A Reflection On 2018 And How To Make 2019 The Best Year It Could Possibly Be

A Reflection On 2018 And How To Make 2019 The Best Year It Could Possibly Be

A new year means new adventures and taking what I learned from the past year to make this my year.

parek1
parek1
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We all know that silly saying, "new year, new me". And while it's not necessarily true that you are "new", you can make changes for yourself and how to make the present year the best one yet.

2018 was a challenge for me. Entering into 2018, I had just lost my grandmother to her long hard fight against lung cancer, and I felt a little lost in the world. I had to cope with losing one of my best friends while also trying to maneuver school, a job, a sorority, and my social life. I had a rough start to my year, and mentally and emotionally, I wasn't in the best shape I could have been in. However, not all of 2018 was bad. I took 2 amazing little with my sorority in the Spring, and Nora and Christina, you were what helped me through my tough time. I do feel like I should have been there for you more, but it's also because of you that I pulled myself out of my funk.

I got into the master's program of my dreams in April, and I proved to myself that I could do what my heart and mind had been telling me to do in my career path all along. I went home to Jacksonville for the summer, and I took me time. I worked alongside my family in our family business and really threw myself into making all of the time that I could with the people I love the most. Summer was a renewal for me. I focused on me and my mental health, and when summer came to an end, I felt like a new and happier person. In August, I moved into my first apartment with my best friend.

I planned a rush process with my sorority, and even better with that, I gained another two amazing littles, Kat and Emma, to add to my family line in my sorority. I now have the four most amazing, unique, loving, and caring young women to call my littles and I couldn't be happier. This fall semester, I learned so much about myself as a future educator and learned so much about my own abilities in the classroom. I finished out the year strong. I have a job that I love, the best of friends, and I ended the year surrounded by those who love me.

Through 2018, I learned so much about what I do and do not want to see in my future. I learned in 2018 that if you are unhappy in an employment opportunity, change it and find something you love to do. You will truly never work a day in your life if you find a career you have a passion for. I also learned that not everyone is going to like what I do or say, but ultimately, as long as I do something with the best intentions, then that is all I can do. I don't need the validation of others to be happy. The only validation that I need is my own happiness. I also learned that sometimes you just have to jump on opportunities and not let the experience pass you by. I had so many new experiences in 2018, but I also missed out on so many because I was too afraid to take the chance.

In 2019, I will be a changed woman. I will find happiness in the little things and shape my viewpoint on the good, not the bad. I will try my hardest to not seek validation in others, but to trust my own instincts and trust myself more. And I will leap at new opportunities. I will try things that I have never done before. I will go to places I've never been. I will create new experiences for myself and I will live every day to the fullest. If there is anything that I have learned, it's that we are never guaranteed each day.

So I'm going to make 2019 my year, and I hope you do the same.

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19 One-Word Resolutions You Need For 2018

Save money on that gym membership you'll only use for 3 weeks, and replace it with a one-word resolution!
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By the time this posts, I will be 19 years old, which is just crazy to me. With my birthday being New Year's Eve, I often spend my time thinking of New Year's Resolutions. Like most others, I'll say: "I'll go to the gym this year!" "I'm never going to eat chocolate again!" "I'm going to stop procrastinating!" "I'm going to lose 50 lbs!"

But let's cut the bullshit.

Look, I know New Year's Resolutions are motivational and inspiring, but we all know they never make it to February. And if I'm being honest, it's because we're setting ourselves up for failure, ironically. Psychologists refer to this as 'False Hope Syndrome,' which is when you give yourself an extremely specific and unrealistic resolution that doesn't correlate with how you internally view yourself.

I know what you're thinking: "Well I'm screwed. 2018 is going to be terrible."

BUT FEAR NOT! FOR I HAVE ANOTHER IDEA FOR YOU!

Listen to me, and listen carefully because I'm going to give you some specific instructions. First, write down your original New Year's Resolution(s). Then, take that paper, crumple it up, burn it, and take the ashes and dump them into a pool of acid. Trust me on this one, guys.

Now, get a new sheet of paper. Write down who you want to become in your life. When someone hears your name, what do you want them to think of? Ultimately, ask yourself "WHY?"

In continuation, write down a list of desirable characteristics. What characteristics will help you achieve the "WHY?" Do this with only one word no phrases! Now look up the definition of these words, and some words that are similar.

Lastly, choose one word from your list. That's right, just one. Choose the one that encompasses the "WHY?" of who you want to be. It's crucial that you only choose one, otherwise you'll become overwhelmed and mentally exhausted. Don't worry, there's no right or wrong choice. Just listen to your heart, and go with the word you're drawn to the most.

Now instead of this super specific and unrealistic resolution, you have a simpler and more broad term that you can apply to multiple parts of your life!

I know that this process is kind of difficult, and that's okay. I'm here to help you! In honor of my 19th birthday and New Year's, I listed out 19 ideas for your one-word resolution. These words are also 19 lessons that I've learned throughout my life. Make 2018 your best year yet!!!!

1. Love

Every single living being on this planet feels love and craves love. Think of love as the first domino in a domino knockdown. When love is initiated, it initiates other things like kindness, compassion, passion, tenderness, concern, peace, and so on. If we work on spreading more of it, to ourselves and others, then it will cause a beautifully crafted domino effect.

