‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.’

scrabble tiles that read happy new year
photo by Sincerely Media

It’s that time of year again – the start of a new year, and with it comes the opportunity to set new goals and resolutions. Whether you want to lose weight, save money, or learn a new skill, the beginning of the year is a natural time to reflect on what you want to accomplish.

However, it’s no secret that new year’s resolutions can be hard to stick to. According to a study by the University of Scranton, less than 8% of people achieve their new year’s resolutions. Luckily, there are steps you can take to be part of that successful 8%.  

Why Is It So Hard To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions?

There are several reasons why people forget about their New Year’s resolutions. If you find yourself abandoning your goals, it could be due to:

A lack of motivation. Especially if your resolution requires significant changes to your lifestyle or habits.

Insufficient planning. It is easy to lose sight of your goals if your plans are unclear.

Overly ambitious goals. Unrealistic goals are demotivating, especially if you can not see any progress.

A lack of accountability. This allows you to make excuses or give up on your resolutions.  

Making A Change

Here are some tips to help you follow through with your new year’s resolutions and make lasting changes in your life:

Be as specific as possible.  Rather than resolving to “exercise more,” set a specific goal such as “exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week.” This gives you a clear target to aim for and makes it easier to track your progress.

text surrounded by yellow note posts. Text reads I am a woman on a mission to...
photo by Valentina Conde

Make a plan. Once you have your goal in mind, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Then, determine what action you need to take to achieve each small step. For example, if your goal is to save money, your plan might include creating a budget, cutting back on expenses, and saving money each month.

Keep track of your progress. Always track your progress along the way, including small achievements that contribute to the overall goal. Remember, even small achievements can be a great source of motivation.

Find accountability. Have someone else to keep you accountable and motivate you to achieve your goals. It could be a friend, family member, coach or mentor. Having someone to check in with and report your progress to can help you stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked.

Be Kind To yourself. Setbacks and failures are a normal part of the process. So, do not get discouraged if you don’t see immediate progress or if you slip up along the way. Instead, use these setbacks to learn and adjust your approach.

Stay flexible. Life can be unpredictable, So it is important to be flexible with your goals. In case something goes wrong, you can reassess and adjust your goals as you go. Just be sure to keep your ultimate goal in mind and stay focused.

Handwritten calligraphy note that reads "and so the adventure begins"
photo by I’m Nik

As the saying goes, 

‘What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.’

So bring some determination and positive energy, and remember to bet on yourself

Cheers to 2023!

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

“The Lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through together.”

– Garrison Keillor

Christmas promises joyful carols, laughter, gifts, and a happy meal with those you love. 

But if we’re being honest, spending Christmas with the extended family can be stressful. You might have to deal with dysfunctional patterns, underlying resentment, unsolicited advice, intrusive questions, and the occasional angry outburst. But don’t despair. You can still have a merry time. Here are a few ways to deal with difficult family members. 

How To Deal With Difficult Family Members Over Christmas

Try Not To Fix Everything And Everyone

blur face of a women seated on a sofa holding a coffee mug - christmas socks are the focus point

If you feel upset about something from the past or feel the urge to confront family members, don’t!

Christmas is not the right time to fix all those festering issues with family. Sometimes, it is just better to bury the hatchet and be cordial for a couple of days. This could set the stage for a better relationship and make it easier for the family to pursue therapy. 

Also, remember it is not up to you to fix everything. Instead, show kindness and compassion.

Get Some Alone Time

Christmas is an overwhelming time, even for the most functional families. There are relatives to catch up with and a lot of group activities. If you ever feel overwhelmed, take a break to recharge. 

You can schedule solo activities such as reading a book, star gazing or meditating. 

Try Not To Regress

Sometimes, family interactions trigger old wounds and coping mechanisms. You may find yourself reacting like your fourteen-year-old self, instead of a healthy adult with better-coping mechanisms.  

This is often frustrating and could leave you feeling vulnerable. Luckily, you are an adult now. So if you catch yourself regressing, take a deep breath and affirm your adulthood by reminding yourself of all your achievements and growth. 

Understand Your Family Member’s Coping Mechanism

Every member of the family has varied personality traits, expectations, and coping mechanisms. All these contribute to a complex family echo system that affects each family member differently. 

More often than not, your relative’s behaviour has nothing to do with you. It is just a way to cope with other family members. So show compassion and empathy and lower your expectations towards their behaviour. 

