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10 Ideas You Have to Try in 2017

Updated on February 11, 2017
Marissa Ridgway profile image

Marlene Ridgway is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English from Davis & Elkins College.

There are plenty of open doors for you this year

It’s been said, shared, tweeted, and reposted that 2016 was nothing short of a major disappointment. From bad weather to lost celebrities and a hellish political race, some of us were overwhelmed by negativity as we rang in the new year. Last year left us wanting—and while there was quite a bit of pessimism there was also a swell of optimism, or should I call it determination, to change the story in 2017. As we dive into the second month of this year, here are some things you can do to make this year better than last.

1. Travel

There’s no time like the present. As cliche as that sounds it’s rooted in truth. Despite your attempts to plan out 2017, there will inevitably be several curve balls to throw you off balance. If traveling is something that you’ve wanted to do it’s time to buckle down and make it happen. Believe it or not but there will never be a perfect time to do anything, move, have a baby, quit your job, or travel the world. There are going to be obstacles, you might have to work longer hours, or take some time off work. Do it anyway. Traveling is one of the most rewarding, educational, eye-opening experiences you can have in life. Don’t let another year go by without making it happen. Wow Air offers flights to Europe for as little as $179, you can definitely afford that. Even if you can’t swing a trip to Europe right now, take a day trip! Take a day trip every single weekend this summer. Go somewhere different and see something different and you’re on your way to a stellar year. Trust me, even the stories you’ll have will be enough to turn things around.

2. Speak Up

The political whirlwind that we’ve already been sucked into is enough to get people talking. Take this opportunity to stand up for something you believe in and speak up about it. I’m not suggesting you throw yourself into a raging group of protestors. There a plenty of ways for you to spread your message in a peaceful way. First of all, there are peaceful protests out there, don’t let anyone fool you. Carefully research an event before attending, feel out the crowd, and always bring a friend. Or you can stay out of the protesting game altogether. Sharing information with family and friends, calling your Congressperson, writing a letter, or submitting something to your local paper are ways that you can speak up for something you believe in. Speaking out can help you feel connected to an issue and it’s definitely something you should do this year.

3. Have A Party

Once again, I’m not suggesting anything crazy. You don’t have to throw a rager, but have a little fun with it. Throwing a party can be a great excuse to clean your house at the very least. Plan a small get together with exciting food and great music. Throwing a small party can be something to look forward to and a chance to reconnect with friends and family. It can be overwhelming to stay in touch with your whole lists of contacts but throwing a party allows you to spend time with everyone in one place. In addition, throwing a party doesn’t have to break your bank or stress you out. First, pick a theme, something fun that will get people excited. Decorations don’t have to be wild, a few carefully considered decorations can go a long way. You also don’t have to cater your party or serve a full course meal. Appetizers can be fun to make and inexpensive, you can even ask your guests to bring their favorites. There are so any directions you can go in with this idea. People are often intimidated by the idea of throwing a party, but it’s something exciting to do and plan this year.

4. Blog About It

I know, it seems like everyone is blogging these days from moms to college students, and you might be thinking there’s no way you have the time or writing skills to get a following. Well, you don’t have to get a following and you don’t have to be a professional writer. You can even keep it private if you want. Think of it as an online journal or photo album. A blog can be a good way for you to really focus on a hobby that you have. You finally have a reason to spend your days off renting kayaks and floating in the sun if you can take pictures and write about it. At the very least you have something concrete to look back on. It two months time you’re going to love looking back at what you’ve been doing, and if you gain a few loyal followers, what will it hurt? The best part about blogging, it can eventually be a way to supplement your income. A few extra dollars each month can definitely land this year higher up on your list.

5. Visit Every Restaurant In Town

After spending four years in my small college town I realized that I barely knew anything about it. A few weeks before graduation someone asked me ‘where is the best place to eat in town?’. I’m sad to say that the initial response in my head was Sheetz. In my defense, this was also the only place in town open 24 hours a day, which was a major deal for us college kids. This sad revelation also made me realize that although I had been to a few places around town, I barely knew the town I was living in. Even if you’ve lived in the same town for ten years there are still new things out there for you to see. Pick a new restaurant every week and just order dessert or an appetizer. The places that you like will be your next night out.

6. Put It In A Box

Another thing that I learned in college is that it is entirely possible to have everything that you need and make it fit in half of a dorm room. Everything that you need to live can fit in a very small space, much smaller than you would think. So looking around at all of the things in your apartment on in your house you might start to realize that you have more than enough stuff. Whether it’s those clothes in the back of your closet or that stack of books you haven’t looked at since college you can stand to declutter a little bit. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of spring cleaning right now you can certainly start off small. You can even start really small and begin with your purse or your wallet. Dump all of the old receipts and shopping lists that have piled up. The next time you reach into pay for gas you’ll feel ten times lighter. After you’ve taken that small step you can move on to bigger projects, such as your car and then your closet. Don’t make the mistake of taking on too much at one time because this can be discouraging. If you start a big project you could potentially run out of steam and motivation just as you’ve pulled everything out of your house and put it in the living room. It’s okay to start small.

7. Mix Up Your Music

Some of us out there have been listening to the same music since we first burned it onto our mix CDs in high-school and it could be time to change it up. Put a little extra ‘umph’ in your playlist by scoping out new artists and albums on Spotify or Pandora. As time goes on your taste can change and you might discover something you love. Don’t get stuck in a rut this year, get out there and get a taste for something new. Some new music can rehabilitate your workouts, your drive to work, or your next night out. Mix everything up this year.

8. Give Yourself a Gift Every Month

Maybe you’ve heard of these deals before but never really stopped to consider them. Usually, you sign up, pay a monthly subscription fee, and every month you get a box of something in the mail. There are plenty of options from new makeup samples to fresh clothes to preplanned meals. Each month a box is delivered to your door and you get to try all sorts of new products. There are usually around five new products in each box. A couple popular options are as followed, Birchbox and Ipsy are great if you’re looking to try new makeups and similar products. Degustabox allows you to try new snacks and foods that you might not pick up at the grocery store. All of these boxes usually range from five to ten dollars, which isn’t a huge investment and totally worth it. These boxes are fun. It’s like Christmas morning when you pop these open. They allow you to try all sorts of new products right in your own home. Why not start this year off with a little inexpensive fun.

9. Cut Back on the Netflix Marathoning

Netflix is practically an extension of myself and marathoning through seasons of a new show is not foreign territory to me. However, considering just how much time we all spend on our phones and on the internet, I know I could benefit from a little time away from the screen. I would never suggest cutting Netflix out cold turkey but lighten up on the Scandal and Prison Break sessions. You’ll be surprised at how much time you have on your hands. Also, if you’re falling asleep to Netflix you could switch it up by reading a book. Chances are you will sleep better if Michael Scofield isn’t trying to break out of another prison just a few feet away on your computer screen. Cutting back on Netflix, Hulu, or even scrolling through Facebook as soon as you wake up could leave you with enough time to go for a morning jog, to read the news, or even catch up on sleep. I know how easy it is to get sucked into the world of commercial-less TV, but try to remember to come up for air occasionally this time around.

10. And Forget About 2016

Last but not least let’s all try to forget about 2016 and how it really didn’t pan out for some of us. An entire nation, a whole generation has talked 2016 to death, there’s really no need for us to discuss it further. The new year just started. We even got a trial run in January, now it’s time to step it up and make sure that we don't repeat history. Try something new, try everything on this list, or try something completely different but don’t settle for another year of disappointments, or wanting, or wishing, make it happen this year. So when New Year’s Eve rolls around we can all look back on 2017 and decide that it was infinitely better than the previous 2016.

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