I’m writing this on January 1, 2017. Moving on to a brand new year feels like a fresh start, doesn’t it? Writing this very post feels cathartic somehow, like I’m absorbing the lessons of 2016, while purging any lingering negativity. A major part of moving on to a new year is always the resolutions. Because a new year is like having a clean slate—a gift from our orbiting Earth to start anew. Did you make any resolutions?

Way I see it, the practice of making these promises to ourselves derives from one simple thing: we want this year to be different from last year.

We want to grow. We want to change. We want to be better, richer, and happier than ever before. Repeat last year’s events enough times, and you’ll start feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Living life, but not progressing in any direction (and year after year, rather than day after day. Eesh). So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?

How do you make 2017 different from 2016?

The answer is simple and easy. And while it fully rests in your power to execute, even the execution becomes easy with what I’m about to tell you. Almost too easy. You ready?

Decide on your big goal or resolution, no matter how scary or impossible it may seem, and break it down into SMALL ACHIEVABLE DAILY GOALS. See? I told you it was simple. Yep, that’s all. And here, I’m even providing a Making-2017-My-Bitch calendar for you. Print it out every month, fill it out, and stick it on your refrigerator.

THEN DO THE THINGS. Cross each day off as you go. Make this practice part of your daily routine.

I promise you, if you do the things, 2017 will be a year of huge manifestation. The year 2017 will be your bitch and you’ll have that growth, change, betterment, richness, and happiness you hope to achieve. And you don’t even have to be overwhelmed!

Want to write a novel? That sounds insane. But not if you write just one page every day. By the end of the year, you’ll have a 365-page novel, and you’ll feel like you barely even lifted a finger. Want to quit smoking? Smoke one less cigarette per day every week. Very soon, you won’t be smoking anymore. Want to get a project funded? Submit a letter to one grant program, scholarship, or contest every week. By the end of the year you’ll have created 52 possibilities, and made 52 connections.

So, you’re thinking this seems too easy, huh? Alright fine. You want a few bonus things to do?

3 Bonus things for making 2017 different from 2016

  1. Decide on one or two people you trust to hold you accountable. Share your plan and your calendar with them. There. Now it’s been spoken out loud to someone not inside your head. Ask them to follow up with you on a weekly basis to make sure you’re staying on track. You may even want to insist on paying this person a small fee for their accountability service, so both parties in the deal are taking it seriously.
  2. Offer help to others in any and every circumstance you are able to. This bonus thing is completely separate from your plan, and yet you’ll be amazed at how helping others comes back to you and enriches your life in ways you never thought possible. “Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.”—Albert Einstein said that. Help others and you may even reach your goal ahead of time.
  3. Express gratitude in some way, every single day, consciously and with intention. Say what you’re thankful for out loud as you get ready for bed at night. Call someone and tell them what you’re thankful for (or that you’re thankful for them), or write it in a journal.

Okay friends, report back next year and tell me how it went. I can’t wait to hear!

Cheers to making 2017 your bitch.

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