10 Things On My Checklist For Self-Love And Improvement In 2018

10 Things On My Checklist For Self-Love And Improvement In 2018

It's go time.
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Dear Future Me,

As I'm writing this I'm blasting "The Greatest Showman" soundtrack with two of my best friends surrounding me. 2017 was a year I had to grow up a lot and although it's already a few weeks into 2018 I still think it's needed to reflect on the past year that's shaped me. This past year I struggled with a lot, trying to figure out what I was going to do in the next chapter of my life. I struggled with anxiety, losing friends who were a part of my support group, and moving out of my mother's house. I lost a lot of weight from a stomach condition and then thanks to college gained a little less than half back.

2018 for me is going to be a year of self-improvement, I'm going to stop looking at myself negatively and I'm going to obsess over how to improve rather than obsess over what I think should be changed. Although this statement sounds similar, I'm going to not go to the gym to lose weight, but go to the gym to gain stamina and feel stronger. Performing in my schools Show Choir last semester taught me being able to breathe while singing is important and super hard to do when your dying from the choreography.

1. I will cut out toxic people and relationships from my life

2. I will change my attitude towards myself and my body, establish self-love

3. I will take every opportunity offered to me in college

4. I will create art I'm 100% proud of

5. I will keep going even when the negative thoughts seem to outway the positive

6. I won't let laziness get in the way of something beautiful

7. I'll stop pushing people away and except new relationships with open arms

8. I'll avoid caffeine and dairy like my body and doctor pleads

9. I'll treat my body like the temple it is and not abuse it

10. I will find a reason to smile every day

11. I'll be more selfless and do something daily for someone else.

So here's my promise to myself, at the end of 2018 I'll reread this article and hopefully be able to say that I followed the guidelines I set up for myself. I want to focus on improving myself for the better, to stop allowing myself to be my worse enemy. It's time to be focused on me and make 2018 one of the best years I possibly can.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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