Somehow, an entire year has flashed by at lightning fast speed. 2016 has been an interesting year to say the least. With a Hollywood celebrity as our newest president, the deaths of stars such as Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, and Prince, and most importantly the number of wild tigers, giant pandas, and manatees has risen for the first time in 100 years!! This year has been, as Kylie Jenner states, “...the year of realizing stuff.” I can vouch for that statement, as I would say this year has allowed me to realize an amplitude of things, such as how many donuts I can eat in a day, how many hours I can sleep, and how much I love Game of Thrones. Alas, as this eventful year closes, I guess that means that as 2017 rolls around, there are some things I should aim to accomplish.

1. Read more books

I spend WAY too much time with my phone glued to the palm of my hand. I allow hours to fly by practicing mindless behaviors that result in a sore thumb and the loss of many, many brain cells. I mean, really, how entertaining is twitter? Thus, I’ve decided I would rather spend time indulging in a good book, where I can escape between the lines and find a source of entertainment while also being able to develop as an intellectual.

2. Stop procrastinating

I have to make my bed? I can do that later. I have to read that article for my government class? I can do that after I watch an episode of TV. I have to study? I have no time for that! This is a typical day in the life of me, as well as most other high schoolers, college students, and a majority of adults. I find myself sharing this dialogue with myself a vast majority of the time, always pushing things off. But, once you start working on something, finish things concisely and time efficiently, it reveals how easy it is to have extra time!

3. Spend more time paying attention to nature

I often overlook everyday beauties, like the vibrant grass growing outside or the way the sun says goodnight to the sky with a beautiful glow. It’s the little things in life that lead to happiness, and appreciating nature is definitely one of the best ways to come to a conclusion of how amazing life is.

4. Travel more

Travelling allows one to experience new perspectives and see new things. Most of us spend too much time in the same place, with the same setting and not enough adventure. I love travelling, whether it is a mere 20 minutes down the street from your house to a woodland area you’ve never seen or a vacation half way across the world, travelling can open the door to new escapades and windows to opportunities.

5. Take more pictures

It’s important to live in the moment and spend time practicing being present. However, there are so many moments in time that something occurs that is a once in a lifetime moment. For example, in October, I went to a music festival and was able to see 4 of my favorite artists. Yet, I look back, and I was so consumed in the moment I never captured any pictures, and looking back all I have is the mental image. That being said, I think it is important to take pictures of everything, a pretty sunset, your best friend, your mom, that really good hamburger you’re going to eat for lunch.