A new year has finally dawned, and now is the perfect time to get priorities in order and set yourself up for a healthy and happy year. If you’ve been looking to improve your wellness, there’s no time like the present. Making 2014 the year of you is really a lot simpler than you might expect. By focusing on the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of your everyday life, and by integrating a few simple changes into your routine, you can experience a brand-new and revitalized version of yourself throughout the year. Follow a few of the tips below, and enjoy the new you.

The Physical

Focusing on the physical is so much more than jotting down an ideal goal weight and crash dieting get there. In fact, that’s only going to hurt your body in the long run. Instead of focusing on arbitrary weight goals or other measures of success, try focusing this year on wellness. Start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, exercise your body every day, even if it’s just for a little bit, and get more sleep. A lot of people say that they don’t have the time for these things, but the reality is you have to make time for you. If you aren’t taking care of your body, it not only affects you, but the other people in your life as well. You’re only as healthy as what you put in your body, so focus on eating a healthy diet. Sleep is essential, because it is during sleep that the body heals itself and repairs the damage done during the day. And exercising the body is important for keeping it lean and healthy for years to come. Make small changes every day that will gradually lead you to a healthy physical state by the end of the year, and you’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel, how healthy you’ll be, and how much better the relationships in your life will be as well.

The Spiritual

Whether or not you’re religious, everyone has a spiritual side to them. When many people think of being spiritual, they often think about religious exercises. Prayer is an excellent way to connect to the spiritual, but if it’s not for you don’t worry. You can still connect to the spiritual aspects of life when meditating, going for a walk in nature, or simply taking 10 minutes out of your day to enjoy the quiet the warning with a cup of coffee. Whatever it is you do to connect to the quieter, calmer, more grounded side of your persona, taking the time to do so can pave the way too many positive things. Scientific studies have recently shown that people who meditate literally clear their mind. In the study, a brain scan was done of people before they meditated for 15 or 20 minutes. The brain was very active, with colors all over the place indicating that a lot of thinking, processing, and analyzing was going on. After period of meditation, however, the brain was literally clear, with very little color showing up in only the areas of the brain that are essential for life. This compelling evidence shows that even if you just take a few minutes out of your day to quiet your mind and meditate, connecting to what is spiritual to you, you can eliminate some of the stresses of your life and approach the world with a mind that is quite literally clear.

The Emotional

The third aspect of yourself that you’re going to want to take into consideration is the emotional aspect. In this day and age, it is very common for people to suppress what they’re feeling. The “suck it up” attitude is very pervasive in society, and while sometimes this can be a helpful mindset, most of the time it’s not. If you’re on a 10 mile run and you decide to suck up the aches and pains to get through it, that can be helpful. But if you’re experiencing some really painful emotional wounds and you don’t talk about it, that can be very detrimental to your overall health. Make sure to schedule in time for yourself to talk to a trusted friend, journal, or even seek counseling if issues in your life are causing you a lot of emotional turmoil. Having emotions does not make you a weak person, and talking about your emotions is actually a very strong thing to do. Whether you join a support group or have coffee with your best friend, you’ll be surprised at how many people relate to your struggles and can help you through them. Working through any emotional issues, whether it’s a bad day at work or something from your past that has been bothering you for years, can help you experience a happier and healthier life.

Make sure that this year is the year of you, and really take the time to focus on the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of yourself. Many people feel that they can’t take time for themselves, or that to do so would be selfish when so many other people are relying on them. But the truth is, the more people are relying on you the more you need to take time for yourself. If you are not the best version of you, how can you be there for other people? Taking time to focus on yourself cannot only improve your own life, but can help you be better for those around you, as well. So go on, schedule a little you time.