The cynical view about Leap Year is that it's an awkward attempt to manage the calendar so we don't have Christmas in July.

I'd like to look at it this way: We've been given an extra day to make everything better. So what will you do to take advantage of this extra time? Here are 16 ways to carpe diem:

  1. Say thank you. Take a page from Jack Welch and Mark Zuckerberg and write a thank-you note. Or just say it.
  2. Read a magazine you would never ordinarily even look at. Get a new perspective on politics, fashion, home décor or wellness.
  3. Throw out 16 things. Things that don't work. Things you never use. They're just weighing you down. Time to say good-bye!
  4. Start a big goal. I want to write another book this year. If I don't begin by March 1 (yes, that's tomorrow), it probably won't happen. Time to get going.
  5. Contact an old friend. You don't need to give a reason for reaching out. All you need is to make the effort.
  6. Take a drive with an important family member. Use car time to talk about something--or just connect.
  7. Play a board game with someone you like. Electronic games don't count. Sit down, roll the dice and experience human contact.
  8. Map out the rest of your year. Big events are probably already accounted for. Now decide on major milestones and plot them on the calendar.
  9. Cook something new or challenging. I attempted honey-oat cereal bars over the weekend. They tasted great, but didn't hold together (more like cereal crumbles). But at least I tried.
  10. Clean your desk. I know: You did that in December and the mess is already back. Give it another try.
  11. Take a break. Do nothing for 15 minutes. Experience empty time with no electronics or chores. Weird, right?
  12. Book three lunches or dinners with people you like. These need to be agenda-free encounters; it's just about getting together.
  13. Do one thing to improve your health. It doesn't matter what: Just take the first step.
  14. Plan a real vacation--one where you don't check email or do any work at all. This will require setting expectations so your boss and coworkers know you're serious.
  15. Build, craft or grow something. Experience the joy (and challenge) of using your hands to bring something to life.
  16. Laugh. Above all, don't take yourself too seriously.

And remember: They call it Leap Year for a reason. It's your chance to fly high.