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It's a wonderful life! Wanna make this not just a ho-hum new year but 12 magnificent months to remember? We aim to please. That's why we're giving you 20 wondrous ways to have the best year ever....

Sure, not every day of the year will be all sunshine and lollipops. But most of them can be! Here's the catch: Only you can make it happen. It's a piece of cake, really, with our supersolid ways to have a rockin' 2005....

1 GAIN THE 'TUDE! So maybe you don't have the perfect bod, perfect hair or perfect threads but, aside from Beyonce, who does? Even if you were to have all of those things, it wouldn't guarantee a great year. What you need more than anything is a good attitude. Experts agree that if you have a positive 'tude you'll be happier than someone who sees her cup as half empty. Happiness isn't having what you want--it's wanting what you have!

2 SAY 'TA-TA' TO TOXIC FRIENDS "Making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice!" Got a friend who talks behind your back? Flirts with your crush? Constantly copies your homework? You've got a toxic friend! Hey, an occasional friendship flub is no biggie--everybody screws up. But if she's a serial offender, toss that girl like yesterday's newspaper.

3 SHAKE THAT BODY Besides kissing (got your attention!), the next best way to naturally lift your spirits is by exercising. And while you're movin' the muscles, you'll also keep that booty in tip-top shape. Commit to at least 20 minutes of hardcore exercise three times a week. Your endorphins--and your jeans--will love you for it!

4 LAUGH OUT LOUD Going through hard times can be unbelievably painful. But have you ever felt that when it hurts so bad, the only thing you can do is--well, laugh? Use your sense of humor to perk you up during tough stuff this year! Watch comedies, read joke books, or hang out with hilarious friends. It's a miraculous way to yank yourself out of gloom and doom.

5 MAKE NEW BUDS Once you've cleared the poisonous pals from your life, you're gonna have room for new friends. This is the time to surround yourself with upbeat, positive pals. Not only are they more fun than those nagging, complaining, gossipy buds you used to hang out with, but you'll find their optimistic attitude contagious. And while you're at it, how 'bout throwing in a few guy friends, too? Hey, there's nothing like a guy pal to lean on when things are kind of iffy in the boy department.

6 BE A DO-GOODER No question about it: When you help others in need, it helps you feel good, too. As an added bonus, you get to temporarily escape your own angst-filled head. If you can volunteer at least once a month--whether it's at a food bank or pet shelter--you'll be that much more appreciative of your own beautiful life. And your year will be all the sweeter.

7 GO FOR THE GOALS Don't set yourself up for failure by picking pie-in-the-sky goals. Instead, aim for what's reachable, then write down a simple plan of action. Having goals, and achieving them, is an important part of having a purposeful, happy year.

8 GOODBYE, SHY OK, we know it's tough getting the nerve to talk to new people, but if you're outgoing--even just a little more than you are now--you're more likely to be happy. Friendships help you grow in so many lab ways, and give you the opp to open up and share with others. And guess what? That's how you discover you're not the freak you suspected you were. So take a chance, smile, and let the love in!

9 PUT ON A HAPPY FACE Hands down, the single best way to make sure you have a good year--and great life!--is to be happy with yourself. Be less self-critical and more appreciative of what you've got going for you. Increased confidence ultimately gives you satisfaction. And while you're boosting yourself up, don't shrug off compliments from others. Next time you hear, "You look pretty," instead of, "Yeah, right," say, "Thanks!"

10 JOIN THE CLUB Sure, you have tons of activities. But if you do something you've always been interested in but never had the guts to try, it can add so much to your life. People who try new things--whether it's photography or skateboarding--are happier than those who stick to the same old routine.

11 FOLLOW YOUR BLISS We all have things we're passionate about--drawing, acting or even decorating your room. If you want an unbelievable year, do what you love and do it more often. Express yourself!

12 KEEP A JOURNAL Even during the best of times, every girl needs a place to get absolutely everything off her chest. And aside from your cool--and unbelievably patient--BFF, there's no better way to do that than by jotting your thoughts down in a journal. So how 'bout ridding yourself of bummer thoughts by expressing them in your personal notepad? It's an awesome place to put your daily gripes to rest. R.I.P., baby ...

13 CRACK THE BOOKS Feel overly pressured to stay on top of things? Get a jump on your schoolwork by keeping up with assignments--and then some. May sound ho-hum, but imagine the extra energy you'll have by avoiding the last-minute crunch. And guys dig honor-roll chicks!

14 MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS Of course, there's no way to totally control your emotions. But you can make sure your emotions don't take control of you. Like, it's totally natural to feel blue once in a while. But give yourself a time limit for how long you're going to stay in the darkness. When the time is up, get busy--with anything! Soon, the only blues you'll have will be the ones you're wearin'.

15 MAKE THE FIRST MOVE Ooola-la! A hottie has caught your eye? Dying to get to know him outside of Dreamland? So do something about it! We're not telling you to make a fool of yourself--just get noticed by looking him square in the eye and smiling. If he doesn't get the hint and you're feeling really brave, have a friend discreetly find out if he likes you. You can't win if you're not in the race. So take a chance on romance!

16 YOU SNOOZE, YOU WIN Maybe the thought of sleeping makes you want to yawn. But if you don't get enough Z's, you'll be less alert and more likely to get sick. Not exactly a prescription for the best year ever. Snooze lots this year so you'll be awake and healthy enough to enjoy it!

17 ADOPT-A-MISFIT Everybody knows somebody who doesn't quite fit in. It could be a new kid, nerdy kid, bashful kid, whatever. Well, throw down the gauntlet and befriend someone who feels like an all-time outcast. No, we're not talking about giving her a Princess Diaries makeover. Just put yourself in her shoes and feel your sense of compassion grow. She'll feel better when she realizes someone cares, and you can hold your head high knowing you helped ... your new friend.

18 SURRENDER THE STRESS You're a teen. What's stressful about that? Uh, virtually everything! School probs, friend probs, boy probs, parent probs! Yikes! If you can de-stress a little each day, you'll have clear skies through next December. Turn on some music, and sit quietly with your eyes closed for about 10 minutes daily to clear away some cobwebs.

19 LOVE THY 'RENTS! Eeew. OK, maybe that's your first reaction, but ya gotta admit: A lot of days pass when you don't even know they exist. Take the time to appreciate the good moments you experience with your family--whether it's a holiday dinner, sledding together or just watching DVDs. Of course, sometimes you won't be able to imagine they're anything but rotten, but remembering that they love you will smooth out the rough patches.

20 EXPECT THE BEST Sometimes, you can't help but be disappointed when things don't work out your way. When that happens, keep hope alive by continuing to expect the best--even if it doesn't pan out. Put a stop to the pre-worry, thinking, "Nothing good ever happens to me!" or, "It'll never work out!" When you wake up each a.m., make a firm decision to have a good day. Even if it's raining pitchforks and hammer handles.
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Author:Ryan, Sandy Fertman
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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