The new year brings with it the opportunity to start fresh; to lay down a blank canvas and begin a new and exciting journey. It is a chance to clear your mind of the negatives that may have troubled you from the past, and to look towards a positive future.

It’s hard to resist reverting back to old habits or ways, and the future is a roll of a dice that doesn’t always land in your favor. The unexpected, and often times erratic nature of life means you must do everything you can to make everything within your control positive.

Having a set of carefully planned things you can do will ensure your impact on 2016 is as positive as you can make it. There exists a plethora of these kinds of options, but it’s important to note that not every action may be possible for everybody. That is why you must take into consideration your unique circumstances, and establish what things will best help you and your life.

Here are 5 of the best things you can do to ensure you leave 2016 behind having left a positive impact.

1. Get in shape, be healthy, and feel good.

Looking after your health is undoubtedly the most essential of all of the potential changes you can make. Falling ill or feeling unwell all the time can severely impact your potential.

Not everything to do with health and wellbeing is in your control, but the things that are should be looked over with a watchful eye.

Being in shape is one of the best ways to put your mind on track to becoming strong and confident. You don’t need a strict workout regimen to become fit and healthy – you just need to remain active and be on the move. Taking up a hobby or activity with a close friend or partner that gets you active is a great way to get in shape and have fun at the same time. Not only will you be staying fit, but the weekly (or daily) things you choose to do will be an enjoyment rather than a chore.

Diet is also one of those things that can be completely within your control (granted, with a few exceptions). If you’re genuinely lost about foods that are nutritional and healthy, seek out the help of a nutritionist for a diet that’s designed with your unique circumstances in mind.

2. Help others in need.

If you have the ability to help others that are worse off than you, who are having a rough time, and are in need, you should seriously consider doing so. Not everybody has full control over their circumstances, and sometimes a little help can go a long way. You don’t have to set aside a large chunk of your time or money every week to help out at a homeless shelter (although, that definitely would be positive), as even small things mean a lot to many people in need. After all, it’s the thought that counts! One random act of kindness from you, can mean another person’s entire day has been made.

3. Try something new.

Sometimes going out of your comfort zone can be the best decision you’ve made in a while. It gives you the chance to take new perspectives and to see things from a different point of view. Going out and trying something different, especially something you thought you wouldn’t like, can often times garner unexpected results. Even if your intuition is proved correct, you still added another experience to your personal repertoire, and if nothing extremely bad happens, what’s the harm?

Perhaps you’ve always been intrigued by something, but have never had the incentive or the drive to try it. You never know what something will give you unless you try it, and giving up on something before you even give it a chance is definitely not the way to make 2016 positive.

4. See the world

You can only do so much in the small place you call home. Going abroad can give you an opportunity to do more things, and have a greater positive impact on the new year. Seeing new places gives you a better understanding on what life is like in different corners of the world. You’ll have a greater insight into how people conduct their lives, and have a broader understanding of what the world is like.

Gaining new experiences, and opening yourself up to different ways of thinking will also have a positive impact on you personally- not to mention those who you may come into contact with on your travels.

5. Decide what’s important in your life, and cut out what isn’t.

Everything that’s important to you must be taken care of, and everything else must be disregarded. Things that drag you behind, that hinder you from doing the things you love, from being a better person, from having a positive impact, have to be let go. This can mean anything, from negative people, to bad habits, to things that you simply don’t need anymore.

The things that are truly important to you should always have priority. The hard part is deciding what stays, and what goes. What do you enjoy doing? What gives you utter satisfaction, and what do you love? Do those things, be around those people, and keep that stuff that makes you happy.

Making sure your priorities are in order means your happiness is in order. Being a happy, life loving person means you’ll have ample ability to make a positive stamp on the new year. Let go of the things that you don’t need, of the things that give you nothing but negativity, and cherish and grow the things that help you be a better you.

Featured photo credit: The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia via flickr.com

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