I sat down to write this post several times, and every time I just couldn't seem to get it right. There's a lot that could be said about 2016. It was a year of personal growth for me more than anything, and you all traveled along on the journey with me (you can read posts about it from January, June, and December). As I sit here right now trying to decide what to say to welcome in this new year and depart from the last, the words are really hard to find.
I'm thankful for the highs and lows that the last year brought. It taught me a lot about what I want out of life and the direction that my life is going. Over the past six months especially, I've learned so much about who I am. Self awareness was the silver lining of 2016.
I love the freshness of a new year. That time when it just feels right to make decisions about everything and execute them with confidence. It's the follow-through that's the hardest, but I'm bound and determined to give it everything I've got this year. I've finally reached a point in my life where I truly believe every single thing happens for a reason, and every person is put in your life for one reason or another. Some people are "seasonal." They come in for a short time to help you realize something about yourself or teach you lesson. Don't be afraid of or angry at those people for coming and going. Don't be sad either. They weren't meant to stay. 2017 is the year of lifelong people.
I like the term "goals" rather than resolutions. So, I sat down and hand-wrote my top five goals (with subgoals tucked inside) and my reminders for the new year.
It's the year for adventure, friends!
one // EXPLORE VIRGINIA
There are so many places within my own state that I've never seen. I see people post photos and talk about little hidden gems, but I never make the effort to get there myself. I actually started a list with my two best friends while I was in Fredericksburg this past week. I can't wait to see and share more of the state I love so much.
two // CREATE A LIST OF WEEKEND DESTINATIONS IN THE SOUTH
Sort of piggy-backing off of the first one, this has been something that I've been wanting to do for so long. There are tons of places near me that could actually be one-day trips. I'm really excited to no longer have to say "I've always wanted to go there."
three // READ THE BIBLE
I purchased a new journaling bible over the weekend. It's really beautiful - I'll be sure to share on snapchat (julie-leah) when it comes. It has columns for journaling and artfully drawn verses for coloring. Each day's reading includes text from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and guides you through the entire Bible in a year. I'm really looking forward to growing in my faith and developing a stronger relationship with God this year.
four // FOCUS ON MY HEALTH
I know I've mentioned this before, but when your body is trying to tell you something - LISTEN. This year, more than ever, my focus is to get healthier and start living a healthier lifestyle. I have no desire to be a health-nut (more power to you if you are!), I just want to love my body more and do things now that will have positive long-term effects on my health.
five // FIND A "BLOGGING AS A BUSINESS" BALANCE
This blog will always be partially a hobby for me - something that I love to do that gives me a creative outlet, outside my daily job (right now, I don't see it becoming a full-time gig). But in 2017, one of my professional goals, is to focus on the business side of it a little more. I want to blog with purpose and strategy more than I have in the past while still being personal, genuine, and relatable.
one // KNOW YOUR WORTH
This applies to every aspect of your life - friends, relationships, jobs. Know what you're worth and don't let anyone devalue you.
two // DON'T WASTE TIME ON PEOPLE WHO AREN'T "ALL IN"
If they aren't willing to give 100%, then you shouldn't either. Refer back to number one.
three // SETTLING IS NOT AN OPTION
People ask me all the time why I'm not married. Behold the answer, folks.
four // YOUR "PERSON" IS OUT THERE - BE PATIENT
This is basically for my own good, but I know some of y'all need to hear it too.
five // HAPPINESS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
Pretty self-explanatory, don't you think? Refer to number three.