Whether you thought 2016 was a good or bad year, the beginning of 2017 is welcomed with positive thoughts and dreams of better things in the future. Do you remember that blissful feeling at the beginning of 2016 too? We do, but unfortunately that bliss disappeared quickly and those dreams and goals weren’t realized. I found I was kicking myself for not making 2016 the best year yet. This made me think, why do we set New Year’s resolutions if only 8% of the people actually reach them? Why don’t we try making small changes to improve our daily lives to make 2017 the best year yet? Here are some ideas to get your dreams out of your head and make 2017 the year you lived your life.

Set realistic goals

We aren’t saying you shouldn’t have a New Years’ resolution, but make it a good one. We have a previous post on how to set realistic goals that really outlines how to set and achieve them. You can check that out here. Along with this big resolution, think about small things you didn’t accomplish in 2016 that you want to in 2017. These can be small things like going to the beach or spending more time with your friends, but getting them out of your head an onto paper (or in a spreadsheet) will help you accomplish them. When you think of new things you want to do, add them to the list. This can be a running list all year; don’t limit yourself to only setting goals at the beginning of the year.

Schedule your priorities

Most of the time things don’t happen because we don’t schedule them. Sit down with your calendar and pencil in dates to do things you want to. This can be anything from date nights, girl’s night out, planting a garden or going to visit family. If you schedule these fun activities you are more likely to do them, because you won’t let other things take over your calendar once they are marked. Try to have at least one thing a month planned so you have things to look forward to. It is a great way to break up this pattern we all fall into that makes us too tired to do the things we actually want to do. Which brings us to our next point.

Do what you love

Think about the things that make you truly happy and try to do more of them. Try to think of the small things that you don’t do often that really make you smile like having breakfast in bed or walking on the beach. Now think about how often you really get to do those things, probably not that often right? By making an effort to do more of these things we love, we will improve or lives and overall happiness. This will help make the most of our leisure time and make us actually feel relaxed and fulfilled.

Reward yourself

Who doesn’t love getting a treat? In order to stay motivated and push to achieve your goals you should set up rewards for each item you want to accomplish. A reward can be any number of things and can be determined based on what your goal is. For example, if you are trying to lose weight treating yourself with dessert might not be the best reward, instead you can treat yourself to a pedicure or massage for all the hard work you are putting in. Be creative with your rewards, they don’t have to just be things!

Don’t Compare Yourself

It is easy to get upset when you see your friends traveling or doing all these fun things via social media, but don’t get stuck in that trap. Everyone puts their best foot forward on social media, but they don’t highlight things that go wrong. Remember, no one is perfect. Try to live in the moment and if you want to capture and share it with your friends that’s fine, but make sure you are doing it for you. We could spend endless hours capturing and editing the perfect photos to make it look like we are living a great life, or we can get out and live it. If we happen to capture it in a photo, even better, but don’t let social media run your life.

We hope that you making these small tweaks will improve your daily lives and increase your overall happiness. Though having a larger goal can be great, creating small changes will have a larger effect at the end of the year. We look forward to making 2017 our best year yet and we hope you do too!

By Meredith Sopko

 

Meredith is a marketing professional and Expert Organizer with expertise in social media and e-communications. When she’s not organizing or on social media, she is at the beach or watching reality TV and drinking wine.

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