2. Advocate

This one is pretty simple in theory: learn how to be your biggest supporter! Advocate for what you need in your life and be proactive.

3. Seek

In my opinion, our society is pretty close-minded. Not many people like doing things that are out of their comfort zone. To break out of this zone, seek the new and widen your horizon.

4. Cleanse

Cleanse your mind, body, and soul throughout 2018. I promise you, when you do this, you'll see everything in a new, radiant, and beautiful light.

5. Joy

Most people tend to think that joy and happiness are synonymous, but they aren't at all. Happiness is externally triggered by your surroundings, is short-term, and is superficial; it's pretty easy to find and experience. Joy, however, you have to dig deep for because it comes from finding internal peace.

6. Find

Once again, this is pretty simple in theory: go out and find yourself. Find yourself beyond your persona on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Who are you truly? Who are you without social media?

7. Endure

Life is filled with high-highs and low-lows. However, we tend to forget about the highs when experiencing the lows; we think there's no end to the low. Endure through all the lows and battle it out because the deeper the trench is, the higher the peak will be.

8. Appreciate

This is kind of similar to endure. With life's highs and lows, we take the highs for granted and loathe the lows. Even the scale and learn to appreciate both. Accept the highs with love, and accept the lows with love because they make you into who you are.

9. Grow

Honestly, we grow mentally and physically without really noticing. But use 2018 to figure out what it is that allows you to grow, and utilize this!

10. Be

This probably seems a little weird on its own, but in a way it kind of represents what I mean: be you. Be original, be unique, and be who you want to be. You will find such an indescribable joy in your life once you do.

11. Fall

Let yourself fall. Take the L on that exam. Have that mental breakdown. It's okay to fall. In fact, it's a beautiful process. In falling, you learn how to get back up. We need failure to succeed.

12. Surrender

Surrender your reputation. If you spend your life being someone you're not just to keep up a reputation, you'll never find joy. When you surrender your reputation, you'll give your all to what you love and what you're passionate about.

13. Invest

Invest your time into people who are willing to do the same for you. Friendships and relationships are two-way streets; you need reciprocation and love reflected back to you.

14. Initiative

Become independent and take the initiative in your life! Stop depending on others for the answers you need; go out and get them yourself!

15. Fight

When it comes to your passions and beliefs, fight for them. Stand up for them. You'll find determination, motivation, passion, and inspiration you never knew you had in yourself.

16. Embrace

Personally, I think everyone comes into my life for a reason, no matter how long their stay lasts or how they act towards me. When you learn to embrace each one of them and how they influenced your personal growth, grudges will lift and your heart will grow stronger.

17. Heal

Similar to cleanse, take the time to heal the brokenness within yourself. Don't use "Only time can heal this," as an excuse because we all know we just use this to ignore the breaking. Face the breaking head-on, and fight the battle.

18. Strength

We often believe our strength comes from our highest moments in life, so when we are at our lowest points, we think we can never get out. However, our greatest strengths come from our weakest moments. Use your weak moments to find your strengths.

19. Breathe

Inhale, exhale. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Just breathe. Use controlled breathing as a calming exercise. Use it to realize that whatever you're feeling is valid and real. Breathe it out

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Not Everyone Has A Great Start To The New Year And That's OK

New Year's resolutions? Oh, we don't know them. They're canceled!

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It's kind of funny that 48 hours before we rang in the new year I spent however many hours reevaluating my life and creating a more effective daily schedule for me to follow. I looked forward to getting my life together. After all, I pushed through last semester by surviving on such little sleep and Starbucks every single day. My goal in 2019 is to work on becoming a better version of myself.

But, it has not been going according to plan.

January 1st, I slept for most of the day. I got out bed but found myself dozing off on the couch as I watched Netflix. Safe to say that the very first day of the year was nowhere near productive. I mean, I convinced myself that I deserved to catch up on my sleep before I go back to school and work. A few days went by, and I just kept digging myself into a hole. I couldn't escape the situation.

I made a promise that I would use my last week of break working on how I can better execute my goal. I only had so many days left to prep up until the upcoming semester began. I could not let myself go back my old ways of living that caused unnecessary stress and exhaustion.

I wanted to be better. I wanted to be happier. I wanted to be proud.

As much as I hated the fact that I have yet to follow through with my resolutions to achieve my goal for the year, I realized I should not be beating myself for how bad I have been. It's not always a matter of setting the right time or right schedule for yourself to check off whatever it is on your to-do list. I learned that I can't decide a specific time to do some things. They will happen when they are meant to happen. There's no point in forcing something to happen.

I've been taking it day by the day. I figured it would be easier to start with one responsibility at a time, rather than piling up one after another. Having so much on my plate last semester did show me how bad stress can damage a person. You will lose yourself and forget your purpose all at once. I'm too familiar with the feeling of not being myself anymore, and I want to get out of that never-ending cycle.

Making new year's resolutions is always fun. It gives us a type of hope that we'll finally see some improvement in our lives. Many of us are lucky and have an easy time; other struggles as they attempt to make changes. In the end, we will all get to wherever we need to be. The "when" part is not always important, but the "how" will always matter.

I just got to ease up on myself, especially when I already know I'm not the best at juggling multiple responsibilities and whatnot.

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