2017 may have sneaked up on you, but it doesn't mean that it's too late to make some changes. Believe it or not, you are in full control of how this year will go. Hopefully, it will be a healthy year – physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally. Here are 17 seemingly small, yet influential things you can do to be an even healthier person in 2017 than you were in 2016.

17. Make goals


mrkrndvs on Flickr

It's hard to know what you should be doing, if you don't have an idea of where you want to be. If you're going to make goals, make sure you make SMART ones – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. You can read more on making and reaching your goals here.

16. Travel

grass, tea, water
Eileen Wang

Seeing new sights often brings new perspectives that will help make you a kinder, more wholesome person. Surround yourself with nature or explore the life and culture of a small town – you'd be surprised with how much you can learn from where you are physically.

#SpoonTip: Go on a road trip to visit U.S. National Parks. Find out the 10 days of free admission in 2017 here! Or, head to Canada to celebrate its 150th birthday with free admission to its national parks in 2017.

15. Write everything down

pizza, beer
Jennifer Hayashi

You need a way to keep everything in order, especially when times are stressful and hectic. If you've got a cluttered mind or busy schedule, think about starting a 2017 calendar, gratitude journal, or bullet journal to get your tasks, goals, and thoughts organized.

14. Reflect Often

coffee, cake, water
Eileen Wang

Reflecting a little bit every day will help you keep track of how you're doing emotionally, physically, and psychologically. What did you do today that you liked? What did you wish you didn't do? What are you excited to do tomorrow? These are only questions to get you going.

13. Plan ahead

salad, apple, sweet, vegetable
Nancy Chen

Plan ahead, especially when it comes to food! Eating well can be hard when you've got back-to-back classes and no possible way to dash home and back to eat in-between. Pack your meals and snacks before you head to bed, and all you have to do in the morning is grab them and go to class. Planning will save you a lot of time spent stressing in the moment.

12. Budget your finances

pizza, tea, beer, coffee
Julie Holtz

Budgeting is crucial because it helps you manage not only your money, but yourself. You'll find that when you start to track what and how often you buy, not-so-obvious habits start to show.

If you're worried about finances, you can easily determine what's essential and what's extra. If you're worried about eating habits, you'll see how often you're really "just grabbing coffee" or "treating yourself." These all add up faster than you think they do!

11. Make grocery lists

wine, coffee, pizza, beer
Maddie Lanier

If you want to eat healthier and cut out unnecessary expenses, start making grocery lists. You might realize in horror (or not) that you are the replica of your mom, but you'll make less impulsive decisions and more wholesome meals. Plus, you'll cut the time you spend cluelessly roaming around the ever-so-tempting grocery store. Here are more ways to save money while grocery shopping.

10. Meditate

Kristine Mahan

You'd be surprised how a minute of mindfulness everyday can improve your day and being. We've been conditioned by the pace of today's technology to always be doing something, and it's almost impossible to think of not doing anything.

However, meditation helps create more space in your head and will help you be more present and aware of your surroundings. It will not only improve how you think and feel, but also how you interact with the people and world around you. Not sure how to get into it? Try out Headspace's free 10-day trial to find your zen!

9. Drink more water

cream, lime, sweet, juice, milk, yogurt
Jonathan Hsu

You've heard it all too often, but for many valid reasons. Even if you don't (but should) believe that drinking water helps maintain clear skin, burn fat, or eliminate bad breath, you really can't push away the fact that our bodies need water in order to function properly. Otherwise, our bodies start sending mixed signals to our brains.

Next time you're feeling the afternoon slump, reach for your water bottle instead of your trusty cup of joe or snack. Often times, we mistaken our body's thirst for hunger, and by drinking more water, we can actually prevent packing on a few pounds. Tired of bathroom trips? Here's how to drink more water and not have to pee every second.

8. Eat more fresh produce

salad, tomato, pepper, cucumber, vegetable
Christin Urso

Mom was definitely right about fruits and veggies – they're good for you. If you're purchasing locally-grown organic produce, you don't have to worry about preservatives, chemicals, or dyes. Plus, you're getting as much nutrients and vitamins as possible, since produce loses nutritional value over time, and in processes like freezing, drying, and canning.

Not to mention, fresh vegetables have so much more flavor than their alternatives!

7. Be around good people

Tiffany Meh

It's time to weed out the people in your who don't support you and inspire you to be a better person. You only have so much time, and that time should be spent on people who matter to you and enrich your life. I'd rather have one solid friend who shows up when you're down, rather than 20 acquaintances who message "Let's definitely hang out!" and never follow through. What about you?

6. Eat with others

sweet, apple, candy
Alex Frank

Eating with other people is important, especially if you're an introvert. Various studies show that eating with others can improve your mood and relationships with others. Although I've always been comfortable (and prefer) eating by myself, it's always a lot more enjoyable to have a face-to-face conversation while eating. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a bit more laughter in a day?

5. Do something creative everyday

blueberry, chocolate, cream, cheesecake, cake
Eileen Wang

Creativity works parts of the brain that you probably don't use everyday, and it may even help you go about your day in a more exciting way. Create a doodle a day, start a photography challenge, or even make a collection of cakes you've baked. It doesn't have to be something big or elaborate!

After practicing creativity every day, you'll start to notice lower stress levels, a boost in your mood, and more clarity in your mind. Better yet, you'll be able to put those skills to work in the workplace!

4. Start small

pizza, coffee
Lauryn Lahr

If you're trying to incorporate a new habit into your life, you have to start small and allow yourself to be an amateur. Want to get into running? Start running 10 minutes every day or so, and build up from there. Looking to declutter your living situation? Plan to get rid of a few things a day. Instead of going from 0 to 100 in one day, take one step at a time.

3. Be consistent

Sometimes, "go big or go home" isn't the right approach. It is especially important to be consistent with what you do, especially if you're making a new habit for the long-run. A lifestyle change won't happen overnight, but it will over time, and with much effort.

2. Be proud and celebrate

red wine, whisky, liquor, alcohol, wine
Devon Carlson

Be proud of everything you accomplish – big or small – because you put thought and effort into what you do. You can choose to share it with others, or not, but make sure to always maintain a positive attitude. Give yourself some credit every now and then (and treat yourself), because you deserve it.

1. Love yourself

coffee, cereal
Nancy Chen

There's no reason to be anybody or anything other than yourself! Loving yourself is a long (and possibly life-long) process, but it's so worth it. Appreciate what you're given, what you accomplish, and everything in-between. I promise that the trivial things you fret about will start to mean less to you, and you'll be able to focus on the things that matter.

When you go about your day, remind yourself of these 17 actions and spend a little more time on self-care. Be gentle and be kind to yourself. With that, I hope 2017 will be the best year yet!