So here you are at the end of another year. You become super nostalgic and think about all the great times you had with family and friends. Maybe you met the man of your dreams, maybe you got the job of your dreams, or maybe you bought the house or went on the vacation of your dreams. You get the picture. It could also just as easily have been a year you want to totally wipe from your memory. Maybe your relationship that seemed unsinkable collapsed. You could also have lost that so-called “dream job” by being downsized or fired. Maybe your house or condo needed tons of repairs.
If you can relate to that, then 2016 was a year that you want to forget (and fast!). In this case, you would be better off, as the saying goes, to look forward and not backward. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve had only bad things happen. The best way is to try and remind yourself that bad things don’t last forever. Your luck will be sure to turn around as long as you develop a positive outlook. How can you do this? How can you change your mindset? Well, unless you are a negative person who totally does not want to change their strategies for handling stress, there is always a way to see the silver lining in the clouds. The trick is to pace yourself and do basic positive things that all of us can do. This way you can make 2017 a great year. On that note, here are 15 ways to make 2017 your best year ever!
15. Get Sweaty
You already know that exercise is super important not only for your body’s physical health but for your mental health, too. You know this… but you might not head to the gym as much as you know that you should. When you sweat it out on a regular basis, you look and feel better thanks to those endorphins. You’ll also handle any stress and tension better since you will have both energy and better coping mechanisms to handle all types of changing circumstances. There is just something so amazing about feeling your body move, and you can really see that it is a beautiful instrument that houses something even more important: your inner self. Treating it with respect will help you feel better and do better in life. And when you feel and do better in life, that is when things will start to improve dramatically and great things will happen. Who knew a good barre or yoga class could do so much for you?
14. Actually Go To Bed
Sure, it’s super tough to put down your phone and stop browsing Instagram or stop watching Netflix until midnight ever night. Most of us want to sleep more, but there is always so much to do, right? Yes… and no. The thing is, in the short run we will accomplish a lot if we sleep less and stay up later, but in the long run, we will exhaust ourselves, make ourselves sick, and then will get even further behind in our work and our personal lives will suffer too. Plus, the most important thing will suffer: our health. It is better to pace yourself so that you can last longer. Most people will understand that there is only so much you can do. As long as you are honest with them and yourself about your strengths and limitations, it will work out. Sleeping more or a regular amount, will also help you think and make better decisions. This will cost you less time and aggravation as you will be looking before you leap. And let’s face it, making good decisions on the work or relationship front will translate into more happiness.
13. Say Goodbye To Toxic People
Yup, we all have these kinds of people in our lives. The best New Year’s Resolution is getting rid of these people once and for all. You can wish them well (out loud or in your head) and then cut them out of your life. What are toxic people? Any people who make you feel bad about yourself in order that they feel better about themselves and their choices. They could also be people that are highly critical of everything you do or do not do. Many times these people butt in where they are not supposed to, make you feel judged, and in general, say hurtful things. They often like to start trouble, rumors, and pick fights. Jealousy, unresolved anger, and personal issues they are not dealing with in their lives, form their character flaws. Kiss these individuals goodbye and you will see your life improve for sure. We promise.
12. Meditate (Yes, Really)
Okay, so you might think that meditating is super boring and maybe you’ve tried and failed to do it before. But you need to try it in 2017. There is nothing more powerful than going inwards. When you do this and are able to sit quietly in the moment letting thoughts go in and out of your head without judgment. You will see what is real, and what is not. A lot of what we worry about and what causes us to feel like failures are just negative thoughts that we can choose to hold on to or choose to let go. When you see you have that option, you become calmer and life will start to improve. Self-forgiveness for mistakes and allowing yourself a learning curve is so important to finding true happiness where you accept yourself for who and what you are. The best thing about meditating is that it will direct you to your soul, the part of you that is only whole when everything else is balanced. That does not require you to have oodles of money and success. It only requires you to accept and love yourself for all you are so that anything positive will become possible.
11. Think About The Big Picture
This ties in very well with meditating and kind of takes things to the next level. What is important in being spiritual is that you stop seeing everything as happening to you but rather see it as happening for you. Everything, good and bad, is a learning experience and can help with real growth for someone as a person. You can choose to be bitter if things go wrong, or choose to see the gift in that it is telling you to make changes in your life before it is too late. Reading spiritual texts that talk about what prophets saw and believed, no matter which religious affiliation you are with, helps us to remember there is more to life and our world than just us. We are all part of something bigger and greater. Therefore, our lives can become something bigger and greater. This is encouraging at any time of year, but particularly at the beginning of the New Year.
10. Help Your Fam And Others
When you help someone else you feel better. When we stop licking our wounds and playing the “oh poor me” card, things start to move in a positive direction. Everyone has problems and bad moments. But if we reach out and help one another overcome the trouble spots things take a leap for the better. There is also something wonderful about not only helping family and close friends which has obvious positive effects for us and our family and friends but helping strangers in a formal charity or informal setting will also do this for us. There are so many good causes that need our help. Feeding the homeless, visiting elders who can’t get out with food and books, being a hotline volunteer for a Youth Organization or Women’s shelter, is so important. Reaching out to a hurting world will help everyone as we are all connected. You will see how much it turnes everything around.
