5 Ways to a Fresh Start in 2016

1. Place Your Focus On Other Things

A lot of issues (anxious feelings, depressive state, etc.) arise because we're focusing too much on ourselves. We can get into this 'woe is me' state of mind, which isn't healthy.

Volunteer: Volunteering is an amazing way to place focus on more important issues happening around us. Children's hospitals, homeless shelters, and humane societies prove to be the best!

Exercise: Getting in shape is a great thing to focus on, as well. Not only will your endorphin levels be at an all-time high, you'll be able to concentrate on something other than your problems.

2. Overcoming Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem

Calling all introverts! Do you get easily embarrassed or constantly worry about what others think of you? Edward T. Welch writes a very convicting book, "When People Are Big and God is Small," about the background and reasoning for our culture-adapted 'fear of people.'

Even if you don't believe in God, this book can be quite helpful. I've been struggling for the past two years with doubt, so I went into this book with an agnostic mindset. I encourage anyone who is struggling with anxiety to read this book.

 3. New Year, New Situation

Although we all have areas to work on within ourselves, many hardships unfold because we constantly put ourselves in the same situation over and over again. Stop complaining and make a change in your surroundings! You'll be surprised with the impact it will have on your life.

Relationships: I never thought I would have to break up with so many people in my twenties. No, not in romantic relationships -- friendships! It's a known fact that people change, but it never occurred to me how far apart I would grow from certain friends in my life. It's a learned trait to accept that people have different goals and motivations in life. There's no need to continually deal with issues brought on by someone moving in the opposite direction as you.

Couples:  Stop focusing on what is wrong with your partner and what they need to change. Take responsibility for the issues you need to work on. Trust me, nothing can be harder, but it can decrease the amount of fights and create a little more harmony in your relationship.

Finances: Living paycheck to paycheck is tough and can cause a lot of discontent and stress, especially following the holidays. Begin to differentiate your spending between wants and needs. U.S. News put out a great article on how to cut back each month. The best, and fastest, ways include, "ditching cable, give up a vice, and getting creative with your commute."

4. Poor Body Image

Our insecurities can get the best of us -- especially as WAGS -- in a world where every woman we meet is gorgeous (eye roll)! We tend to compare ourselves and downgrade the amazing women we are.

After overcoming an eating disorder early in life, Kjerstin Gruys catches herself feeling body-conscious again while wedding dress shopping. "Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall" is a funny look at a woman's journey to a healthy body image.

5. New Year's Revelation

Are you 0-10 with keeping your New Year's Resolutions?  The problem may not be your will power. The issue may be the extent of discontent towards your present state.

Take the most popular issue with women: weight. The reason you may be avoiding the gym or failing to resist the soda and fried food is because you're not that unhappy with your weight. If you were, you'd do something about it.

Make a list of the things you want to change about yourself but review it in light of importance. Your weight may end up at the bottom of the list if you realize your habitual tardiness is affecting your career and relationships. Or that your anger is affecting your family. That may be something you need to change as opposed to something you think you want.

Be patient with yourself during areas of growth. We all fail. Change is hard. But when have you ever made it through a trial and regretted the outcome? Good luck and enjoy your fresh start!