(contributed article)

The start of the new year means endless possibilities and opportunities- the chance to reflect on the past and then make a change for the better. Often life is “fine”; there’s nothing that’s bad about it, but we can find ourselves in a bit of a rut. If you’re determined to make a change and make 2018 your year, here are just three ways you can achieve that.

Travel

The world is a colossal, beautiful place- and when you stay in one spot you miss out on so much. If you get the opportunity, it’s always worth travelling; perhaps you have a bucket list of places you want to go or maybe you’re flexible and happy to go just about anywhere. Travel can be expensive, so it’s worth getting your finances in order before you go. If you have adverse credit, you could look into debt consolidation loans for bad credit and put the money you save each month into an account for your travels. Otherwise you could always look into budget options, such as backpacking and road trips. It might be in your budget to rent an RV, and you get transport and accommodation in one then. Fill a cooler with food from the grocery store, and you save when it comes to eating as well. There are loads of great road trip routes out there, so decide what you want to see on your trip and do what you can to make it happen.

Learn Something New

Maybe you’ve always wanted to go back to school; if you fancy an entire career change, why not go back and study full time? Otherwise you could study part-time evenings and weekends around your job and work towards a degree or diploma. Choose a subject that really interests you or will help you to improve your career; it’s hard work but very fulfilling. However, learning something new doesn’t necessarily have to be formal education like this. You could go to a dance or cooking class, buy some paints and follow painting tutorials on Youtube, or learn a musical instrument. It will keep you productive in your spare time while keeping your brain sharp, plus you will meet like-minded people, too.

Volunteer

It’s easy to take all we have for granted. We have a home, somewhere to sleep, food in our pantries, and luxuries like smartphones, computers and TVs. We have our good health, and our friends and family. Others aren’t so lucky. By volunteering, you get a new perspective on life and have the opportunity to genuinely help those less fortunate. You could volunteer in a soup kitchen, at a hospital, hospice, children’s home, animal shelter, women’s refuge- have a look at what’s local to you. Whether it’s two hours a month, or a whole summer spent building orphanages in a third world country, your time is valuable and you can make a difference.

What will you be doing to make 2018 your year?

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