How To Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever


Standing in line at the grocery store, I read the magazine covers as I waited my turn. There it was as it always is — ‘How To Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever’. Every December with the current year not quite over, the editors trot out their list for creating a spectacular next year. The Christmas tree is just up and we are in the holiday rush, but don’t forget to forge your campaign for taking on the following twelve months.

Admittedly, when I worked for a living in the corporate denizens, I paid attention to such things. I read the articles on self-improvement and marketing my skills to the boss. I listed goals to be achieved in order to gain a promotion or larger paycheck. And, yes I did this in the throes of the holiday rush of decorating, gift buying, cookie baking and parties. Working in real estate, especially commercial real estate, this was also the busiest time of year. Rush, rush, rush.

Now I’m the boss. I do what I want when I want. Oh, to be sure, I have looked ahead to 2017. I have reflected on 2016, a rough year for most of the world. These days my contemplation is done at a slower pace, no need to squeeze it in along with the galloping pace of the holidays. But, if I were to make a personal list now for creating the best year ever, this is where I would start.

1. Slow down. There is no need to rush into the new year or anything else for that matter. Enjoy the present moment.

2. However, continue to make goals for yourself. Without a compass, you could lose your way. Goals provide direction, clarity of purpose. We still need purpose in our lives.

3. Try something you always wanted to do. Discover your passion. Ask yourself what you always wanted to try, but were too busy, too timid, too concerned about what others might think about you, to try it.

4. Meet new people. Staying engaged with other people is known to keep your mind and body from declining. Join a club. Volunteer for a non-profit, hospital, school or religious organization. Go to your local senior center.

5. Learn something new. Learn to play guitar, speak a new language, play chess, knit a scarf, paint a picture.

6. Travel in your own backyard. What is your area known for? Are there parks, museums, historic sites you never visited even though you toured someplace thousands of miles away? Take a local tour in 2017.

That’s where I would start to make 2017 the best year ever. I may even wait until January 1 to create my specific list. After all, it’s only December. No rush.

10 comments on “How To Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

  1. Pingback: How To Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever — Kathy’s Retirement Blog | juantetcts

  2. another great blog post….the key to all the doom & gloom: stay positive…love Shel Silverstein’s poem …a funny reminder let go of the “whatifs”….

    Whatif by Shel Silverstein

    Last night, while I lay thinking here,
    some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
    and pranced and partied all night long
    and sang their same old Whatif song:
    Whatif I’m dumb in school?
    Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
    Whatif I get beat up?
    Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
    Whatif I start to cry?
    Whatif I get sick and die?
    Whatif I flunk that test?
    Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
    Whatif nobody likes me?
    Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
    Whatif I don’t grow talle?
    Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
    Whatif the fish won’t bite?
    Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
    Whatif they start a war?
    Whatif my parents get divorced?
    Whatif the bus is late?
    Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
    Whatif I tear my pants?
    Whatif I never learn to dance?
    Everything seems well, and then
    the nighttime Whatifs strike again!


  3. Sorry, but I have to disagree. Your list for 2017 is the “cookie cutter” approach that appear readily online. I would like to hear what do those retirees do who don’t want to play an instrument, learn a foreign language, volunteer, etc. do. Activities just to fill up the calendar don’t do it. Guess I am struggling to find myself in retirement.


  4. Last year I picked a word for the year and created a 2016 Vision Board – and did both activities in January. It was a good time to do that with the cold, gloomy (it’s always gray in my city in January) days following the holidays. I found both activities very helpful in creating my goals for the year…and plan to do the same this year. I’m a firm believer in goals and plans. I’ve discovered I need them for “survival”! I think I’ll put your ideas in front of me for that – new people, new places, new things to learn. Thanks for the inspiration.


  5. Thank you Kathy. I always enjoy your thoughts. Yes, I like your pointers and will follow most of them because I can’t help myself.

    (By the way, I love your falling snow over the blog. But I live in Australia. I am 72 years old, but I only saw snow for the first time in my life when I went to Northern China two years ago. That one is now checked off the Bucket list.)

    I’m not being too politically correct this year – so I can say to you – and all of your readers too:
    Have a wonderful and a very very blessed Christmas.



    • Thank you Graham. I like snow at Christmas and, since it’s a rare sight in South Carolina, I add the falling snow to my blog. I also do not view saying ‘Merry Christmas’ as politically incorrect. While it’s important to be inclusive of all peoples, I believe it’s important to honor one’s faith and traditions by recognizing it. It is part of our individuality. I don’t see the harm. Maybe this would make a good blog post. Merry Christmas to you and I’m glad to hear you got to China and saw snow! K


  6. Hi Kathy, thanks for this blog post and especially for reminding me that I need to slow down! I am always moving too fast; I don’t know how to slow down, it’s just how I’m hard-wired I guess. But, I recently fractured a bone in my foot and am forced to slow down, much to my dismay and frustration. I think my Higher Power has been telling me, but I have not been listening. So….
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


  7. And the best advice is: “Meet new people. Staying engaged with other people is known to keep your mind and body from declining. Join a club. Volunteer for a non-profit, hospital, school or religious organization. Go to your local senior center.” Expand your sphere and your influence to make the best year ever.


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