Want to start off the new year right? Here’s eight sure-fire ways to embrace 2014.

1. Make New Year’s “Resonations.”

According to Mia Staysko, a feng shui expert in Calgary and owner of White Lotus Interiors, “these are different from resolutions, which tend to be lists of ‘shoulds.’” Instead, “make a list of 10 things you really want to do, things that resonate deeply with you, activities or goals that feel exciting and also doable. Then list three or four actionable steps to get you started toward your resonations.” It’s a whole new way to tackle your bucket list.

2. Bring Mother Nature indoors.

“Decorate your home with fresh blossoms,” encourages Staysko. “Winter is the most yin time of the year. Yin chi (energy) is dark, slow, quiet and introspective. Flowers bring yang chi, which is bright, lively and upbeat, into our spaces to help us balance out the season’s natural energy.” Staysko says chrysanthemums are especially good for clearing negativity, and long-lasting and refined orchids symbolize the coming of spring. Also display bowls of fruit, “particularly oranges, kumquats or pineapples, as they symbolize wealth and prosperity.”

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3. Set broad goals.

Lynne Smith, a certified master life coach in Dartmouth, N.S., says when it comes to setting goals, “if you set them too specific, you can actually put yourself into stagnation, so make your goals broader and bigger than you normally would.” And, she stresses, “set these goals from the heart, not the head. The passion for what you want is in the heart and in the body, so really feel these goals. And if they feel right, exciting and bring joy into your life, then go for them!”

4. Ditch perfectionism.

“Perfection is a joy killer. It’s rigid and about control. Think of yourself and your life in terms of what would be ideal, not what would be perfect,” says Laura Berman-Fortgang, a New Jersey-based life coach and bestselling author of Living Your Best Life and The Little Book on Meaning. “Shooting for the ideal leaves room for creativity and the chance for something even better than you imagined. Perfect means only one outcome will satisfy.”

5. Get organized.

Sue MacQuarrie, an organization specialist and owner of In Its Place in Dieppe, N.B., believes being organized “is a huge enabler for success.” How? “Getting organized and learning how to maintain the right level for you will save you money, improve relationships and provide previously unknown opportunities.” Her best tips? Purge often and everywhere. “Clutter is a delayed decision, so if something is in your hands, decide where it goes (everything needs a home), toss it or donate it.

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6. Bid baggage adieu. Staysko suggests cleaning your house “thoroughly and intentionally” prior to the new year. Pare down and fix anything broken. “While doing so, visualize you’re clearing out or releasing any emotions, feelings, situations or negativity from last year you no longer need.” She stresses, “clean from the back of the home to the front, toward the front door. Then ‘sweep’ all that yucky baggage from last year right out the front door!”

7. Volunteer.

According to a 2007 paper entitled The Health Benefits of  Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, D.C., volunteers receive a “helper’s high” that lowers depression and mortality rates, increases life satisfaction and self-esteem and provides better long-term health. Volunteering puts life into perspective and helps give someone else a new year he or she wil not soon forget. Just ask one of  more than 13.3 million Canadians who volunteered nearly 2.1 billion hours in 2010!

8. Savour the journey.

We live in a world of instant gratification. But some things, like losing weight, getting a degree or making a career change, take time. Create time horizons for your goals that push you to accomplish them, but don’t set you up for failure and disappointment. Says Smith: “Setting timelines is about not getting caught up in the drama of not making every goal on time. There’s a bigger picture going on, and sometimes things happen we have no control over.” We need to accommodate for this as “the journey is one of the most joyous parts of attaining the goal. So feel good about the small steps and achievements along the way.”

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