A few weeks ago, I looked back at my list of New Year's resolutions for 2018. At first, I was really excited to see that I'd accomplished many of them: I got straight A's in school, applied to colleges early, got a job and began saving up money. But I also had many other goals for this year, ones that have frequented my resolution lists for many years. I wanted to maintain a secure, healthy, balanced lifestyle and finally achieve a positive relationship with food and my body. I hoped to improve my self-image, boost my confidence, and work towards feeling my best every day. Unfortunately, I did not accomplish these goals. But if you were to look at my 2018 just through my external accomplishments, it would seem like I had a great year of success and progress. From an external perspective, you'd expect me to be really happy with how my 2018 went.

But the thing is, I'm not happy. Despite my the many external resolutions I achieved, I don't consider 2018 to have been an incredibly productive and fulfilling year, because it just didn't feel that way. Yes, I had many wonderful moments, but I found myself unable to fully appreciate them. On some days, I'd accomplish something significant and still feel inexplicably terrible about myself. One day recently, I came home from a great, successful college interview, yet I felt so sad and worthless. I spent the rest of the day crying and wallowing when I should've been celebrating my accomplishment.

That day, I thought to myself, what was the point of achieving all of my external goals if I couldn't even appreciate them? How could I fully enjoy my external accomplishments if I couldn't reach my internal goals? I realized that no matter how many great things happened to me, I would never feel truly fulfilled, successful, and happy if I was neglecting my internal well-being. Nothing external would ever bring me the internal fulfillment I desperately needed.

It occurred to me that due to my disconnect with my emotions and mental health, I had let myself fall into a deep state of discontent. I knew that a change needed to be made, and I vowed to find a way to pull myself out of the rut I was in. I began to try everything. I started journaling regularly again, something I didn't even notice I'd stopped doing for most of 2018. I tried to treat myself better, eat healthier foods, exercise more often, and get back on a regular sleep schedule. Most of all, I made every effort to connect with myself. I wanted to reach into my own soul, find what was causing the problem, and straighten it all out. Now, I realize that there is no quick and easy way to find myself, but at least I'm on my way.

Positive change and progress will only come with lots of conscious effort and, of course, with time. I'm at the beginning of a slow process, but I am determined to help myself out of this place. I am confident that this year, I will finally achieve the internal well-being and fulfillment that I need to fully appreciate everything else about life. Instead of writing external goals for my 2019 resolutions, I'm going to focus on internal ones. I know that once I accomplish those, everything else will follow.

2019 will be my best year yet. I'm certain of it.