I have been writing for the Odyssey Online for over a year now. It's fun to look back on some of my very first articles and see how much I have changed as a writer and person in such a short time. There have been times when I have almost gave it up because we all know how busy life can be.

At the start of last year, there were many new opportunities and changes occurring. A faculty member joked and said it was the "year of Raegan." While there were many new things that happened this past year, I'm not sure it was my year. There are still many things I want to get out and accomplish. Each year is going to have setbacks but it's about how you will overcome those obstacles to keep going up the mountain.

Making New Year resolutions has never been something I got into. Some people love it, and some hate it. I've never chosen a word to live by the entire year either. The second article I ever wrote for Odyssey was https://theodysseyonline/new-year-change-you. I still believe that you don't have to create a whole new you. Recently, I have been saying that "I want to be the best possible version of myself." My values don't change. Most of my opinions stay the same. I am still me, but I still want to push myself to be the best possible version of myself that I can be.

I owe it to my family.

I owe it to my friends.

I owe it to my boyfriend.

Most importantly, I owe it to myself to be all that I can be. If my loved ones continue to believe in me, then I need to as well.

For 2018, I challenge you all to strive to be the best possible versions of yourself. If that means going to the gym, then go. If that means eating healthier, then do it. If that means opening your bible more, then get to reading. If that means studying more, then crack open the books. If that means giving yourself time to recharge, kick your feet up and relax. If that means going the extra mile at work, give it your all.

Whatever it is that will make you be a better version of your current self, then get on it, my friends.

By this time next year, as 2018 ends, I want to be able to look back like I am now and be happy with the improvements I made. I want to be able to say that I gave it my all that year, and for the next year, I am going to kick it up another notch because I know I can.

I know I can continue to do better, even when I am completely exhausted. I know I can do better, because "I can do all things through Christ," (Philippians 4:13).

I can be a better daughter. I can be a better friend. I can be a better sister. I can be a better girlfriend. I can be a better granddaughter. I can be a better student. I can be a better employee. I can be a better listener. I can be a better speaker. I can be a better writer.

I can always work towards being a better person. We all can. We just have to put the work in towards that. Seeing results is the most rewarding thing ever. We can only see results if we actually do something though. Sitting back and letting things happen isn't living life, and it certainly isn't giving you your best self.

I'm not saying a person can ever be perfect because you can't. It's impossible. You will fail, but that doesn't mean you will stop being loved. John Green says it best, "I don't know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."

I know all sorts of flawed people. I'm number one on my flawed list; however, just because I'm flawed doesn't mean I will stop trying to give my best to those who mean most to me.

So if you don't believe me that you can improve and be a better version of yourself, why not give it a try to prove me wrong? I'd love to see your results!