Call me a dreamer. Call me basic. Call me idealistic. It is what it is. I’m a sucker for the new year; a fresh start, a clean slate. I know that it’s no different than a Monday of a new week, or the start of a new month, but something about a new year resonates with me, more so this year than ever before. Maybe it’s the hope for change – a chance to re-start and re-prioritize.
One thing I’ve learned in my vast experience with new years is that goals/resolutions/intentions (whatever you want to call them) are more successful when I take the time to reflect on all the things I’ve gleaned from the year behind me. Things I’ve learned, ways I’ve changed, areas I want to grow in – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lucky for you, being a blogger means letting you in on these reflections…
- I was reminded how good God’s grace is and that He works good in ALL things. 2018 was an incredible year in so many ways, but also one of the hardest years. Through some personal things, I had to rely on God’s strength more than ever before and He came through every time. All the days I wanted to be angry or hurt or confused, God reminded me of His presence and His forgiveness. Also, worship is my weapon and I’m never as strong as I am bowed before Him.
- Family is everything. They might know how to push your buttons better than anyone else, but they also know how to love you and take care of you better than anyone else. Also, my parents are my heroes and 2018 solidified that once again.
- Moving out on my own was easier than I thought it would be, and so rewarding. Sometime I’ll tell the full story of how everything fell into place perfectly, but for now I’ll just say that I love my little home and I’m really proud of myself.
- It’s okay to take care of yourself and put yourself first sometimes. The last half of 2018 is where I learned a really good lesson about showing up for myself and placing value on my needs. I’m always the first one to be there for anyone else and fill the need, but I’m the worst at being kind to myself. God reminded me around my birthday this year how many people I have in my corner. If those people would fight for me, why am I not willing to fight for myself? It’s good to be proud of yourself, how far you’ve come, and all you’ve accomplished – I don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed of doing well.
Now comes the fun part – setting our goals or resolutions for 2019. Lately, I’ve heard a lot of people calling it “intention setting.” This makes me laugh – instead of resolving to do something, now we’re only intending to do things… But whatever you call them, I still think it’s fun to set some goals for the new year.
This year I took time to journal and really think through areas in my life that are important to me. Then I marked the areas that I feel like I’m doing decent in. Lastly, I chose the areas that I want to focus on this year and grow in. I won’t share all of this in depth, but I liked this method a lot, so I’ll just share a few of the focus areas I’ve chosen to prioritize this year.
- More consistent quiet time and Bible reading. In 2019, I want to draw closer to Jesus than I’ve ever been. I’m going to be more intentional about starting my days in His word.
- This year I want to be the healthiest version of myself. I’m not committing to losing 500 pounds or any crazy diet goals; I just want to look back at the end of the year and be proud of how far I’ve come. I’m a very all-or-nothing kind of girl, so usually I set really unattainable short term goals for myself in this area and then beat myself up when I don’t reach them. This year I’ve given myself smaller goals and dedicated the whole year to the process. We’re only a couple weeks in and already I’m proud of my progress and I’m giving myself more grace.
- Lastly, I just want to make myself a priority more. I talked above about how I learned in 2018 that it’s okay to put myself first sometimes, so in 2019, I want to work on not guilting myself when I mess up and just showing up for myself. My quiet time, health, and morning routine goals are just little things that I’ve decided I owe to myself. I want to get to the end of the year and look back and be proud of where I’m at, how far I’ve come, and that I didn’t give up on myself. I’m stuck with me for a long time, so I want to better that relationship and treat myself/talk to myself the way I talk to my best friends. So I’m making it a focus this year to show grace – no more expecting myself to have it all together from the get go, but staying committed to myself for the long haul.
So those are the big areas I’m focusing on this year. I’m hoping that if I can focus on those things, all the smaller things like wanting to save more to travel more will fall into place. It’s all about priorities, so I’m realigning mine this year and going into it with a different perspective than before.
