Ready or not, a new year is upon us! In just a few days, we will be in a new year, so here is our list of 15 ways to have a great 2015!

  1. Set goals. While an OK year might just happen, having a great year will take some effort on your part. Decide what you want to accomplish this year and go after it!

  2. Try something new. Learn a new stunt, take up a musical instrument, get into yoga, teach yourself origami"”whatever you choose, make this a year in which you broaden your horizons.

  3. Master something old. Take a skill or hobby you already have and work on it till you are a pro!

  4. Make a difference. Lend a helping hand in your school or community.

  5. Stay organized. It's easy to start out the year this way, but difficult to keep it going. Come February you might find yourself running around aimlessly. Don't let that happen! Whether you use apps or an old-school planner, keep track of your commitments to minimize stress.

  6. Get outside. We spend so much time sitting indoors and staring at screens. Give your body a refresh and get outside to enjoy and explore the great outdoors!

  7. Disconnect. Since you're already trying to enjoy nature more, take it a step further and try to spend some time away from your phone, computer, tablet, and other gadgets for a while. Maybe you can pick a day of the week where you stay off social media, like a relaxing Sunday at home or out with friends. If a whole day sounds crazy to you, even just going for a walk and leaving your phone behind can help. You may experience some separation anxiety, but it really will feel refreshing after that subsides!

  8. Make real memories. So much of our lives now just seems like photo ops. We spend more time taking and posting pictures when we go somewhere than we do actually enjoying the place we're at. Every now and then, resist the urge to snap a photo. Take in the moment and make a memory that is just for you, not something you capture for all your online followers and friends to  see.

  9. Go somewhere new. Take a day or weekend road trip to a nearby town, fly to another country, or just try out a new coffee shop or hiking trail. At least once this year, just go anywhere you've never been before!

  10. Say thank you. Gratitude is one of the key factors in happiness. Grateful people are happy people. Make mental notes of things you're thankful for or even keep a gratitude journal and each night write  down three specific things you were grateful for that day. You could also do this as a note in your phone or exchange texts with a friend who wants to be your "gratitude buddy." The three things can be as simple as  "School went by fast today" or "We learned a new stunt at cheer practice."

  11. Appreciate people. Take your attitude of gratitude a step further and acknowledge the people in your life who help make it so good. Thank your mom for packing your lunch, thank your coach for dedicating her time and energy to you, and thank your friend for making you laugh when you're down.

  12. Prioritize your health. Cheer takes a lot of hard work from your body. Make sure it's fueled right. Cutting back on junk food is hard, but if you focus on adding in healthy foods (like fruits and vegetables), you'll naturally crave less junk food since you will already be full. So grab an apple after school instead of a bag of chips.

  13. Cook something. This could go above with trying something new or prioritizing your health, but it's so important we made it it's own thing. Learning how to cook at least one meal well will make your eventual transition to adulthood much smoother, but it will also give you a greater appreciation for what goes into your food and thus into your body.

  14. Be a role model. Take a younger sibling, teammate, or friend under your wing and look for ways you can help them. Even if you don't have a specific person in mind, you can always be a role model to your teammates, friends, and everyone watching from the stands.

  15. Stay positive. The truth is, negative things do exist. Just like you can find the good in any situation, you can probably find the bad in one too. If you go looking for and expecting the negative side, it is there and you will find it. So assume the best, look for the best, and make the best of any situation. If both are possible, why not choose the one that leads to success and happiness?

How are you going to make 2015 your best year yet?