6 tips on living a confident + focused lifestyle (and just generally kicking ass)

1. Don’t date someone just to make up for a self-love deficit.

Find a way to love your life and yourself without relying on external compliments and the love of a romantic partner. If necessary, evaluate yourself. What aren’t you happy with? How can you take steps to change that?
BAF’s (Bad Ass Females) look at it this way: In a relationship? Cool! Not in a relationship? Also cool! Whether you’re in a relationship or not, your opinion of yourself should not change.

2. Cultivate a life that feels good, rather than it just looking good.

People are obsessed with Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Flickr, whatever else, I don’t even know, I lost track. And because of these outlets, people become so focused on creating a life that looks good on the outside (attending lots of events on Facebook, gym selfies, a photo of your favourite Frappuccino that you bought cause TREAT YO SELF, posting photos every 5 minutes at an event of HOW MUCH FUN YOU’RE HAVING OMG) that they forget to focus on how their life is actually functioning. It’s okay to go out for coffee with a friend and focus on what they’re saying, rather than getting the perfect selfie together.
Are you taking photos of things because they fulfill you (your family, your dog, a special moment) or are you taking photos of things because you want other people to see them?

3. Don’t sit on the sidelines.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. It can be difficult to approach people and ask them out on a date, ask for a raise, or ask to be a part of something. You might get a “no” in response, but you’ll definitely get a “no” if you never step up and ask in the first place. BAF’s rarely sit on the sidelines – they go out and ask for what they want, and demand respect while doing it.

4. Know your worth.

Don’t compete for a man like you’re on the Bachelor, especially if that man is encouraging competition between women because it’s good for his ego. If someone doesn’t recognize your worth, that is the moment to walk away.
Seeing someone who isn’t treating you awesome? End it. Working a job you hate? Re-evaluate and see if you can find somewhere you’d be happier. Figure out what you think you deserve, and refuse to settle for anything less.

5. Don’t play the victim.

Things go wrong all the time. We all have those days (or weeks) where you already felt crappy... and then your apartment flooded, you didn’t get that raise, your boyfriend broke up with you, you sprained your wrist, your car broke down. Oh, woe is me! You’re welcome to allow yourself a couple minutes of a pity party, but after that, buck up, put on your steel face and work through it. Take one problem off the shelf at a time, fix it, and then focus on the next problem at hand. Don’t wallow – you’re not helping anyone, especially yourself.

6. Make plans and follow through.

Whether it’s coffee with a friend or a serious career transition, make a plan for successful execution and follow through. Not only will you generally accomplish more and feel better about yourself, people sincerely appreciate being able to count on someone. 

Two Girls One City: Part III

Blog readers, meet Paige - the mastermind behind The Wholesome Handbook, an artistic, bucolic, introspective and inspiring woman, and one of my very closest friends. Despite the fact that we are total opposites - as she put it, I'm "buzzing with energy, always on the go" and she's "relaxed, contemplative, and probably barefoot in the garden" - we both love Calgary and spend a lot of our time exploring it. So we decided to put together a multi-part blog collaboration that focuses on our two (very different) perspectives of the city - one take wholesome, one take electric. Part three focuses on our favourite places to go for dates!


Suzanne: Coffee & a bike ride along the Riverwalk 

There's just nothing like a good bike ride! Start at the Simmons Building (just over the Langevin Bridge), admire the artwork, hang out in the sunshine for a bit, before hopping on your bikes and cruising down the Riverwalk, through Eau Claire, and down to the Peace Bridge. Once you've crossed, head into Kensington and take a break with a coffee from Higher Ground - make sure to snag a spot outside, if you can! From here you can either bike back along the Riverwalk, or bike to a restaurant downtown for dinner and drinks. 

