With every holiday season, for me there comes a time of reflection. Different points throughout your year make you think to a year, two, five years ago to where you were on this exact day.

As I’ve grown up, it has become clear that almost nothing is permanent. You won’t be forever heartbroken, you will weed out people who do not deserve your energy, and you will not always have everyone you love.

There are different hardships we all face, but there are so many successes, together and apart, that always can be warm memories to look back on. A fun night out, the perfect latte, holding hands for the first time, the perfect kiss, a bittersweet hug from a friend, laughing until you cannot breathe with your mom.

Not all reflection is bad.

I try to reflection to see where I was a year ago to compare before deciding where to go from here. 

This time last year, I was helping my mom after her surgery while she was relearning how to walk, my grandfather was dying, I was in a different relationship, I wasn’t completely moved in from college, I was job hunting. All of these things are facts, but also bring up a lot of emotions. A lot of triumph, pain, learning and coping.

This time last year, I envisioned myself packing up and moving to New Orleans. Who’s to say that this time next year I won’t be, but for now staying in Chicago is the right and grown up decision for so many reasons. Sometimes things in life shift, and I'm learning that, that is okay. I think that no matter where I am, I'm going to make the most of it and I have an amazing support system of people who love me unconditionally in both places. I do not have all the answers, but I do have a lot of amazing people in my life so that always helps a lot.

As I reflect on years past, it helps me make goals for my next year. Everything up to this point has been preparing me for this moment. Right here, right now. When I make my goals, some are specific but some are an overall idea that I hope to encompass.

In 2019, I vow to myself to:

Stick to what I know I deserve.

There are so many times that I quietly change my opinion or compromise on important things to make situations easier for everyone. In the past, I've rushed into situations both professionally and personally that weren't the best in the long term. In 2019, I'm going to promise myself to not compromise on things when I can help it professionally, and make sure I take time to read the fine print. Obviously, in my 20's I'm not going to land my "dream job" and I don't expect to land it. However, if I don't start making sure that even the basics of something are covered, I will for sure crash and burn!

I have done this in the past in my personal life as well. I think not respecting and loving myself made it hard to expect others too as well. In 2017 and 2018, I grew leaps and bounds in this department. Giving energy to the right people in my life and realizing what I value in various relationships overall made me a happier and healthier person. So I hope to progress on this journey in 2019.

Focus on my relationship with God and go to church more.

Something that I have been meaning to do for awhile. I implemented daily prayer into my life after my major anxiety attack, but I felt like I was prepared to take my devotion to the next level. So far, so good. I think since Joe and I shared the idea, we will hold each other accountable! I'm excited to make this an activity. We're also thinking of including brunch after which might develop into a fun tradition.

Get back on track with Weight Watchers and health goals.

I really let this one get away from me in the end of 2018! I was down 19 pounds from a joint effort in my fitness and diet journey. But once Thanksgiving hit, my self control went out the window! I'm going to get back to where I was before Thanksgiving and then some!

I also want to make sure I drink enough water, get enough sleep and work hard to enjoy my new job at The Dailey Method.

Things I want to continue working on in 2019 include: working on the power of sorry, anxiety management, and not comparing myself to others in all aspects of life. Things that will all come with time.

The key to resolutions, goals, anything that you want to achieve, is to break it up into achievable increments. You won't be motivated to get out and find your resolutions if you look at the big picture because you may not be able to tackle it right away. Chipping away at it slowly will also help to create longer lasting, positive habits. For example, if you join a gym in the new year and you want to go 4 to 5 times a week for an hour, you can't just flat out start working out that many times, too fast because your body can't handle it. To create a lasting habit, you need to work your way up. Maybe your first month goal would be to go two times a week for thirty minutes and build for there. Allowing your body to adjust it's appetite, muscle build, and so on.

How I plan on breaking up a goal this year is my WW goal. I'm not going to focus on how I gained weight back or how it might take all year to reach my overall goal. I am instead going to look for progress week to week. Is there anything I need to adjust? Is there anything I could've done better? Realign myself and try again for more progress the following week. Will I always be this positive? Probably not. But that's another part of my journey that I have to work on slowly as well. I'm focusing more of healthy food and portion control rather than a number on a scale anyways! Nothing worth having happens over night. Also, if what you're working towards is easy enough to achieve in a short amount of time, it might serve you better to think bigger and have a bigger goal.

A way I plan to implement weekly goals is by keeping myself organized all in one place. I plan on utilizing my new Savor Beauty 90 day Planner. By breaking up my months, weeks and days I feel less anxiety. Having everything in one place will also help me better with time management!

Goals, resolutions, buzz words, however you start off your New Year, make sure that you have realistic goals that you can check your progress on. Make it a year of personal growth, self love and soul enriching. Whether you're pledging to drink more water, travel the world or remembering to call your grandparents more often, make sure you're doing it with love. At the end of the day, goals and resolutions that better ourselves are what will make 2019 a better year than the next. Let's pledge to ourselves to do our best in 2019.

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