25 Ways To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

Liz Ryan, CONTRIBUTOR

I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life.  

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

If you are feeling a rush of new-year euphoria, jump on it — because it won’t last! Take a moment or a couple of hours within the next three days to sit down and think about the upcoming year.

Create a vision for yourself, looking back twelve months from now. What do you want to be different in your life and career in January, 2018?

You deserve to get altitude on your life and career, at this momentous moment! It’s a new year and a new chance to follow your path wherever you want to go.

Here are 25 ways to make 2017 your best year ever!

25 Ways To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

  1. Everybody sets New Year’s resolutions and abandons them, and that’s why I’m not a fan of resolution-setting. When you set New Year’s resolutions your critical self is yelling at the rest of you, saying “Why can’t you get your act together?” This year, forget the resolutions and get a journal, instead. Give yourself the gift of self-reflection. It’s free and only takes a little time every few days.
  2. Write about these topicsin your journal or write about your ideal job. The more clearly you can see your ideal situation the more easily you’ll spot the steps, conversations and activities that will bring you and your dream job closer together.
  3. If you’re working now, think about your current job. You have two priorities at work: 1) to please your manager and hit your goals, and 2) to grow your flame and increase your marketability. You can accomplish both priorities just by doing your job with altitude — with an awareness not just of your metrics and the steps to reach them but also of your own development.
  4. Take every opportunity you get in 2017 to try something completely new — at work, at home or in your social life. The best way to grow muscles is to use them! Get out of your comfort zone every chance you get.
  5. Try a new dish every week, listen to new music and shake up your routine. Travel to work a different way from your usual commute. Try a different grocery store. Shake  it up in 2017 and see how your creative brain rewards you!
  6. Think about your network, even if you’re not job-hunting. Make a list of ten people who lift you up and make you feel good. Invite each of those folks for a lunch, coffee or dinner in January. Follow up if they are slow getting back to you! Your support network is a vital source of mojo — in both directions.
  7. Set intention around rising above whatever petty office dramas greet you in January and throughout the new year. It is possible to float through office politics without getting wrapped up in them. It takes awareness more than anything else. You have to get enough altitude to see that it couldn’t matter less what Sam thinks of Andrea or vice versa or who will end up with a promotion and who won’t. All of that is background noise. It has nothing to do with you, your flame or your brilliant path.
  8. Give yourself a tiny treat every day. The time and attention you give yourself will pay off enormously. Make your favorite snack to bring to work or cut up fruit for your water bottle or take just a second to reward yourself because you deserve it, every single day.
  9. Limit your time in 2017 with people who suck away your mojo.
  • Your To-Do  list gets shorter but it’s never empty. It cannot be empty because if you caught up on everything you have to do, a hundred other things would appear behind them, things you’ve been wanting to do if you ever get caught up. Put down your To-Do list for a few moments each day and ask these questions: am I happy where I am right now? Do I need to shift things at my job, or look for a new job? Does my work support my life?
  • Practice a new habit of thanking people around you, at work and elsewhere, just because everyone gets so little acknowledgment and it is so nice to recognize people and to be recognized.
  • Build something creative and audacious into your 2017 plans. It is a momentous year. What will you tackle this year that you haven’t quite been ready to deal with until now?
  • When you can’t sleep because you are reliving the day at work and worrying about things you could have done or said differently, say this to yourself: “I did the best I could today. I gave what I had and that is all anyone can do. Anyone who doesn’t get me, doesn’t deserve me!”
  • Think about your LinkedIn profile, not because you are necessarily job-hunting but because LinkedIn shows a very public side of you to anyone who wanders by your profile page. How do you want the world to see you? You can put a human voice in your LinkedIn profile, a little more strongly every time you edit it.
  • Go through your closet and get rid of the clothes that don’t feel like you anymore. If you wouldn’t pull out a particular item and wear it to work tomorrow (or the first day the weather allows), donate it. Clear out space for new things, ideas and people to come into your life in 2017!
  • Pick up the clarinet that you put down when you started law school. Get back into musical theater or chess or whatever you dropped using the excuse “My work keeps me too busy.” You owe your creative self the opportunity to show itself.
  • Grab the local newspaper in your town and read about something new you can try, visit or experience. Get the tickets or take the steps to make it happen. Everybody falls into ruts. Climb out, one step at a time!
  • Read a book that is not a business book. Here are some recommendations:
    1. The Elegant Universeby Brian Greene
    2. The Time Falling Bodies Take to Lightby William Irwin Thompson
    3. The Alphabet Versus the Goddessby Leonard Shlain
    4. Get Shortyby Elmore Leonard
    5. Made in Americaby Bill Bryson
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs and play them during your commute, when you’re chilling at home or whenever you want. It’s your life — you get to design the soundtrack!
  • Make a list of the twenty most daunting items on your To-Do list at home and at work. Now ask yourself about each item, “Why am I doing this?” Some of the reasons are likely to be bad reasons, like “I don’t want my friend to be mad at me” or “To win brownie points at work.” Simplify your life in 2017 by telling the truth!
  • If you eat your lunch at your desk at work, choose one day per week to get up and walk around outside instead.
  • Choose something you could learn to do at work and start learning it — either on your own or with your manager’s support. I met a young man recently who earns his living via a YouTube channel that teaches  people how to repair cell phones. I asked him “How did you learn all that stuff?” He said “I learned it from a different guy on YouTube, but he has stopped recording. I picked up where he left off.” It’s amazing what you can teach yourself.
  • Recruit a Reinvention Buddy and get together with them at least once a month, every month. Spend your time together talking through your self-reflection and flame-growing activities. You will coach one another!
  • Seek out opportunities to grow your flame by doing something creative, solving tough problems at work or anywhere and doing things you love to do. Your housework and your professional work will always be there. When the sun is out, get outside!
  • Go easy on yourself. You carry a heavy load. You do a great job at it. It’s your life and no one else’s. Not everyone will get you and that’s fine. Your job is to find the people who do!