Now that we’ve officially cross the threshold into 2012, our resolutions will be put to the test. Even if you’re not the new-year-resolution-type, you can still begin your New Year with a determination to build upon or start a healthy lifestyle: emotionally, physically and spiritually. Instead of committing for a day or two, how about sticking to your resolve and changing what you want to change one step at a time? Sounds great, doesn’t it? The truth is – it’s easier to accomplish that you might think. Here are some things you may want to consider improving upon in the New Year.

Also, keep reading for tips on how to stick to your resolve and get 2012 off to a great start.

New Year Resolution #1: Forgive and forget

We have all had our fair share of hurts, disappointments and failures in life. Some of those life events occurred as a result of our own actions and some of them were do to the actions of others. If you find that something from the past is still hurting you, make a point to forgive the individual(s) involved. Think of it like this: forgiveness does more for you than it does for the ones you forgive. When you release angry feelings and negative thoughts about someone or an event, you free your mind up to create more positive emotions. Anger slows down the thinking process and can even affect your physical well-being. So, before you move any further into 2012 take a moment to mentally forgive someone once and for all.

New Year Resolution #2: Keep an open mind

Take inventory of your thoughts and you might discover that you keep a negative mental record on repeat throughout the day. If you find that you’re concentrating on figuring everything out to the point where your thoughts are stuck on what you can’t seem to wrap your mind around, then change your focus. Realize that you do not and cannot know everything. Recognizing that will help you accept help when you need it and relieve you of the stress of trying to control every aspect of your life.

New Year Resolution #3: Look from another perspective

There’s a scene in a movie where the main character is crying in the bathroom stall at work. His co-worker came to him and asked him what was wrong. When the guy told his co-worker that he was getting a divorce, the co-worker replied, “Oh thank God…I thought it might have been cancer.” Now, that line was meant to provide comic relief, but it does tell the story of putting things in perspective. When you focus only on your problems, you lose sight of the fact that it could always be worse. Sure, it could be better too, but knowing that it’s not as bad as it could be may help you appreciate what you have, who you love and the issues that you are facing.

New Year Resolution #4: Move forward

Ever wonder why some people are so unhappy? Studies suggest that if you don’t have clear goals and a sense of accomplishment toward those goals, then it’s likely that depression and low mood can result. Asking yourself what goals you would like to accomplish or work toward before the close of the year is a great way to get the ball rolling on goal setting. Be sure your goals are uniquely your own; not goals that you think you ‘should’ have or ones that may be easy for you to accomplish.

New Year Resolution #5: Make girl time

Keep your friendships alive and thriving in 2012. So often women are handling 20 different things and getting together with the girls may be the last thing on your mind. But, getting together with friends is important and worth prioritizing. In case you needed more of a reason to get together with friends, research shows that women benefit greatly from companionship and camaraderie; and it actually helps increase your potential for success in life. So schedule the weekly brunch, make it happen and enjoy each other as often as possible.

3 tips to make your resolutions for 2012 stick

1. Exercise your willpower. Willpower isn’t infinite (and don’t we know it!) If you find that you’re bent on making a daily goal, then work on that goal as early in your day as possible. As the day goes on, your willpower decreases and your more likely not to reach your goal during that day.

2. Create a positive circle. If your friends are negative-Nancy’s or they are un-supportive of your goals, then consider making new friends. You don’t have to ditch your old friends, but the best way to reach your goals is to surround yourself with people with similar goals or those who are supportive of your goals.

3. Make time for exercise. You know this year is your year to get into your best shape ever. While accomplishing other goals, make time for exercise. Exercising will help you have more energy. More energy will help you accomplish the other goals you have for 2012. Working out is a great stress reliever and the self-discipline you develop sticking to an exercise routine will help in other areas of your life as well.

Here’s to making 2012 your best year ever!