We’re almost through our first week of 2018 and I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling all the hope and excitement and bright-and-shininess that the new year brings. Even though I’ve already had some “crummy” things happen, like my car handle broke (making it impossible for me to GET OUT of my car) I’m determined to push through it and make 2018 my best year yet. And, I’ve got the perfect word to guide me on my 2018 journey!
I’ve been choosing a word of the year for three years now (see 2016 and 2017 words here) and in general, it’s been an amazing experience and way more helpful than setting a bunch of resolutions that I forget about a month later. The word tends to stick with me all year long, helps guide me in setting short-term goals, and is much easier to remember when faced with defining choices, events, and challenges. If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that 2017 was not my best year. It was actually the hardest year of my adult life and I was met with a lot of trials and sorrows and disappointments. One of the biggest disappointments for me was my complete and utter failure to live up to my word of 2017, which was “Thrive.”
I chose the word “Thrive” because I wanted to be more than a “survivor.” I felt like I defined so much of my life of being able to survive things, like pediatric cancer, and not thrive in those experiences. But 2017 happened and it brought emergency surgeries and depression and anxiety and a miscarriage and it took absolutely everything I had to survive it. There was not a lot of thriving. I will give myself the credit, though, that I continually strived to live a vibrant life even when things were awful. It may not have been super successful, but I did try and I have some precious memories that I’m clinging to because of it.
As 2017 started to wind down and I started reflecting on how the year went, I knew immediately what my word of 2018 would be. It came to me suddenly and quickly and with such surety that I knew it would completely change my life if I pursued it.
My Word of the Year for 2018 Is…”Me”
2018 will be the “Year of Me.” That may sound really selfish and vain to some, but I really don’t care. I realized that over the last year, I very rarely put myself first. Often times, I didn’t feel like I deserved to put myself first, and other times I would feel guilty about wanting to put myself first. I found my weekends booked back to back to back with church activities, social engagements, extra work events, and traveling. While I love doing those things, I hated that I felt like I could never get a moment to myself. When I did have downtime, I would fill it with naps and binging Top Chef on Hulu because I had no energy to do anything else. All of the things I wanted or needed to do, including working and growing my blog or getting enough sleep, were put on the back burner. On top of that, I started developing MAJOR anxiety anytime we had plans on the calendar because I felt like the precious time I was craving was being taken away from me. I hated not knowing WHEN I was going to have time for myself and my projects and slowly was losing my sanity.
2018 is going to be MY year in every aspect: mental health, physical health, spirituality, and blogging. These are a few of the things I want to specifically focus on during the next 12 months:
I will say NO: Dustin and I talked about this a few months ago when I had an epic meltdown about having to host a church event on a Friday night in our home. I had JUST hosted friends the weekend before and the next day we had made last minute plans to go crawling in the Jeep with my sister & brother-in-law. I had been hoping to find some time to work on my blog that weekend and all of the time had been suddenly booked up. I was so overwhelmed in that instant by how many things I was saying yes to, all the things I was adding to my calendar and the lack of time I had for myself and the things I wanted to do. I realized I needed to stop saying yes to everything that was asked of me. I felt obligated to say yes every time we were invited over for dinner or when I was asked to do something for a neighbor or when I was asked to work late at work. Now, I will say no if I truly don’t want to do that thing or if that thing takes up time I’ve already planned on using for myself. I’m also going to (try) to not feel sorry for saying no!
Furthermore, I want to say no to relationships in my life that no longer benefit me or feel toxic. I want to say no to content that doesn’t inspire me or that puts me in the comparison trap. I want to say no to fruitless strategies in my business. I want to say no to doing things just because everyone else is doing them.
I will put my dreams and goals ahead of everything else – Well, not EVERYTHING else. My marriage and my family will always come first and be the top priority in my life. But, I will not let anything else get in the way of working on my goals and dreams for 2018. I won’t spend endless amounts of hours watching Netflix. I will say no if I’m asked to do something that will get in the way of time I’ve already dedicated to myself (like going to the gym or working on my blog.) I will be more in tune with what I need – and if I need to go to bed early instead of staying up to watch a trendy tv show, I’m going to go to bed. It’s time I put loving and taking care of myself at the top of my to-do list!
I will take care of my body – This has been a constant challenge for me because I’ve struggled with wanting to take care of my body after cancer and even more so after our miscarriage. Some days, it feels like I’m trapped in a body that hurts and wants to betray me constantly. A few weeks after the miscarriage, I found myself in a super dark place and knew that I needed to do something drastic to turn things around. So, I decided I would focus on my physical health more seriously than ever, stop making excuses, and start making changes. I started working on this after Thanksgiving – I’ve been meal prepping every week and going to the gym twice a week to do an hour of cardio since the last week of November. It was hard at first and it’s a learning curve trying to figure out what I can and can’t do with my knee, but I’ve slowly started seeing results. Nothing too drastic, except that I can walk longer on the treadmill without getting out of breath and I’m not dealing with as many headaches during the day (probably because I’m eating better.) I’m still struggling with the whole “self-love” aspect, but I’m hoping that by making this a priority this year, I’ll find more peace and acceptance with my body and learn to appreciate the things it CAN do instead of the things it can’t.
I will improve myself – I mentioned this in my 2017 review post earlier this week, but I as I grappled with the range of emotions of having a miscarriage, I had a realization that I just wasn’t really happy with who I was or where I was going. I felt like I had coasted through the last couple years of my life and didn’t have much to show for it. I’ve spent time learning new skills at my job and new skills for my blog, but I hadn’t done ANYTHING to better myself, as a person in years. I felt like I was the same person with the same habits and the same inability to make big changes. So, this year, I’m going to make changes and really invest in self-improvement. I’ve been listening to self-improvement podcasts and ted talks, I started journaling via the 52 Lists Project, and I’ve actively been trying new strategies to help me change my mindset. On top of that, I’m in the process of going back to a therapist to help me work through some of my dark and twisty scars so that they won’t hinder me. It’s a lot to do, but I feel more ready than I ever have before.
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I absolutely LOVE hearing what words everyone else chooses, so please drop a comment and let me know!
P.S. If you want to make 2018 a year about you, hang tight. I’ve got an exciting announcment on the way!