Six easy ways to make a meaningful change in your life.

CSU Online
Thanks to our brand partner, CSU Online

There’s something powerfully motivating about the start of a new year. Healthy eating begins, old habits are kicked, new ones forged. But while haircuts and gym memberships might be a great part of the ‘new you’, why not add consider adding something a little more life-changing to your list of resolutions for January 1?

1. Turn your passion into a qualification.

Whether you want to stimulate your career or just stimulate your mind, this single decision could have profound effects that last well beyond 2017. And you don’t even have to leave the house to make it happen.

University qualifications, from bachelor degrees to doctorates are available right there on your laptop, to be earned at a time and pace that suits your crammed work and family schedule.

Each year, 20,000 people do just that with Charles Sturt University, the most experienced online uni in the country.

CSU online offers more than 350 courses, from primary school teaching to wine science, all of which are taught by university academics – just like they are on campus. There’s also support services available online, over the phone or in person seven days a week to make sure you’ve got all the tools you need to chase down that dream.

Most students are even eligible for a HECS/HELP loan, which means you don’t have to pay your fees upfront. You can save that for when you’re earning the big bucks with your shiny, new qualification.

Think a degree is out of reach? Think again. Image: iStock.

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2. Try that sport you’ve never played.

Whether you’re a would-be athlete or haven’t slipped on a sports uniform since high school, the New Year is a great time to get off the sidelines and among the action.

So why not make it something you’ve never tried before? Lawn bowls. Indoor soccer. Softball. Squash. Trampolining, even.

You don’t have to leap straight into a club or team straight away. Just start with a class or free-play day and give it a go. Who knows? You may discover a hidden talent.

3. Change someone else’s life.

And you’ll likely change yours in the process. Volunteering is perhaps the most selfless way to reinvent yourself.

Whether it’s signing up as a mentor for a young girl in need (SISTER2sister), helping walk dogs from your local rescue shelter, or even just chipping in at the kids’ school canteen, it’s a simple, flexible way to open your heart and mind to something outside the four walls of your home or office.

You’ll also meet new people that you’d be otherwise unlikely to cross paths with. Speaking of which….

4. Expand your circle.

It’s easy to become trapped in social bubbles, be it work or your kids school. But there are plenty of ways to cast your net wider and find a new bunch of like-minded people.

Take a look on your community notice board (yes, they do still exist) or do a quick search online for social meetups in your suburb. Who knows? They’re might be a spot in a trivia team, wine club or walking group with your name on it.

Connect with like-minded people. Image: iStock.

5. Get organised.

We’re not talking about sorting that shoe cupboard - although that probably does deserve a bit of attention. We’re talking about the big things, that “one day” list that’s been growing and growing as each new year rolls around.

Set aside an afternoon to make 2017 the year that you actually tick things off it.

Maybe you could even become one of those people that actually has their finances sorted? Take a good look at your superannuation. Is it the best fund for you? Do you need to consolidate several accounts? Or perhaps chase down the payments you earned from that part time job back in the day. You can do it all online.

Same goes for private health insurance and credit cards - actually log on and check your policies and rates. Properly. It could save you money.

6. Make 'you' time.

Of course the key to reinventing yourself is taking some time to know what you’ve got to work with. Meditate. Reflect. Imagine. Make notes. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

And make sure you're setting goals that make you excited for 2017.

You got this!

What change will you make in the new year?

This post was written thanks to our brand partner CSU Online.

Think online universities are all the same? Think again.

With unmatched expertise, understanding and over 350 online courses, Charles Sturt University is Australia’s most experienced online university. Each year more than 20,000 people choose to study online with Charles Sturt University

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