5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

two girls outside in winter sitting on a snowy log with books

What do you have planned for your 2017 New Year’s resolutions?

Some of us get really into making New Year’s Resolutions. Others of us feel discouraged and frustrated by how often we’ve burned out by mid-January. Whichever side you fall on, it’s always good to take a moment to assess your life and think about where you want it to go. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for 2017 to help you face the future with a hopeful heart.

1. Be strong.

There are many ways to be strong beyond just physical exercise. Yes: you should take care of your body. But you should also take care of your spirit. Think about ways you’ve struggled to stand up for yourself. Whether you’ve dismissed your own dreams, or allowed someone else to dismiss you as a person, make this the year you fight for yourself.

2. Plan for your future.

Think past 2017. Way past. What’s something in your life that you hope to achieve some day? How can what you’re doing right now help you achieve it? Maybe you decide to start saving more, or you sign up for classes to gain a new skill, or you begin building a professional network. Whatever your goal is, you can start laying the ground work this year. Maybe you’ll make that goal sooner than you think.

3. Learn something new.

Learning a new skill boosts your confidence and changes your understanding of yourself. One day you were a person who couldn’t do something, and now, through your own effort, you are a person who can. Maybe you haven’t practiced music since you were a kid. Or you’ve always wanted to try dancing, but never started. Or you’d really like to be able to cook and host a dinner party for your friends. Stop being the person who can’t, and be the person who can.

4. Give back.

We could all use some extra support these days. Think about how you can give back to others, be they near or far. Maybe you’d like to invest more in your relationships with certain friends or family, or you’d like to become more involved in your community. Or maybe there’s a certain charity that you want to contribute more to in 2017. No matter what you do, big or small, you’ll find it makes a difference.

5. Form a healthy habit.

Sometimes the biggest changes start with a very small step. Maybe you decide to get up a half hour earlier, or take a walk in the morning. Drink a big glass of water at lunch, or listen to an audiobook on your morning commute. Small changes can add up to something far more significant, so think about one small thing you could do to change your life for the better.

Begin as you mean to continue.

Yes, in a practical sense, the new year is just another page turning over on the calendar. But it can also be a great chance to reset the clock and to start building the habits and practices that will serve you best in the years to come. Think about where you want to go, and start going there. There’s no time like the present.

Happy New Year!

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.