Paige: Glenbow Museum
I never understood the reputation of museums being stuffy, boring places to hang out. A museum is a multitude of worlds confined in one physical space, complex and rich and wondrous. What's sexier than that? The Glenbow in particular always hosts fantastic travelling exhibitions, interesting lectures, and has an impressive permanent collection to boot. It's a great way to get to know each other, as the conversation is guaranteed to be lubricated by whatever ancient artefact or disturbing art piece is sitting in front of you. No awkward chats about the weather here! And plenty of dark corners for... further discussion. 


Suzanne: Beer & blues at The Blues Can 
The Blues Can is a charmingly run-down gem in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Calgary - and a great low-key date location. Its simple and unembellished interior states that you're there for the music, and not for a glamorous evening - and that's why it's so great! Order a schooner of beer and some frog legs or Creole nachos and soak up the amazing live blues music, which happens every day of the week. 

PaigeArts Commons
Arts Commons is a labyrinthine patchwork of theatres, concert halls, art galleries, and cafes. You can see an indie play at One Yellow Rabbit or King Lear at Theatre Calgary, take in some romantic Brahms or avant-garde Messaien at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, or sit in at a TED talk at the Jack Singer. While you're waiting for your show to start, hang out with the artist in residence at the voyeuristic Lightbox Studio and explore the +15 soundscapes and art galleries. A late-night stroll down Calgary's most magical street, Stephen Avenue, can't hurt your chances either. 


Suzanne: Punk Rock Singalong @ the Ship & Anchor 
Even if punk rock isn't your genre of choice, you WILL have fun at Punk Rock Singalong. It's hosted by Rob & Eric (two dashing young local musicians) on the best patio in Calgary, every Monday evening, July through September. Pack onto the east patio if you can find a spot, make fast friends with those around you, and make sure you pick up on the Bro-Hymn, where everyone on the patio cheerses each other and takes a swig of their favourite brew. High-fives and thumbs-up from passersby are a regular occurrence, and the police have been known to stop by once or twice for noise complaints (true to the punk rock spirit!). It's a crowded, happy, yelling, singing, drinking, cheersing, fun time for everyone!

Paige: Berry picking @ the Saskatoon Berry Farm
The Saskatoon Berry Farm the absolute cutest, kitschiest u-pick in southern Alberta. They've got several audaciously lush greenhouses, a tiny indoor farm populated by turkeys, fancy chickens and a resident pig, amazing views of the surrounding prairies, and a killer breakfast menu. Berry picking is surprisingly fun, and the towering hedges of Saskatoon bushes make you feel like you're out there all by yourselves. 


Suzanne: Recordland
I've been to other record stores in Calgary, but I always, always come back to Recordland. The crowded aisles holding over 2 million records, the hand-written labels, the staff that seem to know every record, band, and piece of music trivia there is, and the smell of old records - nothing beats it! When I'm stressed out (and also when I'm not), I like to grab a coffee from nearby Gravity Espresso Bar and peruse the quiet, jam-packed aisles until my arms are filled with 5, 15, or 25 records to add to my collection.

Paige: Hiking Johnston Canyon
Outdoor winter activities are so underrated! Fill up a thermos with Baileys-spiked coffee, lace up your hiking boots, and head out to K-country. The trails are quiet and picturesque in the winter, and the falls at Johnston Canyon freeze into monstrous white-blue monoliths. I've always felt such a primal, epic, ancient feeling wash over me in the mountains, and experiencing that with someone else is even more awesome, in every sense of the word. 

Two Girls One City: Part II

Blog readers, meet Paige - the mastermind behind The Wholesome Handbook, an artistic, bucolic, introspective and inspiring woman, and one of my very closest friends. Despite the fact that we are total opposites - as she put it, I'm "buzzing with energy, always on the go" and she's "relaxed, contemplative, and probably barefoot in the garden" - we both love Calgary and spend a lot of our time exploring it. So we decided to put together a multi-part blog collaboration that focuses on our two (very different) perspectives of the city - one take wholesome, one take electric. Part two focuses on our favourite places to go for libations, music and late-night bites around the city. 


