18 Things To Do To Make 2018 The Best Year
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18 Things To Do To Make 2018 The Best Year

These may not be your typical New Year's resolutions.

18 Things To Do To Make 2018 The Best Year

At the end of 2016, we were all hopeful for a wonderful, amazing 2017. But that was the biggest joke ever because it seems as though 2017 saw 2016 and said: "Challenge accepted".

Now, 2017 is behind us and 2018 has just begun. The world we live in is crazy and there will never be an answer to all the ills that happen. There are lots of things wrong with our economy, society, ecosystem, but there are ways you and I can choose to not give into those ills. So in honor of this year, here is a list of 18 things to do this year to make it the happiest and healthiest it can be for yourself and your world.

1. Use less plastic

This is so simple, yet so many people cannot wrap their heads around it. When you go to your local coffee shop bring a reusable cup from your house and ask them to use that instead of the disposable one. Bring your own reusable grocery bags while shopping and pay attention to packaging. Do you really need to buy that orange that is in shrink wrap? I mean come on, it has its own natural covering. Buy biodegradable garbage bags. There are many simple ways we can lower the amount of waste we make, and by doing so, we can help our ecosystem little by little. For more information on how to do this click here.

2. Shop locally

This helps build a community and helps support your local economy. This is also environmentally friendly because they serve the local community instead of the entire American population like Costco, Walmart, and Target (sorry millennials) which means they consume fewer resources. Also, since they have one simple target population, they will adjust to their buyers' needs. This also creates less traffic and air pollution since you're close.

3. Don't "hunt" at the store

If you are a meat eater, this one goes to you. The way our meat is being brought to us is absolutely terrifying. One, the living conditions of the animals are horrid. Two, the chemicals added to the meats have linking causes to cancers and other illnesses. Not to mention most meat is packaged in plastic and styrofoam (*cough cough* pay attention to waste). Even if the meat you buy is labeled organic, there really is no way to ensure that the label is 100% accurate. Instead, take up, or continue, or find someone who hunts or is a local farmer. This ensures that the meat that you are about to consume is 100% organic and the animal whose life was taken was not in some gross crowded barn. If there is less demand for these meats at stores, then there is less of a need for these farms that have horrid living conditions to still be in production. This helps eliminate some CO2 emissions for there will be less transportation and production to get the meats on the marker. Finally, there are fewer chemicals in your food because hunting leans more to ensure leaner, healthier meats for you to consume.

4. Give that homeless man/woman something sustainable

Far too often there are people who simply walk past people sitting on the streets begging for help. Now, there are people who pretend to be homeless in order to get free handouts, and those people suck, but it does not mean that because there are people out there who do that you shouldn't assist someone asking for help. There are more than 500,000 people in the US who are homeless, and more times than not, that person begging needs help. Now, you don't have to give them your money or invite them into your home or offer them a ride–there are some safety issues that could arise with that. But you can go and give them a blanket, buy them a bite to eat, or something to drink–stuff that is basic. A little act of kindness goes a long way.

5. Ride a bike or a scooter or a skateboard or something to get to where you are going

This helps get you outside in the elements and exercise. This also helps eliminate some unneeded CO2 emissions. There are plenty of bike paths one can take to get to where they need to go, yes the transit may be longer than you'd like, but take some time to smell the roses, my dear.

6. Relax

We as Americans are often on the go, go, go! STOP! No, you do not have to book your schedule so full that you never have time to sit and do nothing. It's okay to be able to sit and do nothing. It's healthy even. This year take a look at your schedule and ask yourself what can be let go? And like Elsa, let that time consumer go! Binge that show, take that nap, read that book, go on that run, do something that you actually enjoy and doesn't bring on stress.

7. Set a year goal

On a piece of paper write "I want to ____ by December 31st, 2018". Put this paper somewhere where you will see it and read it every day when you wake up (you can even put it on your phone lock screen). This way you will see it and use it as a motivator to get up and reach that dream. Far too often we lose our stamina on where we want to go in life and we give up on our new year's resolutions by January 2nd. Don't be that guy!

8. Eat at home

As an effect of our society always being on the go, slowly but surely families are eating less and less together–and even when they do they are on their phones or are distracted by some other electronic device. Everyone is so busy that their schedules are no longer adding up where a sit-down family dinner doesn't happen as often as it should be. Even when it is a sit-down dinner, usually it is take-out or something that someone could grab quickly. Let's try to end the madness and bring back home cooked family meals. It helps bring the family together and also ensures (depending on what you cook with) healthier meals than what you would get with take-out because there are less saturated fats and sugars. You may be thinking one of two things (or both): I legit cannot stand my family or I don't know how to cook. 1. Well, don't knock anything until you try it, kiddo. 2. That's what the Food Network is for and even those two-minute Tasty videos.