Set Boundaries

You can always say no to toxic family members, discussions, or triggering activities. Family gatherings are already stressful enough, so set boundaries to protect your mental health and keep you comfortable. 

Your boundaries can look something like coming home only for dessert instead of the whole meal or making it clear that you will not discuss your personal life or relationship. 


wood fireplace on the background and a coffee mug and bowl of popcorn on the front

If you feel too overwhelmed by your family get-together, schedule a debrief session with a trusted family member, friend, or therapist. 

This session allows you to discuss stressful interactions and negative emotions that may worsen if left unchecked. It will help you reflect on your relationships and coping mechanisms and help you identify a way forward.

Even the most dysfunctional families have a little bit of love and joy to share. So let it be a season of happiness and healing. Cheers.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In addition to being essential to your survival, food also affects how you feel, look, and connect with others.

A few bites of something sweet can evoke pleasant childhood memories, while unhealthy foods will often influence and sour your mood. In fact, food is so dynamic that you can use it to express your gratitude to others and on hard days and use it as a coping mechanism.

fruit platter

But how deep does the relationship between food and your well-being go? And, could your diet be responsible for your prolonged low mood, anxiety, or ashy skin? Well, the answer is yes!

We often think of our brain as an independent from our body. However, how you look and what you think can be determined by your next snack. 

The Correlation Between Food, Mental Health And Beauty

The link between food and mental health is tied to the digestive system. Gut bacteria influences the production of neurotransmitters that affect cognitive processes and emotional regulation.

Healthy foods promote the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which enhance your mood. In contrast, high-sugar content foods stimulate the production of cortisol, which increases anxiety, irritability and makes depression and other mood disorders worse.  But it does not stop there, the sugar in processed foods also causes inflammation resulting in puffy, dull, saggy, and wrinkled skin. Further, it also suppresses your white blood cells making it harder to fight acne-causing bacteria. The good news is that you could maintain healthy skin by consuming nutritious foods rich in antioxidants and fiber.

Feeding Your Body And Mind

A white platter of a variety of vegetables and fruit

As you know, your body requires minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates to function effectively. The question is, which food will uplift both your spirit and make your skin glow? 

Well, here are a few suggestions for you:

  1. Nuts

Nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. The antioxidants flush out toxins that cause excessive oil production and pimples. Additionally, they keep your skin feeling smooth by reducing facial wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. As a bonus, these antioxidants prevent oxidation in the brain and encourage the development of new neurons, both of which are crucial for maintaining your mental health. You can get these benefits from walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios. 

  1. Beans

Beans are fantastic mood enhancers. They are rich in vitamin B, which increases feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Actually, low levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with higher rates of mood disorders and depression.

Beans also contain iron, zinc, and biotin, which contribute to the growth of longer, stronger hair. The high zinc content has a powerful healing effects and can assist with acne.

  1. Lefty Greens

Kale, spinach, lettuce, parsley, broccoli, collard greens, and other leafy vegetables can improve cognitive function and reduce anxiety.  Leafy greens have a detoxifying and anti-ageing effect thanks to vitamin E, which protects skin from free radical damage. They also contain vitamin A, which prevents acne by slowing sebum production and flushing out toxins. 

  1. Fatty Fish
a grilled salmon dish surrounded by a variety of vegetables

Fatty fish are full of essential fats known as Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In fact, part of the brain and nervous system is composed of fats that are partial to DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids improve brain development, cell signaling, and memory. They also lower levels of depression and anxiety by enhancing neurotransmitter function, which improves dopamine and serotonin signaling. 

Additionally, Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory qualities, lessen acne and redness and keep your skin supple and moisturized. Salmon and other fatty fish contain vitamin E, which protects your skin from free radical damage, and zinc, which encourages the growth of new skin cells.

You can find Omega-3 in fatty fish like Salmon, Tuna, mussels, Anchovies, sardines and Trout. 

  1. Dark Chocolate

Good news for chocolate lovers, do not feel guilty when reaching for a piece of chocolate when you are feeling down. 

Chocolate enhances the production of endorphins which regulate mood, and cognitive function and reduce brain inflammation associated with depression. Additionally, chocolate contains the fatty acid N-acylethanolamines, which helps reduce anxiety and irritability. This tasty snack also keeps your skin hydrated and thick by enhancing blood flow to bring nutrients to your skin. It also contains antioxidants that help fight UV radiation.

