Exercise more! Eat healthier! These might be the most common New Year’s resolutions, but who really sticks to them?

Dr. Mary Casey, author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators says: “The reason we make resolutions in the first place is to be happier, more creative, more aware of our direction in life, and improve our sense of wellbeing. December and January are the perfect months for detoxing our emotions by reassessing our relationships and living decisions we make daily.” Dr. Casey’s 7 New Year’s resolutions for 2012: 1. Prioritise your happiness and health It’s important to decide for your health and happiness as number one. As simple as it sounds, if you don’t have these, you are not in a position to contribute to others or yourself. Everything stems from here. 2. Spend more time with the right people Rather than resolving to spend more time with everyone – which can be exhausting – spend time with people who are naturally positive and uplifting, and who are going in the direction you want to go in. You’ll find these people have an energising effect on you. 3. Deal with toxic relationships You can identify the relationships by the way they make you feel. People who are controlling, overly emotional, or in blame put everyone else in a negative state. Stand your ground, set your boundaries and make it clear to them what behaviour you won’t accept – even with family. You may need to disengage altogether from particularly toxic people. Your health will thank you for it. 4. Reassess your happiness at work This is must for those in negative work culture that’s leaving them feeling overworked, uncertain of their future, anxious or stressed. It’s important to know that as an employee you can address the issue with your manager. If you know you can’t, it may be time to look for a healthier work environment. 5. Review your daily routine It takes courage to admit there are decisions we ourselves make that deflate us emotionally – from accepting a job with a long work commute, to running around too much, to not giving ourselves enough ‘down’ time every day, to spending too much and putting ourselves in financial stress. By resolving to develop a strategy to solve them, you can be in an entirely different place by the end of 2012. And you’ll be glad for it. 6. Don’t let any negative emotions control you Negative emotions – however small – can overwhelm anything positive. Resolve to develop awareness of when you’re feeling upset or frustrated before it spoils your day. Examine your part in this. What can you do personally to make yourself feel better? Each time you begin to feel down, take a walk in the park or go out in the sun to help centre you. Nature and movement nurture positive emotions. 7. Strengthen your relationships Deep and meaningful relationships, not just with your life partner but with all those close to you, are important for a fulfilling life. Make a list of all the factors you need for a meaningful relationship, identify what you do not want, and stick to your guns. You can also find deep fulfilment and connection in philanthropic or charitable work, so try getting involved in a community group, nursing home or the like, and volunteer some of your time. Do you keep New Year’s resolutions? What are yours for 2012?