It’s that time of year when we reassess our past and make plans for our future. Diane Lang, a positive living speaker, author, and life coach, urges everyone to set the year off to a positive start with resolutions that add meaning to their lives. Below she shares 12 ways to achieve happiness and balance in the new year.

In 2016, I will:

1. Make myself a priority. I will learn to say no to others when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. I will say yes to my needs and wants. This year I will learn it’s OK to put myself first and take care of myself.

2. Be grateful for what I have. I will take the time to pause and think about all I have. This isn’t about my material objects; this is about the abundance of love, warmth, comfort, care, and empathy I receive on a daily basis.

3. Pay it forward constantly. I will give more of myself every day. I will inspire, help, and empower others on a daily basis.

4. Step out of my comfort zone. I will take risks, add variety, and become more creative. This is the year I won’t be stale or stagnant.

5. Be a great role model. This will make me a better parent, mentor, friend, and educator. I will teach others by my actions.

6. Become fully aware of my negative thoughts, comments, and actions towards others and myself. I will make a conscious effort to be more positive and respectful of others and myself. I realize positive energy, actions, and thoughts are contagious.

7. Make action plans. Not only will I set short- and long-term goal lists, but also action plans on how to get there. I will feel a sense of accomplishment because I have taken action.

8. Live in the present. I will let the past be in the past and stop worrying about the future. I will not waste my energy being stressed about something that hasn’t happened yet.

9. Spend less time trying to control others and trying to be perfect. This year I vow to let go of my control issues and perfectionist traits and learn to enjoy life in its messy existence.

10. Say “thank you” to everyone I love. I will say “sorry” when needed, “thanks” when it’s deserved, and “I love you” just because I do.

11. Not try so hard to be something or someone I’m not. I will not keep up with the Joneses, compare myself to celebrities, or wish I were someone else. I will become fully aware of who I am.

12. Let go of all the expectations of what could be or should be and just live my life. I will let go of unrealistic expectations and enjoy the life that is here right now. I will remember to enjoy the simple things: love, warmth, and caring.

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