25 Ways To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

25 Ways To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

Welcoming a year of positivity, investment, and change.

Either you left 2016 believing it was a great year or a pathetic one. Whichever it may have been for you, it's over and done and the new year is here. With that comes endless opportunities for personal change and growth--the possibilities are plenty and options are endless. As we welcome 2017, try to implement the following steps to brighten your life and ensure an incredible year.

1. Take the time to learn and educate yourself on important issues.

Whether it's a class at college you think looks interesting, or a topic you want to feel well-versed in, do it. Research everything. Take responsibility for initiating knowledge in your peers and others around you. Racial injustice, white supremacy, women's rights, global warming, and everything else under the sun--where do you stand and why?

2. Invest in yourself.

You'll never regret taking the time to create a better you.

3. Find a hobby.

Maybe it's an old hobby you want to rekindle. Maybe it's something you've always wanted to try but have been too afraid of in the past. Find something proactive to put your time and energy towards and you'll reap the benefits.

4. Save more money.

Not even for anything specific, but save just to save. You'll feel more stable. Create a budget and set yourself up for a successful and financially sound future. Even $20 per month makes a difference in the long run.

5. Set realistic and attainable goals.

There's nothing bad or negative that can result from making goals (big or small) for yourself. Anything to help drive you that much closer to your dreams is worth the energy and effort in 2017.

6. Take care of your mind, body, and spirit.

Go to yoga. Read a book. Get a massage. Sweat it out. Go to church. Light a candle. Relax.

7. Live your life for you--not for anyone else.

How many times have you ended up doing something not because you wanted to, but because someone else wanted you to? Or because you knew it would make someone else happy--even though it didn't make you happy? Cut that out. It's time to put yourself, your needs, and your desires first.

8. Love your body in all its stages and forms.

Self-hate will never be trendy. Take a long hard look in the mirror and remember that you are more than just the body you see in your reflection.

9. Eliminate negative people and energy from your life.

If they aren't making your life better, get rid of them. Don't give your time to people who bring you down. Free yourself from negative people and you'll notice a sure difference.

10. Spend more time outdoors.

Have you ever taken a moment to just look around you? Take in the green grass and blue sky and have it take your breath away? Appreciate the beauty around you. Bask in it and soak it all in.

11. Make the effort to reach out to family and friends more often.

Taking the time to send your grandmother a quick text saying you love her isn't hard nor time consuming. Take a moment out of your busy day and let your loved ones know they're on your mind.

12. Be more in tune with your emotional and mental needs.

Talk to yourself. Be aware and ask yourself why you're upset, why you're hurt, or why you're angry. Pinpoint the cause of your emotions and learn how to take positive steps forward to reach solutions. Solutions lead to break-throughs and break-throughs lead to life changes.

13. Take risks.

Scare yourself. Growth doesn't happen in your comfort zone.

14. Put yourself in situations that stimulate growth.

Get uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to mess up, fall over, and fail. You will learn more by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations than staying safe in your bubble. To stay the same, or to grow?

15. Be more patient with yourself and others.

You're not perfect, and neither is anyone else. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Give everyone the time they need to grow, heal, learn, and prosper. We are all traveling through life on our own timelines.

16. Take a step toward becoming a healthier you.

Buy a gym membership, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. Baby steps still count. You can create goals and chase them down through your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

17. Be a good human.

Just do it, it's not hard.

18. Be real with yourself and others.

At the end of the day, your honesty will earn the respect of others. Instead of telling them what they want to hear, tell them what they need to hear. Same with yourself.

19. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Keep perspective. Don't let things that don't matter control your mindset or your life. Will whatever you're worrying about matter one year from today? If not, great. If so, take it one day a time.

20. Eliminate self-sabotage.

Don't be your own enemy. Don't stop pursuing your dreams and goals out of fear. Nothing can take you down.

21. Be a beacon of light and positivity.

Who doesn't love to be around someone with a smile that brightens an entire room? Be someone others love to spend time with because of your spirit and positive energy.

