HOW TO MAKE 2017 YOUR BEST YEAR?
2016 came to an end, leaving room for a brand-new year to begin. If you are like me, an enthusiast and personal reflector, you will most definitely review the past year (if you haven’t already done so) and set yourself up for new resolutions and challenges. Doing your own personal and professional review is the best way to start a new year, having precise objectives and realizing your past mistakes to be able to turn them into success for the year to come.
2017 keeps you in suspense because your hopes and expectations are huge? And if I were to tell you that you have all the ingredients you need to make 2017 your best year yet!
The new year, like the previous ones, will fly by. Every second, every minute, every day, every month, count. How will you enjoy a year already knowing in advance that it will be full of obstacles, heavy ordeals (not always easy to overcome) and defining mistakes? One thing is for sure, you will overcome the obstacles.
These hardships will help guide you to reach your goals, divert you from hidden traps, influence the negative into positive, turn your failures into triumphs and change your sadness into joy. The key to make 2017 a real success is the outlook you’ll have on your life and all these events to come. No one else can change or see this outlook but yourself.
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Here are 10 ways to make 2017 your best year yet:
1. Be Positive and Grateful for Every Moment
We can’t control the external events that have an impact on our lives, but we do have the ability to choose our behavior and our way of seeing things to our advantage and thus welcoming these “bad” events with open arms rather than being negative, which clearly brings nothing more than a chain of bad events that appear uncontrollable and unannounced. Bad days… you’ll have them! … you can’t change that. So why not be more realistic and look at the positive aspect of things. You missed your train? Take the next one. Sure, you will most probably miss your appointment, but is it really worth it to get all worked up and negative about it? Ask yourself this question anytime something is bothering you: “Is it worth it?” Don’t waste your day, your year, worrying about things that are just secondary.
2. Make the Unpleasant Useful
I don’t know one person who does not have at least one thing that annoys them. We all have our small everyday nuances. For me, I hate waiting. I feel like I’m wasting my time and we all know time is precious. In order to deal with this and instead of putting myself in a bad mood or complaining, I will put on a podcast, read a book, edit my next Instagram post, check my emails, or jot down new ideas on my phone while I wait for an appointment, my bus or for my friend to arrive. I take advantage of this time to make it useful and productive. Take advantage of this time to make these minutes your best minutes of the day! Meditate, sing, relax, listen to an empowering podcast etc.…
3. Take Care of Yourself
You can never have too much well-being, so do everything that makes you happy. The simple pleasures and significant moments in life are what make us happy. One of the secrets to living your best year is not holding back all while being responsible of your choices. Do the activities you love, that make you feel good and in line with yourself. Depending on your budget, find your pleasure. A scoop of oreo ice-cream, a pedicure, a new artistic class, sleeping in…
How can you possibly take care of others if you neglect yourself and don’t take care of yourself first? Grant yourself “Me time”, it's important.
4. Spend Less / Save More
Money doesn’t buy happiness but it can contribute to your fulfillment if you invest wisely. Having money in the bank is always better than having none at all or being in debt. We tend to feel more “in control” when managing our life’s finances, less stressed and less dependent on pay checks. Saving gives us the option to choose where we spend our money. Put money aside for your dreams, projects and trips. It is always better than wishing you had enough money to do certain things. Of course, the goal is not to run after it, but to live within your means and be happy spending less on the superficial and committing to how this money will eventually support your dreams, your desires and to therefore live a meaningful and purposeful life.
5. Make Place for The New
Forget about your bad experiences! Of course, they serve as life lessons, but it is not worth it to dwell on how we could have avoided certain situations, or ask ourselves why whatever happened, happened. Trust life. Certain things, events, happen randomly and going through these moments, often times painful, like the loss of a job, going through a break-up, are events that shape our character and can be the starting point to writing a new story. Clean up your life, get rid of anyone, anything and any habits that keep you from spreading your wings and flying, that prevent you from moving forward, that poison the air and block your breathing. To continue to grow, it is necessary to let go of the past.
6. Take Risks - Try Something New
Life begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone. You’ll never know the person you could be or the life you could live if you don’t try. We are always worrying about the worst possible scenario but rarely do we imagine the amazing things that can happen if we took risks. Change the way you see things. Think about the best possible scenario when deciding to take the leap. A great way to achieve this little by little is to try new activities. Revolutionize your life and test out new hobbies. This will help you in stepping out of your comfort zone, stimulate your creativity and thus taking the plunge without fear. Life will not wait for you to be ready or for you to have all the ingredients to make it simple and nicer for you. Start today and you’ll see that life will adapt to your choices. “Leap and the next will appear”. It takes courage, but the courage lies within you!
7. Meditate 10 minutes Per Day
Having a perfect life or becoming some huge life philosopher does not happen overnight. Positivity takes practice every day. You have it in you. Meditation is an extraordinary tool that can help you overcome certain obstacles you may face. Take 5 to 10 minutes every morning to meditate, this will help set your humor and influence you in a positive way and also allow you to destress from your burdens, and ease your fears, anxieties and everyday problems. In order to do so, I read some biblical verses, The Maxwell Daily Reader, and I keep a happiness journal. Meditation has a real impact on our lives, it keeps us calm, brings serenity, clarity and we feel much better afterwards. Depending on your beliefs, find the necessary tools that will allow you to reinforce and expand your spiritual life, take care of your spirit and control your emotions. Meditate, practice and you will see a difference.
8. Say No
We often choose not to say this small word to avoid hurting or offending others or even to avoid being perceived as a mean person. Knowing when to say no is vital to our physical and mental well-being. If you always say yes to everything and anything, you’ll never move forward and you’ll be submerged in requests you cannot fulfill. Say no to activities and to people who bring nothing but an excess of stress, anxiety and unhappiness to your life. Simple. Say no to people or things that don’t bring value to your life.
9. Practice Love and Happiness
Love and happiness are more than just simple emotions, they are choices. You can decide to be happy and practice love, not only when things are going well but also during difficult times. This brings us back to #1. Put happiness and love in everything that you undertake and in everyone that you meet. Happiness is contagious so why deprive ourselves and others! Smile! Say something nice and encouraging. Not only will it positively influence your everyday life but it will equally have an impact on the happiness, love and well-being of others. Sharing is a lot more important than throwing away. Love is much stronger than hate
One idea, one thought, one joy, or even one rant… Materialize your thoughts by writing. You don’t have to be a writer to have a journal. Don’t let your thoughts die. Cultivate, give oxygen to your thoughts and let them grow by keeping a journal. Writing helps visualize your thoughts and develop your ideas. Writing will help you stay focused and sort out your ideas and projects. The good thing about a journal is that you can put together all your ideas and eliminate the ones that don’t help you reach your goal. You can also keep these ideas for later on. Personally, I love using My Bucketlist journal, not only does it allow me to clean up my brain but it allows me to see everything that I was able to accomplish in my life up to now and what I wish to live and experience.
“You can’t know everything, you can’t do everything, you can’t go everywhere,
you have to pick and choose between good and a little bit better”
- John Maxwell
Shirline is the founder of Black Milk Women. She finds inspiration in every areas of life. Creative, passionate and dreamy ... "Eat Beauty, Live Passionately and Drink Life" is her everyday #Wordstoliveby.
Like music or romance she is old school she doesn't snap but she tweets. You can find her on twitter @ThePerfectshee