2018 was full of highs and lows, much like every year before it, and much like all the years after it. For me, it started with a giant snow storm and ended with a wonderful trip to Charleston, South Carolina. In between all of that one of my best friends got pregnant, I saw both Taylor Swift and George Ezra for the 2nd time, both my sister-in-law and best friend found their wedding dresses, both Shea and I thought we may lose our jobs, we moved for the 3rd time since we’ve been married and we entered our 5th year of marriage.
I wish I could say that I learned a lot and that I’m entering 2019 full of knowledge and wisdom, but the truth is I will probably make the many of the same mistakes I made in 2018. I will be short with people when I am tired or frustrated, I will curse more than I should and eat way too many cookies. But the exciting thing is I know 2019 is going to be full of things that help me grow in ways I’ve never grown before. I know that it’s full of people who I can lean on to help me grow. Chelsea’s baby will force me to watch my mouth because I don’t want her thinking that Auntie Mimi has a potty mouth. Shea’s worked really hard this past year and lost a lot of weight and I know that I can rely on him to help me stop eating cookies. I have surrounded myself with people who keep me grounded and force me to be aware when I’m being a brat.
I’m hoping that 2019 brings more highs than lows, that this year Shea will get a promotion and a raise instead of us fearing for our jobs. That this year will be the year that I finally overcome some of my addictions. The year that I read more than I watch TV, or at least read as much as I watch TV, let’s be realistic. The year that I actually complete a 30 day yoga challenge. I’m always excited at the idea of new beginnings. I hope that this year, 2019, keeps feeling like a new beginning, that I remind myself each week that things don’t have to stay the way they are and that I have the power to change them, or to overcome them. I am excited for 2019 and all the things that I have yet to learn and accomplish. I guess you can say that I learned to be realistic in 2018 and am carrying that into how I live my life in 2019, so I have to say, bring it on 2019. Let’s do this.
Okay, so before I jump into all the lessons I’ve learned this year, let’s do a quick recap:
Let’s see, there was a snow storm that kept us inside for a few days (luckily I had my work computer with me so I could work from home so I didn’t get to do nothing or play in the snow all day like everyone else. I’m clearly not bitter about it still.). A few weeks later I was in a photo/video shoot to promote the women’s conference at my church which was a huge honor. HOWEVER, I have never been and don’t think I will ever be as cold as I was that day. It was a beach shoot, in January, and I was in a dress and sandals. It actually snowed that morning. *SHIVERS JUST THINKING ABOUT IT* I also had the chance to be a part of the conference in March, helping to write and be in the opener. It was superhero themed. I got to repel from the catwalk as black widow. It was amazing. There were lots of incredibly fun trips – Charleston, Orlando, California, Philly…and then BABY. We found out I was pregnant on July 4th and the rest of the year has been a blur of happiness and trying to finish as many classes as possible to finish my grad program before she arrives in March.
As a result of all those amazing things and other not so amazing things, here’s a few things I learned:
- I’m still the worst at procrastinating. Like real bad. Doing homework until 2am happened more often than I’d like to admit.
- Grocery shopping and food prep makes me so happy (when it’s done). It’s also something I’ve successfully avoided too many times.
- PEOPLE ARE SO NICE. I’ve been so incredibly blessed and encouraged by so many people around me. Not that I didn’t know my friends and family were amazing people, but 2018 has been a constant reminder of it.
- Writing is hard.
- Being pregnant is WEIRD. But really cool all at the same time.
Here are some of the things I want to resolve to do or intend to do in 2019:
- Stop. procrastinating. (I’ve got one more class before the due date – wish me luck!)
- Learn how to make one new recipe a week (this goal is obviously one for before the baby comes lol)
- WRITE MORE THANK YOU CARDS. Because PEOPLE ARE SO NICE.
- Write more. And not just thank you cards. Lol
- Stop using “lol” at the end of things.
- Have a baby.
The last one is obviously my top priority as is the whole resulting raising the child thing. But thankfully, all those nice people that I’ll be writing a billion thank you cards to will be there to help (including my incredible husband who is going to rock at being a dad). So here’s to 2019 and the exciting, challenging and amazing year I know it’s going to be.
What are your goals or intentions or resolutions this year?
How do you go about them so they hold up past January?
Let us know in the comments or on our socials!