Every year we try a little bit harder and become a little bit wiser. Use 2014 as a launching pad and follow these 5 tricks to make 2015 that much better.

1. Treat Your Body and Your Friends Well

An old work friend of mine started going to a personal trainer in the late summer of 2014 and invited me to join her. We realized we’re getting older and perhaps not getting healthier, so why not? By going to a personal trainer together we lowered our cost per session, felt the same (sometimes agonizing) stiff pains the next day, saw improvements week over week, ate better, learned safe workouts and had help from a professional, and best of all, actually got to catch up with each other in our post-workout cool-down walks, which we both highly recommend. You always hear “have a workout buddy” but 2014 lets me say from experience that getting a serious workout buddy was the best way to go about it. My husband followed my lead and started working out with a casual acquaintance and now they’re better friends and look amazing! You feel better, look better, and build stronger friendships.

2. Have More Experiences

If 2014 left me anything it was that my favorite memories involve my friends and family. Spend 2015 with those you love, be it casual friends or close family. Whether the experience is as extravagant as a concert of a band you and your friends have enjoyed for years, or realizing 2 or 3 of your friends aren’t doing anything that night so you do impromptu drinks, snacks, and game night at your house, spending time with those around you is a great way to make the year count. Meet for coffee, have a craft day, do bible study or mediation night, or whatever floats your boat! Even if it’s once a month or once a season, you’ll have something to look forward to as well as something fun to remember.

3. Embrace Technology

It’s not going anywhere, so you might as well join it! Over the past few years more and more people in my life are using technology such as Google Hangouts and Facetime to have face-to-face phone calls. I’ve been able to talk face-to-face with my sister in France on the weekends, make dinner simultaneously with my best friend in Arizona, and see the smiling face my only surviving Grandmother who lives in Alabama and hear about what’s going on with her out there. I’m the first to admit I’m awkward on the phone, but talking face-to-face lets you see facial expressions, new haircuts, backgrounds, and it feels a little more real, making calls much more relaxing and manageable. Besides, it’s 2015, and everyone in Back to the Future II was video calling, isn’t it time you do too?

4. Enjoy Food

Take 2015 to enjoy what good food has to offer. Depend a little less on boxed and instant food and meals from scratch. There are dozens of excellent blogs online that provide amazing recipes that are delicious and easy to make, even if they’re perhaps a little time consuming. Pinterest.com is a perfect launching pad for this as it’s basically an online visual corkboard. Also, be adventurous! Find someone who is willing to be just as brave as you and try new ethnic food restaurants you wouldn’t normally tread. Most locally owned restaurants have affordable lunch menus with smaller portions, so once a month try somewhere you haven’t gone before. Ask the server what they like, or use a restaurant review website like Yelp.com to read what other diners liked or didn’t like to help you choose!

5. Spring Clean

2014 was the year that all my Facebook friends cleaned out their closets for the first time in years and never regretted a moment of it. Take before pictures of your bedroom closets, hall closets, medicine cabinets, jewelry drawers, and garages and start cleaning those beasts out! It’s always a daunting task, and sometimes you might have a brush with separation anxiety, but once it’s done you’ll feel lighter and happier with less clutter. Then take after pictures and breathe a sigh of relief when you look at the side-by-side results. Plus it’s a great way to clear out expired hair care and medicine products, give clothes, kitchen accessories, and blankets to local shelters, and organize what is important to you versus what you don’t want or need anymore.

There you have it! 5 easy ways to make 2015 even better than 2014. They’re not resolutions per say, but little tidbits that take little effort but show great improvement in one’s quality of life.

What are some great things that happened to you in 2014 that you want to keep up in 2015? Tell us in the comments!

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