01/23/2017 Steph Anderson

Bouncing back after a troublesome 2016

We’re a few weeks into 2017, but the sting of 2016 remains. For a lot of people, it was a tough year. Many big companies like Wells Fargo, Twitter and Samsung didn’t do so hot. We lost some really awesome celebrities like Prince, Muhammad Ali and Carrie Fisher. The election seemed dirtier than ever and scandal rumors continue into the new year.

So how do you shake off the shadow of last year so you can fully bounce back? The key is to focus on yourself and what you can control. Here are five ways to refresh your attitude and life approach so you can take 2017 by storm.

Remain optimistic: Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on the positive. It’s easy to get down given the steady stream of negative headlines, but right now there are positive things happening too. The economy is great and job markets are rocking. There’s always a silver lining, and when you look at the glass as half full, you’ll be amazed by how your perspective can change your perception.

Focus on gratitude: Americans often focus on what they want, not what they have. Try a simple daily exercise: Before you get out of bed, think of three things you’re grateful for. It could be your health, your house, soft new sheets, coffee — anything that makes your day brighter. By doing this each morning you set the tone for the entire day. Try it with your kids over breakfast and everyone will stay more grounded and focused.

Inspire change locally: If you’re upset about the election results, it’s going to be tough as the new administration takes over. When big changes are happening, it can feel like so much is out of your control. That’s why you should focus on the impact you can make at a local level. Look into volunteering. Get involved in community improvement programs. Communicate with your local government officials about important issues.

Make a plan: You can’t will something to happen. If you want something to change, you need to make a plan. To advance your career, write down steps to get you to your goal: take a class, volunteer for a new project, step outside your comfort zone, meet with your boss. Same goes with personal goals. Whether it’s visiting the gym twice each week or reading a new book every month, you need to write it down and make it happen.

Create a 2017 bucket list: A bucket list usually focuses on big things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” In 2017, focus more on the present by creating a bucket list you want to complete before the year’s end. It could involve travel, exploring local parks, trying a new hobby, etc. Add things that you tend to put off. Working through the list will bring you a lot of joy and could make 2017 your most productive and happy year yet.