11 ways to make 2018 your best year yet

If 2017 wasn’t your year, don’t stress because you’re not alone. And 2018 is here, offering a fresh start and a new year of opportunities. To ensure a successful future, follow these 11 ways to make 2018 your best year yet.

 

1. List your gratitudes for 2017

Even if your year was a disaster, there are probably still things you can be thankful for. A friend who stood by you? A professor you learned a lot from? A parent who listened to you when you were frustrated? Gratitudes are an easy way to shift our attitudes towards positivity – and putting out positive energy helps brings it in as well.

 

2. Jot down your dreams

What are your desires for the year? They can be big or small, realistic or completely far-fetched. It doesn’t matter. Let yourself take time to imagine the world of possibilities.

 

3. Think about your short, medium and long-term goals

In a more pragmatic exercise, think about each month, what you want to get done and how those accomplishments will get you closer to your long-term goals. Breaking down your goals for yourself will help you hold yourself accountable and keep track of progress.

 

make 2018 your best year yet

 

4. Decompress

If you feel beaten down by this last year, try to take some days to just relax, decompress and let things go. Make 2018 your best year yet by making more time for yourself. Go for a run, take a long hot shower, watch your favorite movies… whatever it is you need to do to shake things off, do it.

 

5. Talk to your mentor about what’s next

Two heads are better than one and an established professional will have a better idea of what a strategic move might be career-wise. Meet with your mentor or advisor towards the beginning of the year to discuss what might be right for you this year.

 

6. Think about what you want to add to your resume this year

Your career is a summary of your professional life and the first thing an employer sees when you’re applying for a job. You should always at least consider how you want this next year of life to appear on a resume.

make 2018 your best year yet

 

7. Make a document with professional opportunities

Research all the different fellowships, jobs, internships, degree programs and more that might help you grow professionally. This master list can help you see all your different options for next year so you can start sending your resume to the right places.

 

8. Consider an internship abroad

Internships abroad hit two birds with one stone. You get to earn professional real-world experience in your field while exploring another country and getting to know another culture. On top of this, you’ll also expand your networks by befriending other interns from all over the world.

9. Make reasonable resolutions

It’s tempting to make a thousand promises during resolutions time. We would all like to be better in every way in the New Year. However, unrealistic expectations are just setting you up for disappointment. Think critically about one or two things you would like to genuinely improve this year and focus your energy on those.

 

10. Look back at stressful times of your year – and see what you can change for 2018

Consider the toughest parts of last year and what went wrong. Were some of the stressful moments preventable? If so, plan ahead for this year. Mark your calendar with reminders to get certain tasks done early so you don’t end up with so many things happening in one week.

 

11. Plan travel

Travel is so much cheaper and less stressful when you plan ahead. Airbnb costs are crazy low if you book ahead of time – same with flights.

 

Make 2018 your best year yet with an international internship!

 

Photos

1. based on #ToInfinityAndBeyond, by Daniel Pham, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Emory freshman Alexa Dantzler is pursuing a career in sciences, by Intel Free Press, CC-by-2.0

3. based on MAN, by Umbrella Shot, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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