9. Try A New Hobby
Another great way to make 2017 rock? Why not take up a new hobby or rekindle an old one? We do get busy the last few months of the year and forget the things that bring us joy, so the new year is a perfect time to get back on track, when all the chaos of the holidays starts to simmer. Sometimes it may end up becoming a career or sideline to your job, but what is really amazing about it is that it makes you feel alive inside. Whether that hobby is painting, writing, dance, singing, or any other type of art or talent, it helps bring balance and happiness to your life. This kind of outlook will help you weather the storms of life better, handle stress in a positive way, and heck, you will have a great time doing it. It can also help you feel young inside like when you were a kid and you did things from the heart to make yourself happy. That is what will bring good things into your life: touching your spirit of childhood happiness.
8. Change Your Sleeping Habits
There are people who are night owls and then get up later who get tons of stuff done, but most of us who keep regular working hours benefit from an early to rise early to bed schedule. If you get up earlier, you will feel like you are “ahead of the game,” and have time to do things like exercise, meditate and organize your day in your day planner. If you are an organized person or one who controls what you can, it will usually help you feel happier and healthy. Things in your life will start turning around and you will be able to spin positive things out of negative experiences. In this way, you will be able to turn negative situations around. If you have exercised, had some time alone to meditate, ponder, pray or even enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea, you will be in a better position to visualize positive outcomes and plan out positive outcomes.
Journaling or writing down your feelings in a diary will help you handle stress, anxiety, and negativity in a whole new light. Seeing things on paper will help you automatically start to visualize options of what you want to change and make better. The therapy starts as soon as you release the toxic thoughts on paper. You will begin to feel motivated to make positive changes in your life or seek out help from people who can help you make positive changes like a supportive family, friends, or doctors and therapists. Writers use journals all the time, and usually, the best time to write in them is first thing in the am or right before bed. You could even try keeping a “Gratitude Journal” where you count your blessings starting with being alive and moving from there. This is sure to get your New Year off to a great start. If nothing else.
6. Consider Therapy (If You Need It)
There is never any shame nor should there be if you need to seek outside medical help, either psychological or otherwise. This may be the first thing you need to do to release toxic feelings about yourself, others in your life and/or your situation then go for it. Sometimes also getting a massage or doing something else good for your body is a great way to go to reset yourself for the new year. A new perspective will come by taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. If you are unsure which specialist you need to ask around and see who friends have used for psychological or physical help. This way you know you will be in trustworthy hands, and you just have to get the courage to take that next step towards a better life. When you feel balanced on all levels, you will be able to do so much more.
If you can’t learn to compromise with the people around you, you definitely won’t be able to make a fresh or positive start in the New Year. This means not always getting your way completely, but making sure whatever personal or work situation you are negotiating, ends up being a win/win for you and the other person. You will undoubtedly feel better seeing your family member, friend, colleagues or boss be happier, as they will be seeing you feel happier. Balance in the truest sense is peace all around so that everyone’s needs and wishes are expressed and encouraged. Those who look for peaceful solutions will also attract others who look for peaceful solutions. This, in turn, will make everyone feel happier, things will go smoothly and be more positive, and everyone’s situation will improve and become better in the future. Peacemakers release good karma and bring good karma for everyone around them. Everyone loves a positive person who makes things easier on all people involved.
4. Be Honest About Your Feelings
If you are honest about how you are feeling to family, friends, and colleagues, you will have a much greater chance of finding happiness. You need to be clear on what it is you need in your life in order to feel balanced and happy. If you are upset about a situation, the best and most productive way to change it is to tell those around you how you feel, and then suggest how together you and they can come up with a solution. Usually when people are confronted by calm honesty they love it and appreciate that sentiment. They are also more willing to talk about their own feelings in such an open atmosphere of trust and honesty. Everyone wins in this kind of situation and can make positive contributions to the future, theirs and people around them. Working and living in an environment of total honesty does have its ups and downs, but at least you always know where you stand with the honest person and they with you.
3. Read More Books
Reading opens up the mind in a whole new way and helps you see the world in a whole new way and from a whole new perspective. Any books you read, whether fiction or non-fiction, help expose you to different people, places, times, and ways of living and thinking in those places and times. It also opens up your mind to new ways of thinking about issues in the world, whether the character is fiction or real. The other good thing about books? If traveling is not something in your budget, reading a good book takes you away to another time and place and you travel along with the character. This broadens your mind, your outlook, and helps you experience new things or old things in a new way. It is an exciting way to live and opens up many opportunities for creative living and lots of discussions with those around you.
2. Redefine Normal
If you’re someone who normalized bad habits like, for instance, overeating or drinking in the past, this is your chance to redefine what is normal for you and what will make you feel normal and happier. We all have bad habits that become part of our everyday normal for worse. If we start to see them as choices where we have control to change them, we will be a lot happier if changing a bad habit puts us on the right path. Now with something deeply ingrained like eating or drinking, outside help will be needed, but once you take that step you will all that much happier and healthier in the New Year for it. You will have a long road ahead, but one positive change will lead to another, and before you know it, your new “normal” will be all positive things that will fill you with joy. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
1. Don’t Judge
So many of us see a person and think right away that we don’t like them. There are times we are wrong. Maybe you caught them on a bad day and they are not reflecting their true self to you. As long as your inner gut is not telling you to run up the hills, always give someone another chance to make a first impression. Imagine how you would feel being judged by one bad day. Not good, right? In order to be happy, you have to take a deep breath and really look into someone’s soul again before seeing if the relationship is going to work or not. In order to have a more positive start in the future, you need to always start from a place of love and peace in your heart. That will reflect outwards in your voice and mannerisms, and people will be grateful and attracted to that. Sounds like the best way to ring in 2017, right?