Paige: The coziest bar in Calgary, the Hop in Brew operates out of a century-old yellow house that, throughout its lifetime, has served as a rest home, an auto-body garage, and a rooming house. They’ve got the most incredible selection of local beer and craft brews on tap. On a warm summer night it is absolutely lovely to sit out on the little porch, blissfully free of sweaty, crowded strangers and the deafening noise of conventional bars, and sip on an Apricat in the glow of the city lights. 

Suzanne: There is something so wonderful about having a cold beer on a rooftop patio, surrounded by graffiti'd walls and the skyline of Calgary - and this is why the Broken City patio is always packed, whether its 10 or 35 degrees outside. It debatably becomes even more lovely in the evening, when the string lights come on, the crowd gets communal, and the constant thrum of music from downstairs keeps the mood swinging until the wee hours of the night.


Paige: Wine-Ohs is a little bistro off of 8th avenue, with an intimate underground cellar that I've been visiting since college, back when it was called the Beat Niq. It's dark, cozy, and romantic, perfect for curling up in a comfy seat near the back and nursing a glass of wine. You reach the cellar through a side door in a back alley, making the whole experience feel like you're at some secret saloon in the jazz age, and the music is always  fantastic - from my favourite folky local singer-songwriters to jazz trios to world music.

Suzanne: If you like beer, barbecue, and good music (and who doesn't?), then the Palomino is your Calgary soulmate. Besides having the largest smoker in Western Canada and producing amazing barbecue in-house (my favourite is the beef brisket with bacon-wrapped corn), they have cheap beer, awesome staff, and good music most days of the week. Their shows range everywhere from death metal to indie folk, but no matter what the genre, you'll leave happy, buzzed and smelling of barbecue.


Paige: Tubby Dog! Famous for wacky creations like the PBJ (a hot dog slathered with peanut butter and jelly, with the option to add Cap'n Crunch), Tubby Dog is a 17th Ave institution. The walls are lined with old arcade consoles, and I always play a round or two of Ms Pac Man when I'm getting my after-midnight food fix.

Suzanne: I can't count the amount of times I've paid a visit to Cliveburger after midnight, but it's probably ranging into the mid-thirties - and for good reason. The interior is always buzzing with happy diners, they are open until 3AM, and their burgers, milkshakes and crispy fries always hit the spot. Spend a couple extra bucks and get mushrooms and a fried egg on your burger, and sit outside on the patio for some of the best people-watching in Calgary.

fashion trends men hate, and why you shouldn't care

Among all of the articles telling us what our "perfect" weight is, what clothing we should stay away from, why crop tops and harem pants are the antichrist, and countless tips and tricks to be the "best" version of ourselves, I've started to see articles outlining exactly what men think about what we wear (I'm looking at you, Huffington PostAllureAll Women StalkModaMobTheRichestTotalBeauty...) Ew, harem pants, so unflattering! Ew, peplum shirts, that doesn't make any sense! Ew, I would never kiss that girl because she wears red lipstick Ew, shoulder pads, is she Michael Jackson?

Well, by golly! To think, all my life I've been choosing my outfits based on what *I* like, and not based on the sole purpose of trying to attract a mate. Believe it or not, men of the world, we don't choose our outfits and haircuts and makeup based on what will get your motor running.

No one has said this better than Lindy West at Jezebel. I don't usually post full articles, but this one is a must-read.

