How to Make This Year YOUR Year

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“Today is never too late to be brand new.”
– Taylor Swift, “Innocent.”

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Cheers to the new year. The world was supposed to have ended countless times, and yet we’re still here; so, let’s make the best of it. Here’s to new beginnings and making life better for yourself. Here’s to making changes and not living the life that you promised yourself you wouldn’t live as a child. This is the time to be the best you that you can be. Here’s how to do just that this new year.

Identify what is holding you back – then cut it out of your life.

A bad boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other? A bad friend? Bad self-talk? A chemistry class that makes you sick to enter? Whatever it is, you can live without it. You will be okay, I promise. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past two years, it’s that you shouldn’t doubt your capability to cope. Don’t doubt for one second that you won’t be able to live without or to get passed something. Just do what’s best for yourself. You won’t regret it.

Indulge in the finer things in life.

I’m not saying you have to go out and buy yourself the finest jewelry or the coolest new whatcha-ma-call-it. The finer things in life don’t have to break the bank. Indulge in the way your mom always laughs at your jokes or in the smile your friend gives you after you’ve had a hard day or in getting waffles at midnight. Don’t overlook the small moments that make up life. We often forget how much they mean.

Think about what you want to get done in life.

Planning can be scary and the future frightening, but just take a second and think about it. Be as extravagant as you please. Don’t think about what could hold you back; think about what’s going to propel you forward. This is your life, and if you play it safe the whole time, then what is the point? No one gets second chances at life, but if you do it right, one chance is enough.

Do it.

Identify the steps you need to take to get to where you need to go in order to live the life you want. It’s okay to spend time on yourself; you deserve it. Start a savings account for going back to school. Look at home prices in far-off places. Buy that puppy you’ve wanted ever since you were little. Want something for yourself and make it happen.

Think often about the things and people that inspire you.

When you hit a rough patch, because they will hit you hard, think to yourself: “Would _________ want me to give up because of this?” For me, that blank is often replaced with people such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. When life gets a little harder than usual, just think about the little things in your life that have inspired you to go down the path you’ve chosen. Remember the moment when you realized that what you’re doing is worthwhile and means something to you. This too shall pass.

Just, please, take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.

Compliment yourself often. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you will eventually. Happiness and love are inside jobs; if you want either of those things, you need to learn to conjure it alone before you can allow someone else to do it for you. Read old books, eat ice cream, make art, and sing things at the top of your lungs. Spend time with yourself and learn to appreciate every single bit about you. You may not love every single thing about yourself, but you must appreciate the flaws, for they make you the person who you are — and that is a wonderful thing.

 

Happy New Year, folks. May this one be the best one yet.

Dreaming of life beyond cornfields and cow poop, fifteen-year-old Illinoian Claire Farnsworth tries to make the most out of her final four years in the midwest. When she’s not reading anything and everything, trying to be half as funny as Mindy Kaling, or volunteering, she’s probably daydreaming about Niall Horan in math class. With music taste ranging from One Direction and 5SOS to Birdy to Fall Out Boy, she’s always looking for new tunes.

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