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How to Make Every Year YOUR Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WMU chapter.


Whether you want to lose weight this upcoming year, quit smoking or may be you want to take steps in living a happier and truer life, all can be made possible through changing your mindset. It is entirely possible to make 2014, or for that matter any year, your year as along as you are willing to keep to your word of making it your year.  Saying you want to have a successful and happy year and actually making the huge life changes in order for that to be accomplished are two completely different things.

Personally, 2013 was one of the greatest years of my life thus far. I accomplished most, if not all of the goals I set out accomplish as well as changed my entire perspective on my future and without a doubt, my life. Sure, some weeks were harder than others, while some months I would love to relive to feel the pure enjoy and happiness I felt, but that’s not the way life works.

All in all, I made sure to commit to the mindset of being the change I wanted to see in 2013.


And here’s what I came up with to offer to anyone who wants to really live what I call “the good life” in 2014:

(Author’s note: I realize that my life is in no way, shape or form better than anyone else’s, nor is this a competition to who has accomplished what and when and their success level. These are just some key points I realized changed my entire life for the better and it’s all doable within a year.)

Be realistic.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and of course it wasn’t! It’s Rome! Perfect bodies aren’t built in a year either, so why is it when every new year rolls around we hate our bodies? It’s not even that we hate our bodies, but we want them different, as soon as possible. It’s not realistic to make a promise to yourself that you will lose twenty pounds before the end of February when you haven’t set foot in a gym in over a year.

It isn’t only about being realistic about weight loss or quitting smoking, but it’s seeing what is possible and what isn’t for your life. By setting these over the top, outlandish goals with no bridgework leading up to them to ensure success, it turns into a recipe for disaster.

Set obtainable goals or even plant the idea of change within yourself. If you really want to do something huge, such as lose twenty pounds in two months, think about your own body and especially think about how you keep to your word.


Take a deep look at yourself and decide what you want to change, need to change and should change.

Most of the time I think we overlook our personality faults because fixing them takes time. More importantly fixing our flaws takes admitting we aren’t perfect. You have to want to admit to those faults. You also have to want to take accountability for your actions in order to understand why these personality glitches are holding you back from being the best you possible.

I notice this the most with people complaining about being single (because God forbid someone is single). People, mainly over Twitter, rant and rant about heartbreak and being lonely. It’s as though they forget the world is watching their every move (Thanks social media and the government!), so continuously sounding sappy day in and day out doesn’t do wonders for the waiting line to date you.


Look at each day for the beauty it has to offer.

It’s sounds just as corny as it is, but it’s true. Not everything that didn’t go your way has robbed you of your entire Tuesday. It just hasn’t. That’s impossible. It takes a well-minded person to see past whatever started the day off poorly. To realize something so little as forgetting a mitten won’t ruin your day will bring you a sense of calmness I wish I had the power to put into words. It’s a remarkable feeling acknowledging something didn’t go as expected and then realizing the world will still go on.

A subcategory of this bullet point would be: if you don’t like something, change it. If the day is giving you hell, do something that you enjoy. Whenever I have a bad day, I like to listen to Whitney Houston and sing my brains out in my kitchen.  I admit to what went wrong throughout the day, but I don’t let it continuously determine my tomorrow. It can’t or else we would all be in a downward spiral.

Realizing the beauty that is you have your own control of your fate as well as the outcome of your day is a tremendous feeling. I also think that this type of mindset can’t be forced. You really have to want to see the good in the little things because there is a difference between only seeing something and actually understanding its addition to the bigger picture.


Let go… of the petty bullshit that’s keeping you down

“What is she wearing?” “Why is she with him, he’s so out of her league.” Who cares? As all of our parents have told us time and time again, if it doesn’t involve you, don’t bother with it. Easier said then done. As we grow older, we start to consume ourselves with social fads and stereotypes, so it becomes harder to not feed into what everyone is saying, whether it be petty or not. I can promise you that as soon as you let go of petty things as well as anything that is bringing you down, you’ll start to look at life differently. You will start to wake up each day with a different attitude. Outside factors may affect your day, but letting them continue to bring you down won’t help you get out of your rut either.


Find a way to give back, and do it

I wouldn’t be where I am at this point in my life if it weren’t for the people who continue to love and support me. They have pulled me out of dark places and have cheered me through the brightest of bright times. Through 2013, I realized that I wanted to change the world, and I am crazy enough to truly believe I will. I started to feel passionate about giving back to people less fortunate than myself. Every time I accomplished something I set out to accomplish, I would try to make a point to give anything I could back. I volunteered at the daycare at the Gospel Mission. I helped sort out food at the food bank. Or even something so basic as sending cards to the people in my life just to say “hi.”  I realized that humanity can be changed through just one person’s actions. If you don’t believe that, you should really change your attitude. Because, it’s true; smiling at someone is the easiest way you can give back.

We wouldn’t be anywhere without our surroundings, so why not give back to it?


Love and trust yourself

Through this entire experience I realized I couldn’t hate myself for my flaws, rather develop a mindset to help me gain what I had lost back; the love for who I am. I can’t change the past. Who I am today is because I am a product of life events that made me grow up real quick. But do I still look in the mirror and think I could lose a few pounds? Yes, but I can confidently say if I don’t ever lose those pesky pounds, it won’t break me.

When you see someone who loves him or herself for who they are they exude confidence, class, a maturity that is beyond their years, dignity and most of all pride. They are proud of where they came from, the struggles they have gone through and aren’t afraid of taking on the future. People who are ready to live life to fullest, don’t make New Year’s resolutions, they make life changes to ensure they reach a life zen. They aren’t made at the world for using them and abusing them, but they come to peace with their respected struggles and advance from them. I never have felt more alive and happy about my life at this point. The change in perspective is always welcomed when you’re about to hit rock bottom.

I couldn’t image my life any differently now.  I would completely recommend seeing what you can do to make sure any year is your year. It has changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I always find self-written bios to be kind of awkward, but throwing modesty out the window, here goes nothing: Hi, my birth name is Sara but I feel as though most of Kalamazoo knows me as Hollywood, which has been my nickname for several years now. The nickname was given to me when I played rugby for WMU, and it just stuck. This is a chance to set aside my ultra ego, and dive into the opinions and thoughts of Sara rather than the outrageous, unbelievable adventures of Hollywood. A little about me: I am studying Communication Studies and Nonprofit Leadership at Western Michigan. I think I'm almost done, but with college, who actually knows. My ultimate goal would be to have my own column in a women's health magazine that talks about nutrition, exercise, and maintaining a positive outlook on life as a woman. But if that doesn't pan out, I figure I would own my own hotdog stand, so I got options. Unlike most people, I love running and exercising. A few years back I had something devastating happen to me, and the way that I found happiness again was through a healthy diet, learning about nutrition, and working out. I completed two triathlons this summer, and in one of them I placed in the top 10 for the 29 and below age group. Now that I have conquered the triathlon, I don't know what's next off my bucket list that I want to conquer. (May be Brazil??) I am not a 'down-to-earth' person, rather, I like a busy life and I like being involved whether it be getting involved in volunteering or just trolling around Kalamazoo with my friends. I'm always on the go and I like it that way. But as of now, I'm just a twenty-something girl with a zest for adventure with an empty wallet who is making due with exploring all what Kalamazoo has to offer. If you see me out, I'll be the girl with red shoes and a mustache tattooed on her finger. I usually refer to myself as not the girl next door, but the girl two doors down; I have a little more life lessons under my belt and a different outlook on life. http://theblacksheeponline.com/author/sara-czarnecki twitter: @sarasuzieczar