Listen Up, Ladies: Here's Everything Real Men Think Is Wrong With You

Lindy West

I've been doing some scholarly research, and I noticed this thing that's been really dragging society down for the past few millennia: it's that everything is wrong with you. You are gross. First of all, your hair is gross, because it is not long and thick enough. But don't strap fake hair to your head! That's also gross! Also, what the fuck is up with your skin? It is so dry and scaly like a lizard (but not one of those sexy lizards)! Except uuuuuuugh, do you have to take so longputting on your idiotic woman-lotion? Now, I know all this contradictory minutiae regarding your attractiveness can get confusing (especially with your lipstick-encrusted walnut brains!), but luckily, plenty of guys are generous enough to explain what they don't like about you in great detail. Over and over. You're welcome.
For your edification, the good folks over at Yahoo have compiled a list of the "15 Biggest Beauty Turnoffs from Real Guys"—yet another survey of "real guys" to reinforce the precise line of shit we women need to walk to remain attractive to them (it's the least we can do, really). Because that media trope never gets tired. Let's jump in!
If you are looking to attract a man with your fluffy false lashes and your flowing fake mane, it is time to take a different approach. We scouted the truth and discovered the things women do that make men turn the other way. All in all, men love to see the woman underneath the makeup, so ditch the dramatic routine and go natural for once.
First of all, I am neither an empty man-socket nor a fucking venus flytrap. I am not looking to "attract a man." I am just trying to do my stuff and then maybe meet a person who likes me because I am also a person. I didn't want to get all serious right off the bat, BUT SORRY: Women's grueling, lifelong, losing battle to transform themselves into magical, flawless creatures with Disney hair and 15-inch waists and massive ham-lips is not for the benefit of women. And when men say that they "love to see the woman underneath the makeup," they're not saying they want to see your leg stubble and greasy bangs—they're saying they want you to be better at hiding your maintenance routine. Because the maintenance spoils the fantasy.

"It gets on my nerves when women take too much time on makeup. You would think after a lifetime they would have the process down to less than 45 minutes!" -Christopher
Yeah, women! You're sooooo high-maintenance! To be clear, we definitely don't want you to stop painting that prettier face over your regular face every day—because gross—but could you just hurry it up?
"I can't stand when she has wet hair after the shower and lays on my pillow, I usually roll over on the wet spot." -Jeff
Okay, that one is legit rude. But "wet hair" is not solely a woman's domain. Fun fact: Dudes are also capable of becoming wet in a shower and then lying on a bed. Equality! Look at us go!
"If she has to be at work at 6am and uses the hair dryer, it wakes me up. Then, just when I get back to sleep. She is wearing her heels in the bathroom and the kitchen. Click. Click. Can't you wear slippers?" -Pablo
So don't have wet hair but don't use the hair dryer. Got it.
Also, definitely wear sexy heels (sensible flats are for lesbians, obv!), but don't walk in them. At least not when Pablo is sleeping. If you could just scoot yourself around on the carpet like a dog with butt-worms, and then put your heels on outside in the beauty bark, that would be ideal for Pablo. Thx.
"I don't like extensions because when you put your hands in her hair you can feel all the lumps. It might be good to look at but not to touch." -Robert
Jeez, all this hair stuff is confusing! So...don't have wet hair, don't have dry hair, don't have natural hair, don't have fake hair. GOT IT.
And, you know, Robert, when you teach women that they need to be objects to even qualify as women, then why are you surprised when they start to literally integrate with objects?

"Those thick eyelashes that women put on are annoying. It makes a woman stick out and people know that they aren't real. I like a woman who looks nice and natural. Regular people don't need all those eyelashes." -Lindsay
Regular people don't need all those eyelashes.
"My wife doesn't dye her hair often enough. I don't like to see those dark roots." -Anonymous
Listen Up, Ladies: Here's Everything Real Men Think Is Wrong With You
"I wish my girlfriend would get a manicure more often instead of doing it herself. She is pretty low-maintenance." -Shaun

