The secret to an awesome 2017 won’t be in the meals you cook, the clothing you buy or even the music you chose — though those things will certainly add spice and color. To have the best 2017 possible, it will come down to two things:
Letting go of things you can’t control
We can’t separate ourselves from the Trump discourse, the refugees abandoned in the Mediterranean, the lack of global resolve to do anything about climate change or increasing inequality. We’re part of this world and that harsh reality affects us. But how we cope with the world — with our personal troubles, our long-term tribulations and our short-term concerns — is something that we can control.
We can work on ourselves and we can decide to work with others to combat injustice. Among it all, we can allow ourselves to rest and explore and grow and have fun. Here are 17 things we can do to make 2017 as great as possible:
Go for a walk, write, talk it out — we all have different ways of reflecting and different things to reflect on. But this is where we start to understand what we’re dealing with, what we need and what we want to achieve.
2. Clarify your goals
Whether personal, political, big or small, clarifying your goals will help ensure 2017 has direction for you.
3. Track your goals
4. Do something new
Try a new kind of food, a new game or a different book genre. Leave your comfort zone for a bit and you might be surprised!
5. Do that thing you’ve been meaning to do
Cross it off your list. Enjoy finally beating the restless feeling of constantly putting something off.
Books are souls and paths and brave ideas on paper. For me, I’ve set a goal of 25 books this year. My list contains books by authors that are typically excluded from the mainstream: women, third world writers, poor writers, gay writers. What would your list include?
Quietly watch the world happen. Look out for the complexities in the people you pass. Explore your suburb, your city and beyond.
I gave my partner plasticine for his end-of-year gift. But you don’t have to play so literally. The main thing is to let go, stay curious and enjoy what’s at hand.
9. Plan to rest
This is something I struggle with, as productivity seems so much more useful. But be sure to schedule in downtime so that you can recharge, process what’s going on, dream, contemplate and enjoy the company of a partner or friend.
10. Find beauty
Paint flowers or arrange them, take photos, write poems or just appreciate what’s going on around you — and tell someone.
11. Get organized
Whether with diaries, notepads, phone apps or your own secret filing system — it’s important to stay on top of tasks, deadlines and your plans. Chaos can be fun and poetic, but letting life get too messy can harm one’s ability to think well. Minimize clutter, get rid of stuff you don’t need and make sure, somehow, that you achieve the things you want to or need to.
12. Sleep for your eight hours… but talk all night too
Do the right thing, but also enjoy the best bits, which often involves defying what is logical. Let those moments happen — they are the ones you’ll remember in 2018.
13. Be healthy
Whatever healthy means to you. Maybe it’s as simple as doing exercise, living an active life and eating non-processed food. Maybe it means being realistic, hard working and proud of yourself. But do it, and do it well. Then 2017 should be pretty awesome.
14. Be there for others
Making this new year awesome involves those around us as well. Be supportive, understanding and generous. Among the best ways to really be there for others is to listen without judgement.
15. Have integrity
In a world of false news, be genuine. Be brazenly honest, painfully raw, upfront and outspoken.
16. Stay informed
There are a bunch of sites like The Alternative Daily and others that will bring you real news and alternative views. True democracy and social participation involve knowing what’s going on. It can be tough sometimes, though, so schedule time out as well.
17. Take action
If you live in the U.S., or even outside of it, there are plenty of groups, campaigns and actions you can get involved in to stand up to racism, sexism, environmental damage, blatant greed or other forms of bigotry. If you don’t, who will?
— Tamara Pearson