9. Make a budget and stick to it

Let 2018 be the end of the memes about not having enough money in our bank accounts. Come on, people, we are better than this! Start with setting aside money for the absolute essentials: bills, gas, other payments, groceries, etc... then set a little money aside (let's say 15-25% of what is left AFTER the necessities are paid for) for fun stuff (the bar, movies, clubs, food, etc...). Finally, set that other percentage in a bank account and do not touch it, let that money grow into a beautiful savings account. Also, keep a change jar and don't touch it. At the end of 2018, use the cash in the change jar and treat yourself, and others if you'd like, to something that will roughly be the amount you have. If you only have $2 by the end of the year, you failed yourself, man.

10. Try living simpler

This ties into everything mentioned above. Instead of living the life of "treating yo-self" 24/7, start asking yourself what you really need versus what you really want. Maybe make a list of things of needs vs wants and see what that reveals to you. Are you living the #FirstWorldProblem lifestyle or are you needing some assistance this year? You do not need to have all the gadgets, designer clothes, the coolest car in the world. What you need is to be content with where you are at and who you are with. Buying things will leave you feeling empty at the end of the day because all you have is stuff.

11. Declutter

The best way to start fresh is to get the junk out! Do this at your own pace, but throughout 2018 go through every room in your house and declutter. Ask yourself what you need and what you don't. Make a pile for garbage (and recycling), another for stuff you can re-purpose or make a craft out of, and another for things you can donate or give away to someone you know would like or need whatever you find. This not only helps tidy up your crib but also helps those who are crafty find new inspirations and helps your community. It's a win-win no matter who you are.

12. Do that exercise plan and stick to it

The sad thing about the weight loss commercials or gym commercials is that they portray that you will see results fast and that exercise and proper dieting are super easy. It's not! It is hard! It doesn't matter what body type or shape you have, exercise is supposed to be a workout. Stop comparing your body to those next to you at the gym or comparing how much easier things are for them compared to you. You will get there! It takes time and that is okay! Remember you are a rockstar and can conquer anything no matter how difficult it is.

13. Get rid of those toxic relationships

Is someone giving you anxiety? Is someone making you feel less of a person? Drop them like they are hot, sweetie! As someone who has ended a few relationships that I found to be either toxic or abusive in one way or another, I can attest that my mental state is stronger than ever. It is amazing how much someone can impact your mentality. End the negativity in your life because you have a voice and the power to do so. Go get 'em, tiger!

14. Fix the things in your home that you have been tolerating

Make a list of maybe 5-10 things you can do to make your house a better home for yourself. That chip on the wall? Grab some wall putty and some paint and fix it! That tiny hole in the armpit of one of your favorite shirts? Sew it up! You don't have to go full fixer-upper, but simple things that are slight annoyances you can easily fix. This will help ease your mind.

15. Stop complaining and start fixing

Instead of thinking about what is wrong, change the mindset on how to change the situation. If you're complaining about not being able to get the new iPhone X, then honey, you need to do some deep reflection. Instead of complaining about that annoying co-worker, think of ways to go about working better with them or figuring out if there is a cause as to why they act the way they do. Work with whatever you have in your life that is annoying and figure out how to make it less annoying.

16. Manage your time better

Write out time slot to time slot all of the activities you have going on every day of the week from what time to what time. Block in travel time (with +5 minutes just in case traffic happens) and anything else that takes up your time. This helps you visually see where you are putting your time. Maybe you will see you often overbook yourself and might want to reevaluate how you schedule things or what activities you are a part of. By also seeing how much time you have in a day and how much time things take helps put into perspective what really matters to you and also shows all you late people how to maybe get better at being on time to things.

17. Stop being toxic yourself

Stop talking bad about the one person. Stop telling people negative things about themselves. Stop telling yourself negative things about you. Start lifting people up and others up. Start talking about people in a positive light instead of a bad one. Let's make "spilling tea" not a thing anymore. Yes, we need to rant. But we also don't need to be a female dog about it either.

18. Live the life you want to live

It's a new year with a road full of opportunities. Take the ones life throws at you and make the most of every moment. It's 2018, be the best you you can be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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