As the glum 2016 ended and we counted down the seconds to 2017, it struck me that January 1st is just another day on the calendar. Nothing will change from last year to the new year unless you make it change (and yes, this is much easier said than done). Resolutions are made to improve life in one way or another, and shedding light on some women that seem to have the whole “life” thing down pat may help us in completing our 2017 goals.

1. Leslie Jones

The bold, the brave, the Leslie. This wonderful SNL cast member joined the show in December of 2013 and she has held America by the funny bone ever since. The best thing about Leslie Jones is not the fact that she’s turning fifty in 2017, but it’s the fact that she appears absolutely fearless when doing pretty much anything. Whether it’s portraying a plethora of characters on SNL - including herself during "Weekend Update" - or rocking a role in the 2016 reboot movie, Ghostbusters, she has given every performance her full self. She’s six feet tall, sometimes has crazy hair, and smiles so we can see her teeth. I only hope I can be as cool as Leslie Jones when I’m fifty, and I can only hope that everyone sees in her that age is but a number that doesn't invalidate your dreams. In her own words, “You know what happened to Oprah at age twenty-three? She got fired. No, it wasn’t [a mistake]. 'Cause she wasn’t Oprah. She was just some twenty-three-year-old punk who needed to get fired so she could become Oprah. Sometimes you have to fail to succeed.”


2. Sabre Norris

From the big to the small, Sabre Norris is only eleven years old. This skateboarder-surfer is originally from Newcastle, Australia but recently came to America to be on Ellen's show. Sabre was given a wildcard in the Sydney International Pro - a huge surfing competition in Australia where she was surprised to find out that even last place would take home two-hundred dollars (which she would, and I quote, “spend on donuts”). She finished twenty-fifth out of the one-hundred surfers from all ages, which earned her five-hundred dollars; three-hundred of which she gave to her siblings and the rest she brought to America to spend on a “Hershey Kiss as big as [her] head.” Can you believe it? Not that an eleven-year-old wants to spend money on candy, but can you believe how wonderful Sabre is? She doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her spending her money on food. All she wants is to be happy and eat well; it’s refreshing. Her energy and spunk are things that people should learn from her. She’s fearless because she’s willing to be herself in front of hundreds of pro-surfers, Ellen, all of Australia, and millions of people she’s inspired since her surfing competition. She’s definitely someone to keep up with in 2017.

YouTube (via TheEllenShow)

3. Gina Rodriguez

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a billion times: Gina Rodriguez is too good for any of us. Most people know her from her glorious TV show, Jane the Virgin, in which she plays the title character - earning her three Golden Globe nominations and one win over the past three years. What most don’t know about her (as if you can’t tell) is that she’s a really good person when she’s not acting. She’s motivational. She cares about people of color and Latino rights and is outspoken about them. She constantly gives all love and glory to her family. My favorite thing, however, is Gina’s Instagram. At the beginning of 2016, Gina Rodriguez was upset with the lack of diversity in the Oscar talk of that season, so every #MovementMonday she posts a photo of a Latino actor or actress and discusses why they’re important and why Latinos everywhere are important to Hollywood. In her original post, she begs, “I’m not saying go and see a movie you don’t like to blind support. I’m saying if you want to see us represented in films and TV, if you want to see Latinos nominated for Oscars, we NEED to support one another.” She is a bright light we all should follow in 2017, where racial tension will, without a doubt, cause the nation to rumble.

4. Laurie Hernandez

Laurie Hernandez is one of the “Final Five” from this year’s American women’s gymnastic team and she is a ball of energy. The Olympics are a huge and wonderful thing that happened in 2016, and I think many good athletes have been put in the spotlight for their tremendous work, such as gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Katie Ledecky. I think, though, where they fail to have continuous momentum on and off the screen is where Laurie Hernandez picks up speed. After an individual silver medal and a team gold medal in Rio, Hernandez competed and won Dancing With the Stars, then also went on the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. She’s now currently starring in the Dancing With the Stars Tour, and oh, yeah, she wrote a book. Through this next year, whenever you feel like the world has put too much on you, please look to Laurie Hernandez, sixteen-years-old, and for a second feel bad about yourself that a she can do all that and you can’t keep your life organized. Then, quickly recover and remember that before she won silver on beam, she whispered three words to herself: “I got this.”


5. Michelle Obama

Everyone knows why Mrs. Obama is fantastic, so I don’t really have to explain anything. I added the First Lady to the list of fearless women to remind you all that no matter how awful or treacherous your resolutions may be (and no matter how exhausting running a country is), you can always take a break and relax. There will come a time when you aren’t busy and you aren’t worried about twelve-hundred things. Although the Obamas leaving the White House saddens me and a whole bunch of people greatly, the First Family needs a break, especially Michelle. Go out there and complete your 2017 resolutions! Aim to be better every day, and I’m sure Michelle Obama will be proud of you.


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