Whew, what a year!
Most people look back at the year and go, “Oh, thank God it’s over - the next one will be better for sure! Next year is my year!” I must say though, I think 2017 was a great year overall. And I’m not saying it just because 17 was my favorite number when I was young…
The year started off a bit rocky, as I was recruitment chair for my sorority which was an incredibly stressful job that didn’t feel always rewarding. On top of that, there were health issues within my family that proved strenuous and exhausting. Luckily, by the time spring rolled around these were both issues of the past. I had a great spring break with friends, made the most of my senior year, and had a bittersweet college graduation. Following that, I got to live at home for a few months and also travel around Europe before starting my job and moving to a new city. I’m still adjusting to adult life & living in a new city, but I was fortunate enough to come home for the holidays.
2017 was a wonderful year for me, in sum, because I had an amazing senior year, graduated from a top college with honors, got to spend quality time with my family, went outside of my comfort zone, traveled to new places, and struck out on my own with a new job and apartment, in a a new city. Even just writing that feels like a lot!
I made a few goals at the end of 2016, which I wrote in a notebook on the first page so I saw it each time I opened the notebook. But of course, I forgot the specific areas of each goal. However, I found that taking the time to think about what goals I wanted to achieve in the upcoming year and picturing myself after accomplishing said goals made me more likely to find ways to incorporate reaching those goals into my everyday life.
For example, one goal was to reduce the amount of processed food I eat. And I don’t mean things like donuts or cookies - rather, I mean anything that has a ingredient list, such as protein bars or nut butters with seven other ingredients. Basically, trying to get back to whole ingredients. This is not just something I randomly heard a friend say and decided it was a good idea. Instead, this is something I’ve been working toward for awhile now and continue to do so even though 2017 is coming to an end.
The theme with the goals I set is that they are in sync with the lifestyle I seek to lead and are growth goals, that are not impossible but still remain challenging. I encourage you to think about the goals you intend to set and examine how they fit in to the life you want for yourself. That has been the #1 reason I was able to keep my goals for the year and excel at them. Now, as I set my goals for 2018, I think about the ideas that kept popping in my head during the year but that I have not acted on. I also examine myself and see what areas I can improve in and new areas to grow in.
Another word of advice: try to tailor your goals to you. Generic goals like lose weight, eat better, and read more books are quite general. Do you want to lose fat, build muscle, or tone? Do you want to eat less processed foods, more vegetables, less dairy or take on a certain diet? I’m not saying you need to make SMART goals, because let’s be real, those are so 2010. All I’m saying is that you should take the time to think about goals that are specific to you, that light a fire in your belly, and that push you to be the future version of yourself that you want to be.
With that, I’ll leave you with a few of my goals for 2018. I want to learn calligraphy, participate in a NaNoWriMo, and continue to go outside of my comfort zone. Ask me in a year how this all went...