18 Tips And Tricks To Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

18 Tips And Tricks To Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

Make it your goal to become a better version of yourself.

Like many people, I began the new year with a set of goals and resolutions in mind. I want to improve my physical health and become better at saving money. Rather than changing who I am, I want to better myself. These tips and tricks are just a few of the ways that you can become a better version of yourself in the new year.

Set Realistic Goals

When setting goals and making resolutions, make sure that they are reasonable. Spending a few extra dollars on a book that you like, or eating an extra serving at dinner won't be the end of the world. You can't reach a goal overnight, so be patient with yourself. Remember, good things take time. 

Hold Yourself Accountable

Make sure you complete what you set out to accomplish. Encourage your friends and family members to support you, write down your goals in an agenda, and set reminders on your phone or computer. When you reach a goal, celebrate! Reward yourself for all of your hard work.

Focus On Yourself

Do YOU. Focus on who you are and who you want to become. It's okay to spend time alone and reflect on your goals.

Be More Optimistic

Life is much easier when you have a positive outlook. Motivate yourself the way that you would motivate others. Try and find light even during the darkest days.

Do What Makes You Happy

Make more time to do things that you enjoy, and set aside time to see people that make you happy. Your responsibilities can wait.

Save Money

There are countless ways to go about saving money. Keeping all of your change in a jar, or holding onto five dollar bills is just one way to go about doing so. Any amount of extra change can be helpful, whether it comes to paying a bill or buying yourself a something new.


Getting in shape is a cliché resolution, but, let's face it, physical health is important. Any kind of exercise is better than none at all, but finding a workout that you enjoy will make this goal more of a hobby. If you can't make it to a gym, walking outside is a good way to become healthier.

Try Something New

Whether it be a new food or a new hobby, try something new in the new year. You might really enjoy something that you've never done before.

Follow A Schedule

Getting into a routine can reduce stress. If you follow a loose schedule each day, you'll have more time to get work done and still have time to do what you enjoy.


Spend less time watching Netflix, scrolling through Facebook, and playing games on your phone. Too much screen time doesn't do anybody any good. Instead of binge watching your favorite TV show, read a book, take a walk, or play a board game.

Let Go Of The Past

If you want to move forward, you can't let the past weight you down. Don't forget what you learned, but don't let it hurt you any longer. Forgive. Don't forget.

Find Better Ways To Manage Stress

Try new ways to destress by journaling, doing yoga, or meditating. Removing yourself from the chaos of your daily life could improve your mood, concentration, and performance at school or work. 

Be More Empathetic 

Rather than having sympathy towards someone or a situation, try to be empathetic. By being empathetic, you will be putting yourself in someone else's shoes and thinking about how they feel. If you try to understand why people are acting a certain way, you could be a better friend and support system.

Stop Making Excuses

Turn "I'm going to do this..." into "I did it." Instead of procrastinating and making excuses about why you can't or don't want to do something, just do it. 

Face Your Fears

Take a leap of faith, and enjoy the fall. 

Make Someone Smile

A little kindness can go a long way. Make it a priority to do be kind to other people. Something as simple as holding the door open for someone who has full hands, or paying the extra fifty cents for someone who is short on change could brighten up a stranger's day. Volunteering in your community is also a great way to make someone smile.

Don't Give Up

It's easy to get discouraged when things don't go your way. Instead of giving up, think about ways to change or improve the situation. If the situation is out of your control, let it go. Sometimes, you have to be your own #1 fan. As said best by Theodore Roosevelt, "believe you can and you're halfway there."

Stay True To Who You Are

Despite all of the changes that you might want to make during the new year, it is important to remain true to who you are during this fresh start. Don't be afraid to alter your lifestyle. Do what makes YOU happy because, after all, no one knows you better than you know yourself. 

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An Open Letter To High School Athletes In Their Senior Season

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

As I’m sure you know senior year is an exciting time. You’re the “big dogs”, as my teachers would put it, of the whole school. This is the year you are able to do all the things you’ve waited for the past three years. You can sleep in every morning because you don’t have class until nine or leave school early because you don’t have a last hour class. It’s great, right? Right.

