The best year ever… Who doesn’t want 2017 to become that year? There are people who didn’t enjoy 2016 too much. What about you? A lot of great celebrities were taken from us too early. There was a feeling that the world was no longer the place it once was, that it had changed for the worse. Some people even said that they were celebrating the start of 2017 purely because it meant the death of 2016.
Is there anything we can all do to make this year a better one? I believe so. In fact, there’s nothing stopping you making this year your best one ever.
Most people will have broken at least one New Year’s resolution before the first day of the new year is over. The best advice for your best year ever is to not bother making any. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make plans, but don’t call them New Year’s resolutions – according to the experts we attach too much significance to these and set ourselves up to fail. Not the best way to start your best year ever. And the best time to make a change is/was not on 1st January, but between the 12th and 20th – this is the time when we are more susceptible to changing ourselves for the better. So, how will YOU have the best year ever in 2017? Let’s have a look on what we can do.
We all wish we had a bit more money, but we can all get what we want with what we have – we just need to be better at it. Make a budget. There is a stigma attached to those “living on a budget”, but really it’s common sense to balance the books properly. If you’ve got loans or credit cards try consolidating them to reduce your monthly payments. Some credit card companies offer 0% for a limited time if you transfer an existing balance to them. Do this and save a great deal. Think about what you spend money on and reduce your outgoings by getting ready of unnecessary expenditure. A full year’s gym membership is days away from coming out of your bank account, but you only visited twice last year? Cancel the payment. You need all your money to be spent on useful things for you best year ever. However, if you go to the gym, or you COULD motivate yourself, continue doing it.
If the sum of your leisure activities is falling asleep in front of the TV most evenings and going to the sports bar every Friday night then you need something else for your best year ever. Don’t panic, you can still go to the bar, but you need additional stimulation too. Try going to the cinema or theatre occasionally – you might be surprised at what’s on, particularly if you visit a local arts center.
Book a holiday. It doesn’t need to cost the earth. There are abundant last-minute deals to be had. You won’t believe it, but you could even leave this country for a while. Airbnb is a great way to stay somewhere affordable and you can meet some interesting and varied hosts if you do this. The important thing is to have a change of scenery, to get away from home and recharge your batteries. To have the best year ever, travelling should be on top of your list.
You get enough of this at the bar though, don’t you? Wrong. Listening to the drunk, old racist at the end of the bar is not really intellectually stimulating enough. You need to spend time with like-minded people. A great way to do this is to join a club or take a course. Your local council will have a list of courses that are available – often many of them are free or certainly very cheap. Your local library might have a reading group if that’s your thing, and I’m totally sure it’s so much your thing. There is generally some pretty healthy debate to be had at one of these.
You need to keep your mind active and learning a new skill is a way to do this. If you’ve planned an overseas trip then learning a language, at least conversational stuff, will be a good idea. Or you could learn a musical instrument. The ukulele is apparently quite easy to pick up and you’ll be the next Roy Smeck in no time. Never thought it needs a ukulele to have the best year ever, right?
Give to charity
Yes, charity begins at home, but helping others is a good thing too. The endorphins released by performing a charitable act will make you feel a lot better about yourself. There are researches proofing this. The donation needn’t be money either. Time can be given, or failing that donate a couple of bags of unwanted clothes to your local charity shop. It all helps.
I know I just told you to quit the gym, but your exercise doesn’t have to involve lifting weights or training for triathlons. Walking is the best exercise there is. Try running or walking to town or work instead of taking a bus or taxi. Your body will thank you even more than your wallet will.
Make a bucket list
Everyone should have one, but make it realistic. You’re never going to be the captain of your favorite sports team and you’re probably never going to sleep with a supermodel so scratch those off the list immediately. Think of places you’d like to visit, experiences you’d like to have, food you’d like to eat. A bucket list doesn’t need to be full of impossible dreams. It pays to avoid things like skydiving and bungee jumping too. If you’re not generally an extreme sport kind of guy. Apparently, the mere thought of planning these into your future can raise stress levels. Not the best start to have the best year ever, right?
It sounds so easy: You need to laugh more. You’ve heard all about laughter being the best medicine, well it’s true. Spend time with friends and maybe go to a comedy night. A few hours of side-splitting guffawing will make you feel fantastic. Perhaps have a go at a bit of stand up yourself if you’ve got the funny in you. (OK, you’re allowed to be drunk while doing it.)
Like with a lot of things, there is no money back guarantee with these tips for the best year ever. That being said I can promise you one thing: 2017 will be a damned sight better year if you follow some or all of these tips than 2016 ever could have hoped to be.
What do you think?