First of all. I find it hard to believe that Shaun can even tell the difference between a salon manicure and an at-home manicure, unless his girlfriend has some sort of tremor-inducing palsy, or multitasks by combining nail maintenance with trampoline practice. Which means this whole thing is just about signaling—Shaun wants to be with the kind of woman who gets her nails done at a salon. Nevermind the fact that going out to get your nails done can eat up several hours a week (I presume he also wants his girlfriend to have a career and a social life and to take care of her family and do her taxes and maintain her home and feed herself and possibly sleep once in a while), and can cost hundreds of dollars a month (I also presume Shaun is not footing the bill).
And second of all, let's all just take a second to note that women have now been criticized for being high-maintenance, maintenance, and low-maintenance.
And third of all, MAYBE SHE JUST LIKES DOING HER NAILS BECAUSE IT'S FUN. Sometimes women get to make our own decisions and do things because those things make us happy.
I can't believe we're even still having this conversation, but dudes, LISTEN: Women's bodies are not yours. Women have the right to be gross, to have hair, to be slow, to put on make-up, to not put on make-up, to wear fake eyelashes, to smell good or bad, and to be human beings. Women are not your dog our your lawn or your living room, you do not get to prune and groom and design us, and negotiating things like hygiene and style within a relationship is a matter of mutual respect. My right to do my own nails does not stop where your personal boner for trimmed cuticles begins.
Also, women: If you are single, it is not because your fake eyelashes are too bushy or Kevin doesn't like cucumber lotion. This shit is an oppressive waste of your time. Here's my new beauty tip for everyone on earth: Go read a book or something.

10 pieces of life advice that most people ignore (but shouldn't)

1. wear sunscreen.
Every day. EVERY DAY. Wear a higher SPF when it's sunny. Reapply throughout the day.

2. go to the doctor.
I know, it's such a pain to call the doctor and book an appointment and all that jazz when you can just ignore the problem forever and it'll most likely go away! oh wait. no. that's not how it works. you know what's worse than making an appointment? the constant gnawing feeling that you don't know what's wrong.

3. drink water.
The "8 glasses a day" advice is an old wives' tale, but if you're not a huge water drinker, at least aim for 2 or 3.

4. don't touch, prod, or pick at your face.
Just don't.

5. do your car maintenance.
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the people who wrote your car's manual know more about your car than you do. So do the work, or prepare for your car to break down at the worst possible moment.

6. exercise at least a little bit per day.
Even if you're exhausted, if you've sat in an office all day and then sat on your couch, go for a walk around the block before you go to bed.

7. read the instructions once, twice, or three times.
This means read the instructions before you start any work. Comprehension first, building/fixing/etc. second.

8. get 8 hours of sleep.
Believe it or not, all those articles telling you to get ample sleep aren't doing so for their own good. You need that time to relax, rejuvenate, and help your immune system stay strong.

9. stop drinking pop. 
It's bad for you.

10. don't go grocery shopping while you're hungry. 
Tried and tested. Don't do it, or you'll leave with way too much food (and nothing that was actually on your list).

quote of the day

" This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path. "

Two Girls One City: Part I

Blog readers, meet Paige - the mastermind behind The Wholesome Handbook, an artistic, bucolic, introspective and inspiring woman, and one of my very closest friends. Despite the fact that we are total opposites - as she put it, I'm "buzzing with energy, always on the go" and she's "relaxed, contemplative, and probably barefoot in the garden" - we both love Calgary and spend a lot of our time exploring it. So we decided to put together a multi-part blog collaboration that focuses on our two (very different) perspectives of the city - one take wholesome, one take electric. Part one focuses on our favourite eats & treats around the city. Enjoy! 


Paige: Saskatoon Farm
A kitschy, country-kitchen style greenhouse, shop and cafe, perfect for a wholesome morning-after escape with your fella or for delighting your nieces from out of town with a visit to the resident pig. Order the Farmer’s Biscuit and a slice of the saskatoon pie, and return to the city with half a dozen tiny aloe plants and a packet of heirloom lettuce seeds in your tote.
Suzanne: Blue Star
A small, bustling diner in the heart of Bridgeland, Blue Star is the perfect go-to for an a delicious breakfast close to the heart of Calgary. Their ingredients are locally sourced, their employees are infallibly friendly, and the Huevos Rancheros (or one of their famous eggs benedicts) will always hit the spot and leave you full (and happy as a clam!). There’s always a line-up on weekends, so drop by early to put your name on the list – and while you’re waiting, grab a coffee from Luke’s Drug Mart and wander around Bridgeland to admire the beautiful old houses.

