person’s best friend and getting one is sure to put a smile on your face. In addition, animal shelters are struggling due to the pandemic. Adopting a pet is great way to support them while reducing stress and anxiety and making a lifelong friend in the process.

14. Find a hobby

A healthy hobby increases focus and gives purpose, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if it’s rock climbing, learning the violin or rice carving, just find something that speaks to you and pursue it.

15. Learn a new skill

If you wanted to learn something but never felt like you had the time, 2021 may be the year to start. With a plethora of online tutorials about everything, you can learn at your own pace.

16. Update your resume

So you took our advice and learned a new skill, perhaps a job-related skill? Perfect. Now, put it on your resume. Your resume is an advertisement of you and keeping it updated ensures that potential employers know what you’re bringing to the table. Take the time to revise it, preferably every six months.

17. Get a new job

With your resume up-to-date, you can start searching for your dream career. The start of the year is one of the best times to job search, but you’ll have a lot of competition, so it’s best to start now. Check out our list of seven tips to help you land that new gig for some additional guidance. 

18. Give back

Giving back to your community is rewarding and good for your mental health. This year, look for ways to volunteer and donate in your community. Consider participating in fundraising efforts like Arizona Gives Day and Colorado Gives Day to help nonprofits continue to make an impact.

19. Share your knowledge

If you already have the skills to succeed, consider being a mentor to others looking to acquire those same skills. Becoming a mentor or simply tutoring students can help a new generation while keeping your skills sharp and in practice.

20. Have a laugh

Not only is laughing just a good ole’ time, research shows it can even increase life span. Turns out comedy is serious business.

21. Embrace the moment

If there’s one lesson to take away from the ruins of 2020 it’s that the unexpected is just around the corner, and while having a plan is great, sometimes you just have to embrace the moment you’re living in. As we look forward to a better year, consider taking a moment to stop and look around you. What do you see? Hear? Who are you with? What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to in 2021?

For me, the answer is simple; a happier 2021.

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