1. Save some money. Just $25 a week turns into $100 a month, or $1200 next year. $1200 is enough money to buy a new MacBook. Or four Amazon Alexas. Or a BUNCH of really great dinners. Or whatever else you can think of. And besides the superficial element, saving money will always help future you out should future you need it. Think about future you, and commit to it.
2. Eat a little better. A little goes a long way. When you go get coffee have them make your latte with 2% or skim instead of whole milk. Buy a Nalgene and drink at least two of them with water per day. Give up soda for a while. Pay attention to what you’re eating. Because then if you want to order an extra side of bacon at brunch, it’s not a big deal. Plus that whole feeling healthier thing. That’s a benefit too.
3. Drink more water. As mentioned above, challenge yourself to actually hydrate. Your skin will thank you, your hangovers will thank you, your sleep cycle will thank you. Just all of you will thank you.
4. Talk less, and listen more. Instead of just instantly jumping in (whether it be on social media or IRL or wherever) hear the other person out. EVEN if you adamantly disagree. 99.9% of the time a huge thing for people is simply the idea that they’re being heard. It’s something we all want and appreciate, and you should be able to do that if you expect to receive it.
5. Get outside. You don’t have to become Bear Grylls or decide to Wild yourself. But get some fresh air on a regular basis. Take your dog to the park, walk to the grocery store instead of taking the bus or Uber-ing, go for a run outside instead of on a treadmill. Go out into the world – you’ll be okay.
6. Take a break from takeout. We’re all busy and Seamless and Postmates have made it exponentially easier to constantly be eating noodles and Chipotle instead of cooking. But remember how much you loved coming home to your mom making dinner? Do that for yourself and your roommates or significant other or who-the-hell-ever. It’ll save you some money (full circle) and there’s a nostalgia factor that’s pretty unbeatable.
7. Read. For fun. When was the last time you read something other than a magazine or something online at your desk as a break from work? Pick up a book that seems interesting and read that instead of mindlessly scrolling on Instagram when you say you’re “going to bed.” Your brain will be so grateful.
8. Stop the notification frenzy. You don’t need to check every Snapchat, every Instagram like, every retweet, or every Facebook message the second they come through to your phone. Here’s what you do: Settings -> Notifications -> Select App -> Turn off “Allow Notifications” -> Relax. Those likes will still be there even if you don’t check them right away. I promise.
9. Give your skin some TLC. If you’re not prepared to spend a bunch of money on high end skincare or facials that’s okay – but get some sort of routine going. Having a cleansing routine every night is not only relaxing, but it will set your skin up for success longterm. If you want to really be feelin’ yourself you gotta be able to be feelin’ yourself in your own skin. And having the best, glowing, healthiest skin possible is the first step.
10. Stop blaming ‘the busy factor’ for things. Seriously just stop it. The glorification of being busy in this day and age is frankly, really annoying. Your busy level doesn’t determine anything. Stop using it as an excuse, stop figuratively masturbating to the idea of burning the candle at both ends, stop talking about it the second someone looks your way. Just stop it.
11. Delete numbers you don’t need. The ex you still subtweet? Delete their number. The roommate you almost took to small claims? Buh-bye. The person from a group project you got a C on in 2010? HAGS but also bye. There’s no reason to hold onto numbers that you don’t use. So say goodbye, good luck, and swipe them out of your life.
12. Break one bad habit. Maybe it’s biting your nails, maybe it’s staying up too late, maybe it’s constantly skipping the gym, maybe it’s just forgetting to lock your door at night. Whatever! It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So choose one, mark the end date on the calendar, and make this tiny change to your life.
13. Learn to apologize. Owning your mistakes is something I think everyone struggles with. But it’s necessary. Instead of just waiting for things to blow over or pretending like they don’t exist, just own it. Say you’re sorry. And then everyone can move on.
14. Give yourself a break. You have to remember that you can’t do everything, be everything, be everyone, everywhere, etc etc. Give yourself a second to not be a superhero. Everything will be fine if you take a breather.
15. Ignore negativity. If there’s someone who you just cannot stand to be around, don’t actively be around them. If there’s a situation that just makes you want to rip your hair out, avoid it as best you can. Stop surrounding yourself with people, places, and/or things that directly cause you to be unhappy. You deserve to treat yourself and your life better than that.
16. Drink less. Wine is great. Wine is so, so, so great. But you don’t need to down a bottle yourself all the time. Cut back your boozing to just weekends or limit yourself to only a glass or two during the week. Dry out a little bit. You’ll survive.
17. Simply choose to make 2017 better. The first step in bettering yourself or having a better year than the one prior is to decide you want to do it. You will never make changes to your life accidentally – you have to WANT to make them. So decide what tiny little thing you want to change and then just do it. Even if it’s simply to prove to yourself that you can. You won’t regret it.