P: Corbeaux Bakehouse
For your inner francophile, no place in the city is better than Corbeaux. From the voyeuristic glass-walled kitchen to the tiny cocktail bar in the corner, Corbeaux is impossibly chic. You can order a ham croissant to-go at the lively, crowded counter, or take a seat and slowly savour the communal-style lunch and dinner (a delightful selection of house-made bread, fine cheese, and meat). If you’re feeling a bit more traditional, they’ve also got lovely main courses to choose from. And no one will judge you if you decide to finish things off with a pillowy macaron and an espresso. After all, what is life without a little indulgence?
S: Holy Grill
I would recommend the Holy Grill simply for the charming, unfailingly welcoming (and not to mention handsome!) Yee boys who run the place, if it wasn’t also for the amazing food they serve. The smash browns are out of this world, especially when paired with one of their avocado bacon crisps or eggs benedicts . The chatter of happy customers and the steady stream of unlimited coffee makes for an atmosphere that makes you want to stay all day (but don’t, because chances are there’s someone waiting for your table).

P: Model Milk
I do love a good culinary adventure, and Model Milk provides just that. Their menu is a constantly-changing landscape of hearty, experimental fare that feels exciting and familiar all at once. You’ll want to hide away in a dimly lit corner in the art-deco inspired historic dairy building, flirt outrageously with the charismatic wait staff, and sip artisan cocktails into the wee hours of the night.
S: Una
One of the most highly coveted dinner spots in the city, Una always has a wait, doesn’t take reservations, and isn’t exactly easy on the wallet – but boy, is it worth it. Their low-key but flavour-packed pizzas pair perfectly with their house wine, their trendy yet welcoming interior design, and their selection of desserts (my favorite is the flourless chocolate cake). Afterwards, walk off that over-full stomach with a stroll down lively 17th ave.

P: Rosso Coffee Roasters, Dominion Bridge
This tiny coffee shop is nestled in a converted iron foundry in one of Calgary’s oldest communities. Ramsay itself is one of the main reasons I love Rosso, another being the fact that they roast their beans on-site in a huge contraption right behind the counter. Grab a crumbly scone and a coffee and take a walk – soak in a piece of Calgary’s heritage with a historical walking tour or meander along the river.
S: Analog
Local coffee brewer Fratello opened up Analog Coffee in 2013, right on the busy corner of 17th Ave and 7th St. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and white walls, the interior is bright and inviting and always filled with quiet chatter and the smell of brewing coffee. If you’re looking for a quick latte this spot isn’t for you – they truly believe that good coffee takes time. The seating is limited, but if you can grab a spot at the window, it’s the best spot in the city to people-watch!

6 style tips for the small-busted ladies

1. bring attention to the neckline.
pick shirts with draping, ruching, embellishments, or an interesting neckline such as a crew neck or a turtleneck. bringing attention to the neckline and adding a bit more volume (aka visual weight) will accentuate your bust (even if it's on the smaller side!).

2. stay away from boxy, structured tops.
structured, stiff tops have the tendency to flatten you out and make you look even smaller. instead, opt for flexible, drapey fabrics that will accentuate rather than flatten.

3. go loose.
another great thing about being smaller-chested is that you can wear oversized shirts and sweaters without worrying about it making you look larger.

4. wear lower necklines.
one thing that's great about having a smaller bust - we never have to worry about falling out of our shirts! so rock those low v's with no fear (v-necks hug the curve of your chest and make it look bigger), and show off that beautiful decolletage.

5. wear higher necklines.
higher necklines are great because they elongate the torso and draw the attention to your face. they have the potential to flatten a large bust, but are very flattering for smaller busts.

there ain't nothing wrong with having a smaller bust! just ask Twiggy, Kate Hudson, Kate Bosworth, Charlize Theron, Kiera Knightley, and Kate Moss.
Oh and... the best advice of all for small-chested women - STAND UP STRAIGHT, SHOULDERS BACK!

quote of the day: how do men feel about your weight?

