It’s safe to say 2017 wasn’t the greatest year for a lot of people.

We all endured our fair share of personal hardships and struggles, on top of what was going on in the world around us. Needless to say, it was a lot to handle.

Thankfully, a new year is right around the corner—and so is a fresh start.

Before you head into 2018, here’s what you need to do in order to not let what happened in 2017 affect the new year.

Reflect on the Year You Had

Even if you weren’t too fond of the events that transpired in 2017, it’s always a good idea to look back on what happened. Take in the good, the bad and the ugly one final time. Think about all that made you feel happy and went right and how you can carry that into the new year. All the horrible, terrible, awful things that you hated? Leave them where they belong—in 2017. Just like a balloon, you’ve got to let that stuff go.

Bridget Jones writing in her diary

(Bridget Jones’s Baby via Universal Pictures)


Map Out Your Year Ahead

What do you want from 2018? What do you hope to learn? What do you hope to gain? Write that all down, then map out how you plan to achieve these things. It’s always nice going into something with a plan, rather than letting whatever happens happen. Still, you don’t need to outline your 2018 too thoroughly. Some things really are best left to chance, so don’t feel bad if your outline looks pretty bare-bones. Simply writing down one or two things you want to accomplish each month will put you on the path to success.


Get Rid of Anything Toxic

All of the toxicity that dragged you down in 2017 should stay in the old year. Whether that be a relationship, friendship or something else, don’t bring that with you into 2018. You may be nervous and scared to call it quits, but at the end of the day, you deserve to be happy. How can you be happy with toxic people and things in your life? You can’t. Before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, ditch anything that’s been hindering your well-being.

Alison running hand over coffin on Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)


Schedule More Time for What Makes You Happy

When you look back on 2017, you might be plagued by a couple of horrid memories of the year. Yet, you’re still here. Somehow, someway you were able to carry on. Reflect on what helped you get through the year and vow to do more of that, more often, in 2018. When it all just seems to be too much, go to your happy place. Whether it’s spending time with friends, exercising, reading a good book or cooking, just do it as often as you can to keep your mood boosted.


Set Your Worry Free

You may be pretty nervous about how 2018 will pan out, especially considering how 2017 went. Just breathe and set that worry free. As much as you can plan your year ahead and make sure to schedule time for everything that makes you happy, there’s only so much you can control. A lot of aspects of life are left up to chance, but don’t let that scare you. Allow yourself to be more open to change this upcoming year. It’ll make your life so much easier. We promise.

Alison wearing a pink sweater and sitting on her front porch in Pretty Little Liars

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)


In need of a resolution you’ll have no problem keeping? One of THESE New Year’s resolutions should do the trick.