I’m a big fan of reflecting on the previous year and setting goals and intentions for the new one. I also choose a Word of the Year to focus on.
I believe in goal setting, but I’ve never been great about writing and tracking them. I’ve personally found more success with setting intentions, writing down my desires and focusing on a word for the year.
Initially, this practice sounded “woo-woo.” But after giving it a shot, I’ve found that for me, it works. Previous “words” for the year have included Freedom, Abundance and Purpose. This year, after a lot of thought, I have decided on Joy.
Looking Back on Last Year
This past year has been a good one. We’ve had big wins and some big learnings. I won’t say “losses” because that’s just not true. Yes, we’ve had stress and challenges like anyone else.
But except for my grandma’s decline in health and our struggles with advocating for her physically and financially (which has been very emotionally taxing – more on that later,) it’s been a year of discovery and “aha” moments. These moments have been defining, giving me direction and ambition in several areas:
Finding My Purpose:
It’s the first year I haven’t worked outside the home, giving me the freedom and flexibility to stay home with Little B for spring break, summer and holidays.
I have been able to drop her off at school, hit the gym during the day, run errands, and be here when she gets home. For several years, that’s all I wanted. And I have to say, it was a much-needed break. I loved it.
Ironically, I also struggled with it. Adapting to this season of life was challenging. I have loved my time at home. But it has given me a lot of idle time to think about what I really want in life.
What being home this past year has taught me is that I am not content with just this. Not one hundred percent. It’s what I’ve wanted more than anything since Little B was born.
And now that I have it, I have learned something powerful. I want more. I love this life but also, this is not enough. I’ve realized that I am not living up to my full potential.
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I Miss Making an Income
I miss making money. (Is that bad? No, I don’t think so.) I want us to have more experiences, which takes money. I don’t feel like I am contributing all that I can contribute; to life, to my family, to myself.
After I stopped working, I struggled with my self-worth because I felt like if I wasn’t producing (income, results, etc.) then I wasn’t worthy. It’s taken a lot of self-reflection to accept that while this isn’t necessarily true, there is some element of truth in that for me.
I need to feel that I am being productive in my life to feel purposeful. While being home when my daughter comes home and keeping a better handle on our home certainly fulfills a purpose, I’ve realized I can do more. What that looks like, I’m not sure. I think 2019 is the year to find out.
Staying home has been a gift that I appreciate so much. Now it’s time to go out and find a way to combine how I can be here for my family and be true to myself.
I want balance and flexibility, but I also want to be fulfilled from a contribution standpoint. Before, I didn’t think that was possible. But now I believe that it is. I didn’t think I could really have both. But I can. I can, and I will.
Weight, Body Image and Overall Health
My weight gain took off when all my free time and energy had to go towards getting our house ready to sell in late 2017, listing it, being displaced, finding a new home in a new town and moving right before the holidays.
Then once January rolled around, I was right back up to my highest weight. With a trip to Jamaica planned for July, I joined a gym and jumped in with both feet, trying to do too much too fast, resulting in fatigue, burnout, emotional drain, and even some injuries.
I found myself frustrated at almost every turn, as the weight was slow to come off despite my hard work. That journey taught me a lot about consistency, realistic expectations, and patience.
I learned more about self-love and acceptance and began a journey to changing how I speak and think about myself. I found two things that brought me joy; Zumba and Yoga. I plan to do more of both in 2019.
I am committed to eating cleaner this coming year. I’m also doing #dryjanuary for the first time. I have never done dry anything other than during my pregnancy. Anyone who knows me knows that I love my wine, so this should be interesting.
Redefining Myself in My 40s
I turned 45 in July. Until now, I’ve never given much thought to aging. But suddenly, I seem to be obsessed with aging on my terms.
I’m seeing signs of aging; lines, hair loss, easier weight gain, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but some saggy skin. I’m feeling it; stiffness in the morning, getting tired easier, and worst of all, I can tell in my stability, balance, and just the way I move in general.
I am learning that I need to increase my confidence and explore my own style. It’s not just about aging gracefully, but also facing it head-on and refusing to let my age define what I wear or how I present myself.
So, I’ll be doing more of that this year; embracing my own style and investing in myself. I’ll be learning to be comfortable in my own skin, including embracing my height and size; something I’ve never done.
This year I want to improve my body image, approach to health, beauty and fashion in my forties. It’s not about looking and feeling good for other people or to meet certain standards. It’s about looking good and feeling good for myself.
Personal Growth and Development
I love personal development. I was a fan of the self-help section in Barnes and Noble waaaaaay back before it was cool. This year, I want to create a plan which not only includes setting intentions and goals but also resources (books, blogs, and podcasts) for growth and inspiration.
The hubs and I are getting more ambitious this year. We sat down on NYE to review our overall plans on objectives for the year. From this initial plan, we will chart our course month by month and week by week.
I created a simple workbook for us to plan our goals and track our progress over the next 12 months. I believe in starting now, whether it’s January or July, so I created a non-dated version which I will share as a free download soon!
Eliminating Toxicity, Healing Trauma
Without getting too deep, because it would take a lot of time, I need to let go of generational patterns and family dysfunction that has overshadowed my life for far too long. My family is currently wrapped up in a bad situation, in which my grandmother has been drained of her resources and finances, leaving her without the necessary funds to provide properly for her care.
It has been sickening, sad and infuriating to uncover how her resources and assets have been depleted. She deserves to live out the remainder of her days in her own home with professional, 24-hour care. Yet that is no longer an option due to how her resources have been manipulated and mismanaged.
I’m really trying to process all of this from a place of compassion, but it’s hard. I have legitimate and valid feelings to work through, going back to my childhood.
Unfortunately, I can’t write about moving forward without unraveling the past and working through what has brought me here. In order to unlearn bad behaviors, you sometimes must work through it, so you can stop the cycle. Looks like 2019 will be a year of unraveling and releasing a long, ugly history of trauma and drama.
And that, my friends, leads me to my focus word for 2019:
While it feels like Joy can be an overused word, I’ve realized that Joy is something I’ve felt less and less of over the past year. First and foremost, I know it’s because of what is going on with my grandma. I’ve been hyper-focused on the unfolding saga and it’s given me nightmares. Also, as I mentioned above, I’m lacking a real sense of fulfillment and purpose in my daily life.
So yes, part of my 2019 journey is to find that fulfillment and purpose. The other part is to find Joy. It means going out and creating Joy, but also finding the Joy in all seasons and situations. I need to find Joy even amid this sick, dysfunctional situation surrounding my grandma. It means finding Joy in running daily errands and while looking for fulfilling work. It means finding Joy in big things, mundane things, and finding Joy within, no matter what I am doing.
I think a big part of that will be going back to the concept that started this blog in the first place: Stop. Breathe. Reboot. Stay grounded. Look for the good. Seek purpose. Be authentic. Start fresh. Explore new things. Love more. These are my dreams for 2019.
Breathe and Reboot, friends!