However, this year, although it’s arguably the best year of high school, could also be the hardest. No, not hard because of classes or homework or actually having to decide on a college. Hard because it’s full of lasts. Last Homecoming, last spirit week, last Sadie’s, last school pictures, last musical.

And for many, the last time you’ll wear that jersey.

Of all the lasts that will happen this year, that has to be toughest one. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that will continue playing your chosen sport into college. Congratulations if that’s the case for you and I hope you continue playing as long as you can.

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

When you started as a freshman four years ago, you might have had little clue what the coming years would bring. As all freshmen do, you dreamed of making varsity and playing in every game, or earning as many medals as you could. The possibilities were endless.

Now here you are, in your senior year. Maybe you’ve won a state title or two. Maybe you’ve set new school records. Maybe even state records. No matter the case you’ve played your heart out for the past four years on the field and court. You’ve woken up at five in the morning for workouts and practices. And you’ve stayed until ten at night trying to get every play in the book fixed into your brain. You’ve spent your Friday nights under those nights no matter what the weather was like, rain or snow. You’ve spent your Saturdays at volleyball tournaments and your Sundays resting knowing that Monday’s practice would be a rough one. You’ve missed nearly a whole day of school for track meets or games that were just that far away.

You have had tan lines like crazy from your tennis uniform. Softball and baseball players have one hand darker then the other and golfers have legs three shades lighter than their arms. If you were like me you'd complain about how bad your tan lines looked in homecoming pictures (thank you tennis).

It never seems like it's your last year until senior night comes along. At least that's when it hit me. Then the next thing you know the season is over and you're handing in the uniform you've had the past couple of years.

So when you go to hand in that jersey or uniform remember the last four years. I hope you remember all the bus rides to and from games laughing with your teammates. The team dinners before games and the banquets to celebrate the season. All those early morning practices you dreaded until your coach came walking in with a box of doughnuts. All the games, win or lose, rain or shine, windy or hot. All the bruises and cuts you got that seemed to take ages to go away. Every practice you had to run extra for having too many fouls or turnovers. The pep rally’s for the first game of the season. The way you felt when you made that three, scored on a serve, caught that pass, or won that medal.

Because that chapter is or is almost over. The past four years you have been an athlete, I hope you showed it in every way. One day you won’t be an athlete anymore, so take this time to enjoy it and play with every ounce of passion you can.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekkah Wamser

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Here's What I Learned Going To A Gun Range

First of all, remember to put on earmuffs.

Over Spring Break, my roommate and I decided to try out a couple of activities we've never done before. We decided to visit the gun range to experience something that is very present in our lives. Coming from a country where private ownership of guns is largely outlawed, I first encountered a drawn gun during the USC Fertitta shooter scare of 2017.

Even so, I can say that I am 'familiar' with guns, and by that, I mean it's everywhere-- in movies, video games, and other media. Branding a gun looks so effortless when the hero of the movie jumps in to save the day, but knowing that real life is never like the movies, I wanted to experience what shooting a gun is truly like.

I started to sweat profusely the moment I entered the gun club lobby. All sorts of guns were hanging on the walls, and the sounds coming from the range were LOUD. After getting our gun (AK-47), ammunition, and protective gear, we headed to the range-- WITHOUT OUR EARMUFFS ON.

It was such a common sense thing to do, but our nerves got the best of us. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when that shot went off, and my ears were ringing for about a minute.

It took us a while to gather ourselves and make sure everything was on. The first thing that hit me when I first entered the room was the smell. I guess that's what they meant in novels when they describe the smell of gunpowder.

Then, it was time to shoot.

What I was most afraid of was the kickback, because I hear about people getting hurt from the force. But when I pulled the trigger, the thing that made me jump was the sound-- not the smell or the kickback. The sound wasn't only loud, but very distinct and punctuated-- it took me by surprise even though I was expecting it.

After a couple of rounds, and lots of pictures, we were done.

It was a learning experience; I had never held such a powerful weapon in my hand, and I went in knowing that it's not a toy that you hold and look cool in.

I would definitely do it again.

Cover Image Credit: freephotos.cc

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