Congratulations. You survived 2016. I know, what a dumpster fire. But it’s over now so let’s look ahead at the next 365 days. Here’s 7 things you should do to make this a better year than the last.
- Start and keep a journal. I’m sure that this is on every self improvement/goal setting list ever but there’s a reason for it. A journal is a place to record your life but it’s so much more than dates and events. It’s a blank slate for the dross of daily life. It’s a home for all the worries that keep you up at night and the creative ideas you wish to get to but don’t have the time for right now. Best of all, there are no rules. There are hundreds of ways to use a journal and none of them are wrong. If you do nothing else in 2017, spend some time with your thoughts.
- Meditate. Meditation has a lot of uses and you can read all about it’s miraculous effects across mediums, but what it comes down to is finding a quiet place, and relaxing. Rarely do we ever have a chance to just sit still and in our hectic lives. Fancy techniques and guide books aside, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and take five minutes to yourself. There are plenty of great resources out there, but this is my favorite five minute game changer.
- Make time to read. Read for fun, pleasure, curiosity, but read. I think that sometimes we forget that books were created by people who, in all likelihood, suffer from the same earthly problems we do. Solace, joy, hope, a rollicking good time, all of it can be found between the pages of a good book, and even some bad ones. Reading widens our minds, and opens us up to other people and places, real, mis-remembered, or imagined.
- Create something. Write a novel. Paint a postcard. Sew some crazy pinterest hack. Whatever you do, find a place to stretch your muscles and test your ideas. You may be awful at it. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make things, and it’s okay if you aren’t great at all of them. If you find something you enjoy regardless of your skill level, you’ve already taken several steps ahead of the person who never tried.
- Donate. Donate at the grocery store. At the mall. Online. Donate old clothing and toys to local charities in your home town. Anything at all big or small that you can give, can mean a world of difference. Yes, there are some people that cheat, or lie, but for every one of them is a dozen or more people in need of food, shelter, clothing, water, and hope.
- Get up and move. Dancing. Yoga. Walking. Weights. Swimming. Anything. Set your own fitness or weight-loss goals if you want, but your health will only be improved by more activity. Like anything else in life, it’s a journey, so don’t get discouraged if you fall off the horse a few times. Just be sure to get back up.
- Make some outrageous goals. Challenge: what would you do, want, attempt, if you had no financial, time, X, limits? What have you always found interesting, but never dared enough to try? Is there something you wish you were, or could become but somethings holding you back? Take five minutes (or more) and write it all down. Now take a good look at that list. Can you take any steps toward those outrageous goals this month? This year? I’ll let you in on a secret. The time will pass whether you try or not. If nothing was impossible, what would you do?
There you have it folks. Just some tips from my neck of the woods to put some pep in your step this 2017. Let me know down below some of the things you’re hoping to do this year and any suggestions you have.
Side note – it doesn’t matter whether it’s January 1st or May 26th, every day that you’re alive is one more day to make things better. You are more than the sum of your accomplishments or faults. You decide who and what you are today, tomorrow, and next year and your actions line the path.