18 small things to do right now to have the best year ever

Want to win this year? Make your future self proud by doing these easy things.

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  • Small things make the biggest difference. There's no reason to put off doing something that will make you proud of yourself a year from now. Go ahead and nail 2016.

  • 1. Plant a seed

  • Stretch your green thumb. It feels good to have something to nurture that doesn't require too much of your attention. As a result of planting a seed, whether a flower or an herb, you'll see something grow that adds beauty to your life.

  • 2. Get a library card

  • Going to the library is a life-changing experience. Not only will you be saving money from all the DVDs and CDs you check out for free; you'll become a more intelligent and interesting person from all of the unlimited access you'll have to all sorts of books.

  • 3. Change your password

  • Change your password to a goal that you have, on sites that you log into regularly. This will keep it front and center in your mind, making you more likely to take the steps necessary to pursue it.

  • 4. Make plans

  • Set a reservation at a restaurant or buy tickets to a concert. Your plan could be for something within the week or in six months. Either way, you'll have something to look forward to, which will make your life just a bit happier.

  • 5. Buy a cute water bottle

  • A simple thing you can do for better health is drinking more water. Sufficient water intake helps you lose weight, improves skin condition and makes you more positive.

  • However, remembering to drink can be a challenge. Water bottles are great because they can hold lots of H20 and are portable. If you get a cute one, you'll want to take it everywhere with you.

  • 6. Ask someone on a date

  • Whether you're a boy or a girl, ask someone on a date right now. It could be someone you've had your eye on or a person your roommate mentioned you'd have a good time with. No matter what happens, this experience will build your relationship or help you make a step towards finding your true love.

  • 7. Start a gratitude journal

  • Before going to sleep, take five minutes (or less) to jot down a few things that you are grateful for. The more consistently you do this, the more things you will see that you have to be grateful for throughout the day, making you more positive about life overall.

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  • 8. Get rid of 10 things you don't need

  • You probably are hanging on to things that aren't actually helping you in your life. Remember that your belongings don't define you; you still have memories without the object, and if you haven't worn it in over a year, you probably aren't going to wear it again. Cleanse your life of unneeded stuff.

  • 9. Send a thank you card

  • There are so many people who have contributed to your success in life and have helped you become the person you are today. Send a quick note to express your gratitude for what they've done for you. It will improve both their life and yours.

  • 10. Watch a documentary

  • Documentaries tend to change the way you see the world and your participation in it. By doing nothing more than sitting for less than two hours, you can have a meaningful experience.

  • 11. Learn to cook something new

  • You can find instructions at the library, on Pinterest or YouTube. Learn to bake a loaf of bread or cook a lasagna. Have a signature meal in your back pocket so you can enjoy a home-cooked meal or impress your guests.

  • 12. Hang a picture

  • Make your living space more beautiful by putting something meaningful in a place where you'll see it often. You'll enjoy spending time at home more and may even be more likely to invite others over.

  • 13. Learn to tell an excellent joke

  • You need something great in your back pocket to minimize awkwardness in awkward situations and to amaze your friends.

  • 14. Unfriend people

  • You don't need unnecessary posts clogging up your news feeds. If you don't talk to them anymore and you could care less about their baby drawing a "masterpiece," just unfriend them.

  • 15. Schedule bedtime

  • Being tired is the worst. It makes you less healthy and makes you feel more negative. Decide when you're going to go to sleep and stick to it. It will make an enormous difference in your life.

  • 16. Call an old friend

  • With just a few minutes, you can brighten someone's day and make yourself feel pretty wonderful by ringing someone you haven't talked to in a while. Chances are you have some old jokes to laugh about and life victories to recount.

  • 17. Create a mission statement

  • Collect your thoughts on what's important to you into a small paragraph. Put it somewhere you can see so you can reflect on your direction in life and if what you're doing reflects that.

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  • 18. Say "yes"

  • The next time someone asks you something, say "yes." Do you want to come to a lecture with me? Yes. Do you have five dollars I could borrow? Yes. Would you like fries with that? Yes. Try saying "yes" and you'll find it opens doors and becomes pretty addicting.

  • Doing any one of the things on this list is going to improve your life. Do all 18 this year and you are on your way to having the best year of your life.

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Melinda Fox has a bachelor's degree in English and is the Sponsored Content Manager for FamilyShare.com. She loves Shakespeare, listening to her favorite songs on repeat and journaling.

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