Goodbye 2016!



2016 was a very strange, wicked year; so strange and wicked in fact that someone actually made 2016 into a short horror film (if you haven’t watched it, here it is: Let’s recap the year:


Celebrities We Lost:

-David Bowie (Musical icon, fashion trendsetter, and actor)

-René Angélil (Celine Dion’s husband)

-Alan Rickman (Severus Snape from “Harry Potter”)

-Dan Haggerty (Actor from “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”)

-Glenn Frey (Co-founder of The Eagles)

-Joe Alaskey (Voice of many beloved “Looney Tunes” characters)

-Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire member)

-Dave Mirra (BMX racer)

-Edgar Mitchell (6th man on the moon)

-George Gaynes (Actor from “Police Academy” and “Punky Brewster”)

-Harper Lee (Author of “To Kill a Mockingbird”)

-Tony Burton (Boxing trainer in “Rocky”)

-George Kennedy (Actor from “Cool Hand Luke”)

-Nancy Reagan (Wife of 40th President, Ronald Reagan and actress)

-George Martin (The Beatles’ producer)

-Rob Ford (The “crazy” former Mayor of Toronto)

-Joe Garagiola (TODAY anchor and former pro-baseball player)

-Merle Haggard (Legendary singer-songwriter)

-Doris Roberts (Mom from “Everybody Loves Raymond”)

-Chyna (Female Pro-Wrestler)

-Prince (Extremely talented, iconic musician)

-Billy Paul (Singer of “Me and Mrs. Jones”)

-Afeni Shakur Davis (Tupac’s Mother)

-Emilio Navaira (King of Tejano Music)

-Alan Young (Actor from “Mister Ed”)

-Muhammad Ali (Professional iconic boxer)

-Ron Lester (Billy Bob from “Varsity Blues”)

-Anton Yelchin (Chekov from the “Star Trek” movies)

-Ralph Stanley (Composer of the music for “O Brother Where Art Thou?”)

-Elie Wiesel (Author of the Holocaust novel “Night”)

-Noel Neil (The first Lois Lane from “Superman”)

-Garry Marshall (Writer and director of “Happy Days”, “Laverne & Shirley”, “Mork & Mindy”, and “The Odd Couple”)

-Miss Cleo (Famous Jamaican TV psychic)

-David Huddleston (Actor from “Big Lebowski”)

-Kenny Baker (R2-D2 from “Star Wars”)

-Matt Roberts (Guitarist from 3 Doors Down)

-Steven Hill (DA Adam Schiff from “Law & Order”)

-Gene Wilder (Actor from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, “Young  Frankenstein”, and many other comedic staples)

-Alexis Arquette (Pioneer transgender actress and David & Patricia Arquette’s sibling)

-W.P. Kinsella (Author of “Shoeless Joe” that became the film “Field of Dreams”)

-José Fernández (Miami Marlins pitcher)

-Arnold Palmer (Pro-golfer and namesake of the famous ice tea and lemonade drink)

-Leonard Cohen (Singer-songwriter who wrote “Hallelujah”)

-Florence Henderson (Mom from “The Brady Bunch”)

-Fidel Castro (Former Prime Minister and President of Cuba)

-John Glenn (First astronaut to orbit the Earth)

-Alan Thicke (Dad from “Growing Pains”)

-Zsa Zsa Gabor (Iconic Hungarian beauty queen)

-George Michael (Singer from Wham! and of the famous song “Faith”)

-Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia from “Star Wars”)

-Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s Mom and actress)

And the list keeps on going… 2016 should be called “The Year the Icons Died”


Major World Events and Tragedies:

-Trump elected President


-The Zika Virus

-North Korea claims successful H-Bomb test

-Earthquakes in Taiwan, Vanuatu, Japan, Ecuador, New Zealand, and off the coast of California and the Solomon Islands

-Volcanoes in Mexico, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Italy (20 volcanoes worldwide are “active” right now)

-ISIS puts 19 women in a cage and sets them on fire

-ISIS shooting at Pulse, a popular gay night club in Orlando, Florida

-ISIS attack at airport in Istanbul, Turkey

-5 Dallas police officers killed during a “Black Lives Matter” protest

-Delivery truck drove through crowd in Nice, France killing 84 people

-Turkey invades Syria

-12 killed in Berlin, Germany by another truck driving through a crowd

-Russian military plane crashes into the Black Sea, killing 92 passengers

-Plane crashes in Columbia, killing most of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team and the 20 journalists who were covering them


What. The. Hell? No wonder someone made this year into a horror movie. So many icons were lost and so much tragedy occurred all over the world.


