reflections and resolutions |2017

Welcome to 2017! I hope your holiday season was full of joy, laughter, and love.Typically at the beginning of a new year, I reflect on accomplishments, challenges, personal growth, personal faults, and decide what I want to focus on in the future; this year I’ve decided to share that reflection on wisconsinwhimsy.

I spent an overwhelming amount of time feeling anxious, fixated on the future, and unfocused on the present in 2016. I experienced an immense amount of change. Still adjusting to my newfound post-college graduation freedom, I moved across the country and then across the world. I accepted a career position, realized it wasn’t for me, and moved into a writing position a few months later. I adopted a dog, spent a lot of time alone, and learned a little Japanese.

faults | I slept too little. I didn’t drink enough water. I didn’t take enough photos. I didn’t put enough effort into maintaining friendships. I spent too much time feeling insecure. I didn’t spend enough time in the moment. I didn’t say thank you enough.  I didn’t give enough of my time, money, and love. I spent too much time indoors.

blessings | I saw some of the most breathtaking sights in the mountains of Montana, the hills of Kentucky, the coast of North Carolina, the woods of Washington, and the beaches of Okinawa. I challenged myself to be more open-minded. I learned a lot about myself. I worked hard at my job. I met new people. I learned to drive on the wrong side of the road. I started paying off my student loans. I booked a plane ticket to Korea and a weekend stay in a hostel. I purged old clothing and belongings that I’d been holding on to for too long. I took the time to listen. I overcame physical and emotional pain.

My biggest reflection on 2016 is that I made it to 2017. There were times that I broke down, felt like I couldn’t overcome whatever obstacle was in my way, and wanted to give up. There were times that I felt like things couldn’t get worse and wouldn’t get better. Reflecting on those painful moments brings me peace. I overcame. I’m here. I’m alive. I stuck it out, I sucked it up, and I moved on. I’m humbled and grateful for the chaos I faced last year, because it taught me really important lessons about my own resilience and ability to rebirth.

I have three major aspirations for 2017:

  1. Get more sleep | I have struggled with insomnia for years. Midnight was early for me in high school, and by the time I got to college I’d sometimes lay awake until 6 a.m. I’ve become so immune to sleeplessness that sometimes I feed the problem. I’ll lay in bed scrolling through my phone, or I’ll put things off until bedtime because “I won’t be able to fall asleep anyway.”Sleep is the most restorative favor you can do for your body, your mind, and your sanity. I want to give myself the rest and health I deserve by making sleep a priority.
  2. Be kinder to others and to myself | There were moments throughout 2016 where I caught myself bringing someone else down (either out loud or in my head) because I was feeling jealous or insecure. I’m not proud of that. I’ve also noticed a decline in manners and general humanity in the people around me at church, work, and even at the grocery store. We are all so caught up in our own messes that we forget to consider the people around us whose messes might be even bigger than our own. I feel like my heart got a little hardened in 2016. I want to soften it and be a little nicer and more open this year.
  3. Be mindful and take care of my soul | I was pretty hard on myself this past year. Stress, anxiety, restless thoughts and a lack of sleep aren’t kind to the body. I had a bad relationship with food and only exercised because I felt pressured to lose weight to fit in. In turn I felt disgusted by my body and habits. I thought mean things about myself and fell victim to an unrealistic standard of beauty. I’ve noticed that people always set weight loss goals at the beginning of a new year, but I don’t want to get sucked into that vortex this time around. I’ve learned that (for me) fixating on weight or physical appearance only starves the soul and feeds the world. I want to love and honor myself holistically, and losing weight for the sake of “self-love” just won’t help me get there. I’ve been practicing yin yoga and plan to continue doing so; I meditate a few times a week but want to make it a daily habit.

My affirmations for 2017 are: “You are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment. The choices you’ve made have brought you to this moment for a reason. What needs to happen will happen, and what has happened has already passed. Be who you need to be in this moment. Allow yourself to experience the present without pain from the past or fear of the future.”

Wishing you a new year full of blessings! Share your resolutions and reflections with me in the comments below. Until next time,

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