One thing that almost everyone can agree on in today's world is that 2016 was kind of a terrible year all around. From tragic celebrity deaths to crazy politics, everyone was a bit overwhelmed by all of the craziness of the year. As 2017 finally begins, people are left to try to figure out how to make this year a lot better than the last, but it's hard to try to figure out things to do to make it better in a way that'll actually be feasible. I know that making plans to go to the gym every day sounds good on January 1st, but by January 7th, you'll already be more than ready to give up.
The key to making your 2017 better is to set small goals that are reachable, so when you reach them you're motivated to continue. Little things will build up and build up until they're big things, and you've accomplished a big goal in a much easier way.
1. Start keeping a planner.
One of the best decisions I made for my year is starting to keep a planner. When you have busy days, whether it be work or class or afterschool activities or all of the above, it can get a bit overwhelming to try to keep track of everything. It helps to have something that you can hold, a physical item that you can carry around specifically to keep you on track. Especially when you're as easily distracted as I am.
2. Treat. Yo. Self.
This may seem a little bit stupid and basic, but I think that it's one of the best things you can do for yourself. Treating yourself doesn't have to mean spending hundreds of dollars at the mall. Treating yourself can be going to see a movie you've wanted to see for a long time, taking a bath with a good book and a bath bomb, cuddling up in bed with your pets... whatever you do to make you happy. It's just setting time aside for yourself every week so you can relax and unwind from the hecticness of life.
3. Go outside.
I know, that seems a bit silly and ridiculous, but it's true. I tend to be someone who stays inside most (all) of the time when I'm not busy or in class, and that isn't good for mental health. Studies have shown that " green therapy," or time spent outside every day, is beneficial to the mental health of people with depression, anxiety, and/or ADHD. Sometimes it's hard, when you have those issues, to motivate yourself to go outside. But starting to do it bit by bit until it becomes a habit will be so beneficial in the long run.
4. If it isn't required and doesn't make you happy, don't do it.
In today's society, there is so much pressure to do as many things as possible to be a "well-rounded" member of society, which is logical in words. But in practice, this is a very bad thing for our society. Children and young adults are pushing themselves to do more things than they can handle just to be considered a competitive applicant for schools and jobs. I think in 2017 the shift should be from spreading your energy thin over a lot of things to focussing on the things that make you happy and doing those things the best you can. Doing things that don't make you happy should be left far behind.
2017 should be the year of doing things for you, because they make you happy. It's okay to be selfish every once in a while, and society as a whole will be better for it, as each part of the whole will be healthier and able to function better to improve our world.