22. Make effort to break a bad habit.

Commit to making a change that's going to benefit you. Spend three weeks putting effort toward breaking a habit that's detrimental to your health or mindset--that's all it takes.

23. Pray--to anything, or anyone.

And if you don't want to, that's okay too.

24. Adjust your attitude.

Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person? Take a moment to evaluate how you view the world and what happens around you.

25. Be more grateful.

Say "thank you" more often. Focus on the people and things you're blessed to have. Appreciate them without taking their presence for granted.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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15 Steamy Summer Date Ideas That Won't Burn Through Your Bank

Don't let date night get repetitive this summer...


With a new season, comes new opportunities for super fun date ideas to keep your love life fresh and fun. I'm sure your favorite brunch place is great, but why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and try out some new things with your significant other this summer?

1. Go to the farmers market.

There is something so refreshing about walking through a farmers market. How could you not be happy when surrounded by fresh fruit, coffee stands, and live music? This is such an easy way to get some sunshine and grab some AMAZING food. My farmers market used to have everything from freshly pressed lemonade to waffle sandwiches. If you want to take the date a step further, find a recipe before you go, and buy fresh ingredients to cook a yummy dinner together later that night.

2. Tie-dye matching T-shirts.

Tie-dye is messy, so take advantage of the beautiful weather and head outside where things can get as messy as you want! What a cute little date souvenir too!

3. Late night ice cream run.

Ice cream is cool and everything, but something about ice cream in the middle of the night seems way more adventurous than a mid-day scoop. And the only time of the year that its going to be warm enough out to get ice cream late at night is, of course, summer!

4. Draw with chalk.

Honestly, your possibilities with this are pretty endless. Drawing contests, hop-scotch, make a masterpiece together, whatever your heart desires. Bring a speaker and maybe some bubbles too while you're at it, sometimes embracing our inner child is a necessary, grounding experience.

5. Throw a barbecue.

Who says spending time together is limited to only the two of you? Cooking together for your friends can be great bonding time too. Invite the crew and spend the afternoon outside at a park or in a backyard. Bring some music and maybe some activities like frisbee or kickball and enjoy some beautiful social time.

6. Take partner dance lessons.

Salsa, tango, swing, rumba, foxtrot, your opportunities are endless. Nobody is saying you have to be good, but how fun will it be to have some new moves to show off next time you and your friends go out dancing or to a concert?

7. Float down a river.

Go with just the two of you or bring some friends, either way, this is a perfect way to spend a few hours out in the sun while staying cool in the water!

8. Take your dogs to the dog park.

Parks are already fun, but when they're full of dogs they're about a million times better! Also, who doesn't love watching their significant other play with puppies?!? It doesn't get cuter than that.

9. Go cliff jumping.

In a safe spot, of course! You know what they say, you should do something that scares you every day...

10. Go on a road trip

A road trip is perfect because it's not as huge of a commitment as going on a real vacation together, but it's still a good little getaway where you are sure to bond a ton. You will have the whole car ride to talk and jam out to each other's favorite songs, how could that not be a grand time?

11. Get artsy and do a photoshoot.

Even if you're not a photographer, its kind of fun to get creative with a camera! Pick a spot somewhere nearby with cool scenery (try golden hour for extra gorgeous photos) and be each other's models. It will be a nice simple date, plus you will get some good Insta content!

12. Go to a sports game.

Plan ahead and get some tickets to go see a sports game in your town or one nearby! Sports games have such a fun upbeat atmosphere, plus fun food, and they're a good excuse to get decked out in fun fan gear!

13. Go mini golfing.

SUCH a cute and fun date idea. Mini-golfing dates never fail to bring out peoples silly sides. Why not make it a competition? Loser buys ice cream for the two of you when you're finished.

14. Go rollerblading.

OK, this one scares me personally, but for anyone with the athletic ability to attempt this, I fully encourage (and envy) you! What cuter sight to see than the two of you holding hands gliding down the city walk together? Just please wear your pads!

15. Have a car wash.

I don't mean go to the car wash together! I mean break out the speaker, the buckets, the sponges, the hose, and get soapy and silly together in the sun. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun?!

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