You can maximize the health advantages of dark chocolate by choosing a brand with above 70% cocoa and a low sugar level.

a black background with five white dishes showing different meals - red soup, pasta, egg, split soup and croissants

Food For Thoughts

So next time you reach for a snack, go for something that will boost your mood. Remember, it is all about mindful eating. So, try to pick foods that will enrich your skin and spirit. As the saying goes: 

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

– Eleanor Roosevelt.

Different things come to mind in the quest to define what makes a beautiful woman. While some will say it is her outstanding and attractive physical features, others will say the character and charm (inner qualities) make a woman beautiful. What do you think makes you a beautiful woman? Yes, you who are reading this article at the moment!

a woman lips painted in orange lipstick with water running over her face
Photo by Garon Piceli on Pexels.com

What Makes a Beautiful Woman?

Beauty is a subjective terminology. It can mean the process through which the various parts like physical appearance, inner strength, charm, skills, passions, and character work together to give a pleasurable outcome. 

Usually, we hear tales and watch movies that emphasize inner beauty as the most important virtue to imbibe. Therefore, we pretend that outer beauty does not have a say in the matter. However, this is not how the real-world works; beauty is usually measured by what is seen outside.

Women are usually the target of these beauty stereotypes, where society expects them to look a certain way. If a woman isn’t physically attractive, she is seen as ugly. If she is beautiful, she is seen as an airhead or dull.

Actions of a Beautiful Woman

Using Michelle Obama as a case study, she portrays a beautiful woman outside and in. Despite malicious comments about her physical appearance (color, height, hair, etc.), she remains confident and unstoppable. Michelle is a role model to women in the US and other parts of the world. Her successful career, fashion sense, and elegance are traits to admire. 

She Creates Her Definition of Beauty

To feel beautiful as a woman, you must design a beauty prototype that defines what beauty means to you. This should differ from what the world thinks or displays in various beauty magazines. The best model for this design ought to be you.

She Has Control Over Her Mind

Thoughts are very important parts of shaping one’s life. The way you navigate your thought (positively or negatively) will determine the outcome you get. Visualize beauty, and you will be engulfed by this feeling and look it. It is your choice to believe, see, and feel; no one can do that for you.

a lady with a beautiful happy smile
Photo by Guilherme Almeida on Pexels.com

She is Playful and Smiles Easily

It is not the best idea to take things seriously all the time. Unwind with others and have a good time. This makes you attractive to yourself and the people around you. It also helps to remain beautiful and stay young.

Besides using the best makeup products money can buy, a smile goes a long way. Smiling a lot will make you look younger, beautiful, and attractive.

She Celebrates Her Every Wins

Self-love is a vital virtue every woman should cultivate. Make it a habit to celebrate your achievements no matter how little they are. Do not let them pass uncelebrated if you get a new apartment, car, or job. Take time to treat yourself to something special for your hard work.

She Takes Care of Herself

Eating right and exercising are ways you can take care of yourself to maintain your beauty. Doing these things will help you remain confident with what you have outside and in. Also, having a great fashion sense helps pronounce every minute you care for your body.

Impact of Resilience and Courage on Beauty

Resilience is having the patience and trusting the process of the path you choose. It stems from the things learned from your experiences that no one can take away from you. In the same light, courage can be likened to resilience. Courage is having the confidence or insight of taking action to overcome challenges. 

black and white picture of three ladies wrapping their arms around

There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is a fighter and accepts whatever curve life throws without letting it control her. She is proud of how she looks, speaks, thinks, acts, and dares to be herself in whatever gathering or situation she finds herself.

Only you can decide to remain resilient and courageous as no one can do that for you. You can be your best friend or worst enemy; you have to decide which path you would like to thread. Of course, there will be trying times, discouragement, and even self-doubt. However, pushing yourself despite these setbacks makes you more beautiful.

Know when to take risks, constantly remind yourself of your strengths, and entertain discomfort. All of these would help you build the courage and resilience to keep looking beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Own whatever you do, and you will realize that beauty is you, and you are beauty. Being confident in everything can help channel the right (positive) energy. 

The moment you look into the mirror and see beauty staring back at you, you become unstoppable. Learn to see how beautiful you are outside, and no one will be able to take it away from you.