The beginning of a new year is a symbol of opportunity.

You know what they say: New year, new me! Although it’s not necessary to completely revamp your habits and personal choices, this time of year presents an opportunity for a fresh start.

Whether you want to pursue a new career or rekindle an old relationship, try compiling a list of resolutions that will improve your quality of life. Need ideas? Here are a few to get you started.

5 MilSpouse New Year’s Resolutions to Make This Year

1. Learn one new skill

Whether you’re looking to refine your skills in the kitchen or finally hold that crow pose in yoga class, learning a new skill literally changes your brain chemistry.

According to CCSU Business & Development, practicing a new skill increases the density of the white matter in your brain called myelin. This helps you new learn skills even faster, combats boredom, and can even fight off dementia.

Science aside, who doesn’t want to grow their personal repertoire? Websites like Udemy, SkillShare and, of course, YouTube, offer thousands of user-friendly tutorials on skills from cookie decorating to coding.

2. Create more “me” time

MilSpouses: This is the year of self-love and self-acceptance. Oftentimes, we don’t give ourselves enough of that.

When was the last time you did something for yourself? Whether you get a massage, buy yourself that bedframe you’ve always wanted, or take a refreshing solo hike, it’s important to make sure you’re “filling up your own cup” so you have the energy to give to others, too.

If you have a hard time carving out “me time,” put a reminder on your calendar every month. You can even have a separate “me” budget that you contribute a little money to each paycheck. That way, when it comes time to treat yourself, you won’t feel like you’re breaking the bank.

3. Add, rather than take away

Individuals looking to make changes often resort to restricting rather than adding. For example, those looking to eat healthier might write down commands such as, “No junk food,” or, “No meals after 7pm.” It’s important to consider the consequences of restrictive diets, as these can lead to mental, emotional, and physical health problems.

Rather than removing certain foods or habits from your life, why not add some? This might look like reframing your resolution to, “Add more veggies,” or, “Cook three nights a week.” Practicing these healthy habits may cause you to start eating less junk food naturally if you’re filling your body with home-cooked, nutritious foods.

This “adding” doesn’t have to apply to just food, either. Rather than taking away screen time at night, add an hour of creative exploration, such as drawing, writing, or dancing.

4. Grow your MilSpouse network

When it comes to Military Life, predictability is rare. Last-minute changes are common and, oftentimes, this can mean moving at the drop of a hat.

It’s important for MilSpouses to feel like no matter where they are, they have a group of individuals who just “get it.” Other MilSpouses understand what it feels like to be alone for the holidays, pick up and move cross-country, and lose a local support network.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though. MilSpouse support networks can be found anywhere, whether online or in person. There are a slew of amazing bloggers, Facebook groups, and support centers for Military Spouses to choose from. And, as always, SpouseLink is here to support, inform, and inspire Military Spouses with personal stories and news, so you know you’re never alone on your journey.

Challenge yourself to grow your Military network this year, whether it’s grabbing coffee with your new neighbor, posting an introduction in a Facebook group, or supporting a MilSpouse-run local business or Etsy shop. Look out for SpouseLink events in your own community, or reach out to one of our SpouseLink Ambassadors for more information.

5. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

If you make only one resolution this year, vow to practice more gratitude.

According to Psychology Today, gratitude can grow your relationships, improve your mental and physical health, reduce aggression, increase mental strength, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Who knew that just saying “thank you” could hold so much power?

Here are a few ways you can put this practice to work:

  • Name three things you’re grateful for every day when you wake up.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write down one thing every day.
  • Take 10 minutes before bed to meditate and reflect on three good things that happened to you that day.
  • Take one picture of something you’re grateful for each day. At the end of each month, review and reflect on each photo.

Whether you take up tai chi or start a book club with new MilSpouse friends, starting the year with a grateful heart and a desire to improve will set you up for a stellar 2019.

More Ways to Have an Even Happier New Year:

Solutions for Your Military Family:

Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.

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