17 things to do in 2017!

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- by Luana Visagie

New Year resolutions are great as long as the enthusiasm lasts, so we thought we would break our commitment up into 17 exciting, inspiring and totally doable bits.

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1. HAVE AN AFFAIR

Why not have an affair with yourself and treat yourself to the things you enjoy, make time to be alone and award yourself all the pleasures you work so hard at providing others. No one needs to know about your secret indulgences.

2. TRY SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW

Experience that fantastic feeling of being daring and dynamic. Do something which gets you to have to pinch yourself to believe that you are stepping out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but all the better if it is. Change your hairstyle, try on a piece of clothing you would never imagine yourself wearing or shake up your usual routine.

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3. BE WATER-WISE

Fancy yourself a bit of a ‘MacGyver’? Research ingenious ways of making every drop count by building your own grey water system. If you are already doing all you can, share your ideas with those around you and see who can reduce their consumption the most. Nothing like a good old challenge to get everyone in the swing of things!

4. SPREAD LOVE

As long as you are sharing love for the right reasons, there is no need to spend a fortune on doing something special for someone else. The smallest gestures are usually the ones which are the most meaningful and if they are effortless, you can do them more often.   Pop a cold drink in your trolley for the car guard who is standing in the sun all day or for the gentleman who offers to assist you with your trolley when doing grocery shopping.

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5. CLAIM A BEACH

Whether with a loved one, by yourself or with your pooch, head to the beach early enough to have it all to yourself. There is something absolutely breathtaking about the beach without the crowds. If you don’t have a beach in close proximity, try another public area.

6. COLLECT CHANGE

Arrange a jar in which you can throw most the coins which make your wallet heavy and deformed.   Decide on what you are going to do with the money and set a date on which you will open the jar. For those trying to kick a smoking addiction, put the money you would have spent on cigarettes into the jar and you will have a well deserved ‘bonus’ when you open it. It might help to have a jar with a money slot but one which needs to be broken open to avoid easy access in times of weakness.

7. GIVE UP PLASTIC BAGS

Plastic shopping bags are just too convenient so go out and get yourself a few easily washable canvas bags and keep these handy for grocery shopping trips. Be warned though... an addiction to beautiful shopping bags may set and you may end up buying more than you need.

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8. FOCUS ON SUNRISES

Make the most of the day by trying to rise before the sun at least once a week... I always feel so much more in control of my day if I can ease into it and not find myself rushing around before I have even stepped out of the house.   If you rise at the same time each morning, take a pic out your bedroom window once a week and compare the difference in the amount of daylight throughout the year.

9. DE-CLUTTER

When you feel as though things are weighing you down, try a little spring cleaning. Even if you just start by going through your shoes and donating those you never wear to someone in need, you will feel as though you have done something constructive.   I have no idea where all the excess ‘stuff’ comes from, but I have to de-clutter from time to time because my rule of getting rid of something every time I bring something into the house is clearly not working!

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10. PLAN A BREAK

Most people never even consider a breakaway because they are discouraged by the cost of travelling. We all need a good break from time to time and there is absolutely no reason not to investigate the possibility... you may just be pleasantly surprised and if you managed to kick your smoking habit successfully, it may be a start to a memorable trip whether local or international.

11. TREAT THE ELDERLY

The elderly are generally easy to please when it comes to the simpler things in life and spending time with them can double up as food for your own soul.   If your grandparents are still around, spend more time with them and if not, pop into a home for the aged and spend an hour or two in conversation with someone who will appreciate your company more than you may realise.

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12. PHOTOGRAPH YOUR PETS

Have you ever tried to snap a good shot of your pet? It is easy enough to do while they are asleep but try capturing a pic of your pet without it looking as though you took it while on a bullet train. Even if you don’t walk away with the perfect shot, you would have for sure enjoyed the exercise and you’ll have a few priceless pics.

13. KEEP A DIARY

You may not consider yourself much of an ‘Anne Frank’ but it is always special to look back on when memories were created. Social Media memories are great but keeping a basic diary also allows you to look back on a year and see what kept you busy and what you accomplished in the end. One thing I can be sure of is that when I start writing in my diary, my handwriting is incredibly neat and around mid January it starts resembling the handwriting of a Grade 1 learner being chased by a bear.

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14. SUPRISE A COLLEAGUE

There is always someone going through a tough time or simply having a bad day. A surprise note on a colleague’s keyboard when they return from lunch, a cup of coffee or a picked flower is often enough to put a smile on their dial and get them through the day.

15. EXPLORE A GARDEN

When last have you visited a public garden? I remember doing this as a child but as an adult who has slogged away in your own garden, one has a completely different appreciation of the planning and labour that goes into creating and maintaining a garden. Having the opportunity to visit gardens abroad, such as those in Ireland, then puts a completely different spin on it too. 

16. DETOX FROM TECHNOLOGY

Although it may be a tall ask and you might just think you are not capable of doing this, a technology detox is a must from time to time. There is no need to go ‘cold turkey’ but limiting social media to 30 minutes a day instead of constantly checking for updates will make the world of difference as most people don’t realise how much time they spend on social media every day.

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17. BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY

It does help if you live in a great city but it may even be more of an adventure if you get to find the hidden gems in your city. Do some research as though you are visiting your city for the first time and experience something tourists may flock to your city for but you have never tried. It’s easy to take something for granted when it is just under your nose!