Let’s Look at Some GOOD Things in 2016:

-Tiger, pandas, and manatees, oh my! All of their population numbers are finally growing

-Harriet Tubman will appear on the $20 bill

-Teen birth rate reaches all-time low

-Michael Phelps breaks a 2,000 year-old record in the Rio Olympics

-Simone Biles takes home 4 gold and 1 bronze medal at the Rio Olympics making her “the greatest female gymnast”

-“The Final Five” U.S. women gymnasts (Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian) dominate the Rio Olympics and take home 9 medals between them

-Leonardo DiCaprio wins his first, well-deserved Oscar for “The Revenant”

-Lowest unemployment rate since August 2007

-The Chicago Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years, breaking “The Curse of the Billy Goat”

-The Cleveland Cavaliers win their first NBA Championship

-Record new high for U.S. high school graduation rate

-Pokémon Go helps get people off their couches and into shape

-Heart disease (one of the leading causes of natural death) decreases by 70% in the U.S.

-Portugal successfully runs its entire nation solely on renewable energy for 4 days

-“Stranger Things” and other badass shows

-The endless list of incredible movies that were released this year


As you reflect back on 2016, choose how you want to remember this year. Maybe you had a rough year like the rest of the world and are ready for a fresh start in 2017. Or maybe you had a kick-ass year (like some of my friends) and had a baby, got married, got engaged, bought a house, got a promotion, or had any other number of exciting life events take place. However you choose to remember this year, take it for what it was and learn and grow from what you experienced.


The New Year’s Resolution Game

As we put 2016 in the past and look towards the New Year, many of us will set goals and resolutions for ourselves to accomplish. The New Year is a fresh start, a clean slate, and we take advantage of this time to better ourselves. Research shows that less that 10% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions actually see them through for more than a few months. Why is this? Well, the majority of people who resolve to do different things in the New Year are committing to drastic life-changing new habits. Here are the top 10 most commonly broken resolutions according to TIME magazine:

  1. Lose weight and get fit
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Learn something new
  4. Eat healthier and diet
  5. Get out of debt and save money
  6. Spend more time with family
  7. Travel to new places
  8. Be less stressed
  9. Volunteer
  10. Drink less

Some of these may look familiar to you, and one of these may even be the resolution that you are setting for yourself for 2017. So how can you ensure that you don’t break your promise to yourself and see your resolution through? Here are some tips:

It Takes 21 Days to Build a Habit

Don’t beat yourself up. Set a plan in place to ease yourself into your resolution. If you jump in the deep end too quickly, the odds of you sticking to your plan are slim-to-none. With any big life-changing new habit (or breaking of a habit) there are growing pains and baby-steps you need to take. If you try to change yourself too quickly you’ll end up stressing yourself out or going into a form of “shock”, resulting in you quitting. Take it easy; set attainable, small goals or steps to achieve your end result, and remember that it takes 21 days of repetitive behavior to build a habit.

Find an Accountability Partner

Maybe it’s a friend, co-worker, or family member; whoever you chose to be your accountability partner, share your resolution with them and have them share theirs with you. When you say things out loud or write them down, they become more real and you are more likely to be successful. Ask for help and support from this person, and make sure they are reliable. The best scenario is to find someone who has set the same goal for themselves that you have, and you become partners in change.

Be Realistic

Set a goal you know you can attain. If your goal is to get in shape, and you currently don’t work-out at all, don’t say “I’m going to go to the gym every day!” Baby-steps. Start with one to two days a week and work your way up from there. If you go too hard too fast, first, you could end up hurting yourself and second, you may burn yourself out, get discouraged, and give up. Same goes with changing your eating habits. Cut out one thing at a time and ease your way into it. Also, don’t set too many goals to accomplish, just pick the top one or two things to focus on, or maybe set one BIG goal and a few minor ones.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Life happens. Maybe, for you, January is the busiest time of the year at work and you can’t find the time to start your New Year’s Resolution right away. Or maybe you have big life events that delay your start. Just because you don’t start in January doesn’t mean that you cannot pick it back up throughout the year. If you have a great start in January, then start to slack off, pick it back up! Find that accountability partner you appointed and have them whip you into shape! You can even set calendar alerts and reminders to check in on your own progress throughout the year. We’re all human and no one is perfect. Remember that you’ll be challenged with a few hiccups along the way, but “just keep swimming”.

Take a deep breath. Put 2016 in the past. Let go. Exhale. Let’s all get ready for an amazing and productive 2017! Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” -Christian D. Larson


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