As the hustle and stress of the holidays die down, and the New Year is fast approaching, we settle into a period of transition and reflection. This time is one of my favorites in the year, because it provides a chance for reflection on where I have been and on where I am going. It isn’t that these moments of reflection are absent from the rest of the year. In fact, I believe it is important to check in on your goals often and tweak them as needed. However, this time does provide an excellent opportunity to do these things on a larger scale. It reminds me of preparing for a new school year as a child. That time of year marked a time for new beginnings for both myself and everyone around me. It made it easy to check in with myself about my goals for the new school year, and my life as a whole, because it was encouraged (both implicitly and explicitly) by those around me. New Years really is the adult version of back to school. From resolutions, to the start of a new calendar year, we are socially encouraged towards reflection, renewal, and preparation.
My 2019 was so good in so many ways. This is not to say it was without its challenges and heartbreaks, but when I reflect back, my feelings toward the year are overwhelmingly positive. Some of the highlights of my year included getting married, moving to Colorado, lots of travel, and, most importantly, sticking to my goals that I made for myself at the beginning of the year. More on that later. While there were countless beautiful and happy moments this year, there were also some real lows. I started off the year injured, I moved far away from people who I love very dearly, my Nanna died, I was fired from my job, I experienced financial difficulties and struggled with my mental health. Through it all, however, I was thankful and proud, because I had so many more tools to deal with the challenges I was facing and felt much more stable than I would have felt in the past.
The reason for this improvement really came down to the changes I have made over the past year. I started off 2019 recovering from an injury and feeling very unhappy with my health. I was living a sedentary lifestyle and struggled with my mental health and disordered eating. I would often binge on food and, while it was mostly healthy foods, my relationship with food was not good. I didn’t feel comfortable in my body and I wanted a change. Around February, I made a commitment to change my lifestyle. I had tried to do so in the past, but had never stuck with it. I didn’t totally trust myself to stick with it this time either. I really wanted it and surprised myself when I stuck to my goals for the whole year.
This might seem like a change in only one area of my life, but it changed everything. It made me believe in myself and in my ability to keep a promise to myself. It gave me confidence and improved my mental health and self-control. The physical benefits were amazing. I had more endurance, more energy, and a better relationship with food. My swelling and ankle pain went away. I became more agile and hurt myself less often because I was able to catch myself. I felt so much better in my skin. It really radiated into every other aspect of my life. I have never been more proud of myself or more grateful.
I really want to bring this forward momentum and positive energy into 2020. While I don’t totally believe in resolutions, I do think it is important to set intentions and a theme for each year. My theme for 2019 was “Confidence, Responsibility, Wellness, and Positivity“. This year, I want to continue to focus on my health but, even more-so, I want to focus on experiences and personal development.
My theme for 2020 is “Creativity, Exploration, and Growth“.
In 2020 I will spend time exploring Colorado and anywhere else I get the opportunity to travel to. I will prioritize new experiences like snowboarding, hiking the Manitou Incline, and hiking my first 14er to name a few. I plan to explore more creative outlets and spend more time on artistic endeavors. I want to try lots of new activities and discover more things that spark joy for me. This will not only help me in my personal development, but will make for an enjoyable year! I also hope to achieve growth in other areas of my life. I intend to focus on growth in areas of fitness and finances.
I have been so blessed this year. In many ways 2019 will be hard to beat, but I am optimistic that 2020 will bring its share of beauty, love, joy, and happiness. I hope you all had a fantastic year and, either way, I hope 2020 treats you kindly. Be safe and have fun tonight. I’m headed off to my last workout of 2019 which will be followed with dinner and drinks at home to usher in the new decade!! Happy New Year!