No guy is going to get you naked and be like, “Sorry, I thought you were like five pounds less, nevermind” he’s probably going to put his mouth on you wherever you let him and that’s that. Any guy that doesn’t completely worship the naked body of a woman he’s into anyway is an asshole. Or a teenager.

6 new years resolutions to improve your life in 2015

People look at the start of every year like a new beginning. This is generally a good thing, as it gives us a specific date to attempt to change the things we don't like about our lives - however, the pressure of actually keeping these life-changing habits can put a definite damper on the new year.

I know I'm not alone when I say I've broken more resolutions than I've kept over the past few years (according to Time magazine, only 10% of resolutions are actually kept). But this year can be different! Here are 6 resolutions that will better your life in 2015, and won't be impossible to keep.

1. make time for yourself.

As soon as life gets busy and stressful, people have a tendency to let their self-focus fall to a back burner. Unfortunately, as soon as we put ourselves last, that's when we get sick, the stress gets worse, the irritability increases, and we kinda just suck to be around.

This year, keep yourself in mind when things get stressful, and vow to always make a little bit of time for yourself - an hour here or there to do something that relaxes you and makes you happy. Additionally: take your vitamins, exercise where you can, don't rely on junk food for nourishment, don't forget to drink water, pay attention to your health and hygiene, and if necessary, meditate before bed.

2. stop hitting snooze.

I am a relentless snoozer. I hit the Snooze button 3-6 times before I wake up in the morning, thinking that it will be better for me and I'll be less tired. As it turns out, it's worse for you to hit the snooze button, as every time you fall back asleep your body tries to entirely reset its sleep cycle (rather than continuing the sleep cycle you just woke up from, which was my reasoning).

Try downloading a sleep cycle app that will wake you up at the correct point in your sleep cycle, and enjoy waking up on time, having a coffee, reading the paper... and not being late for work.

3. do something different with your money.

If you have a little bit of savings, or you find yourself spending the money in your bank account just because it's there, why not do something different?

Talk to someone about setting up a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account), an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan), or an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). Set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account into one of these savings accounts - it will not only give you a sense of financial security, but you'll be amazed how much you can save up when even $50 is taken every month!

4. say "yes" more.

I want to start off this point by clarifying: I don't mean saying yes to everything (especially things you don't want to do). I mean saying yes as in putting yourself out there, even when you're feeling lazy or unsure or nervous. Whether it's a project at work, a new friendship, a new hobby, a new experience - try saying yes this year and see where it gets you.

Trust me, I know it's hard sometimes to turn off Netflix, change out of your pajamas and accept an invitation to go for drinks with friends... or volunteer for that new project at work that is maybe a bit out of your depth... but keep in mind: which will benefit you more in the long run?

5. go somewhere you've never been.

I am a firm believer in the idea that traveling to new places is one of the most successful ways to feel accomplished, happy, and adventurous - and one of the quickest ways to get rid of that "stuck in a rut" feeling that happens during the year. So why not plan a trip to somewhere you've never been before?

Whether you go to another continent or just the next city over, plan it into your year. Look up fun things to do, restaurants to eat at, attractions to see. Try couch surfing or renting someone's home. Go on an adventure!

6. get rid of the "Treat Yourself"/"You Only Live Once" mentality (except once in a while).

I am guilty of this, and I know I'm not the only one - this is a part of my generation. We see something we want, and we think "I worked hard today/I got a raise/I exercised already/I have the money - I'm going to treat myself with this clothing/food/gadget/whatever because you only live once". But this Treat Yourself mentality is a slippery, slippery slope, because eventually you end up "treating yourself" way more often than you should.

Don't get me wrong - you deserve to spoil yourself once in a while! But if you find yourself justifying purchases every other day by saying "treat yourself", try cutting down. Chances are, if you're telling yourself that it's a "treat", deep down you know that you don't need it.

cheers to a new year!