When I look at the past year in hindsight, I realize that 2016 was just a year of preparation for 2017.
I settled into my coffee shop job, working day-in and day-out for 35 hours a week. I took nature walks to kill time and used my 5am call times to go on light jogs while pumping out soul jams. I refused to make myself a “home” at home and kept whatever little contact I had with old friends from high school. I truly felt that as long as I stayed at home, I wouldn’t be able to grow. And that idea still holds true today.
The greatest thing about a new year is that it allows us to acknowledge our want, need and desire to feel better, do better and be better — for ourselves, our loved ones and the world around us. It’s our awareness of a need for change. And if we never have those conversations with ourselves, we will never move towards the people we want to be.
Now, I am notorious for being a generally positive person. I am hopeful, optimistic and always see the best in people (maybe to my disadvantage). I am open-minded, reflective and seem to live in this imaginary dream world within the real world I am living in. I’m your classic girl-next-door but average naive dreamer. And simply put, I’m not happy with where I am and have found that my lack of focus and consistency have been my weakest links.
2017 is my year to be bold, and no longer do I wish to be sittin’ waitin’ wishin’ for something to happen! (If there’s anything I’ve learned in my young life, it’s that things only happen when you take the initiative to make them happen.) I’ve graduated and been home for more than a year now — a period that has given me more than enough time to take a step from all the noise and stand on my own two feet to realize what my real needs and desires are.
My main focus for any time of maintaining overall health and happiness is based around tending to my mind, body and soul; and while those have been powerful checkpoints for developing my own sense of self-love and identity, I’ve found that my focus has changed this time around. Instead of focusing on only “me, myself and I,” I want to focus on bringing “me, myself and I” into the lives of those already around (and soon to be around) me. I want to be engaged with the world.
When we’re at a crossroads, it’s important to look at how we feel within these three areas: personal life, family life, work life.
Here are a couple of the ways I plan to do that:
- Cure my hopeless indecision. Get rid of my fickle mind and follow through with something because I genuinely want to. It’s time to live my life and do things because I love it. No people-pleasing.
- Eliminate any distractions and really value the time I have to myself. Too many people fear of being alone with themselves because it forces them to acknowledge some repressed or hidden desires, but without addressing those needs or insecurities, we never heal. I love my alone time, but decluttering my space and ridding of distractions will only help me be more efficient and my best self within my alone time.
- Feel confident in my own body. I love myself probably more than the average human does, but one thing that has always been lacking is my body confidence. My body is a temple and a temple I should treat it as, but beyond the good food and sleep I give myself, I need consistent exercise. Exercise really makes me feel more alive and well in my everyday life, so let’s do it!
- Be more present. Spend less time on my phone and more time engaging with people. Whether that’s around the dinner table, out with friends or in a new city, asking and actively listening are my keys towards building that sense of community and connection with people that I desire.
- Get rid of anything toxic. I’ve always believed that time is the most precious thing you can ever give to someone else, so it’s time to start asking the hard questions and use your time wisely. Don’t expend yourself or your time in people and causes that aren’t worth it. You are trying to be your best self, so surround yourself with people who want to see you be better, do better, and who you want to see be their best selves, as well!
- Realize my blessings. More often than not, it is easy to want more than what we already have. The family and home I have, the genuine friendships I have forged and the countless individuals who have connected with me online only to express their wildest beliefs, support and even crush on me all tell me that I’m doing just fine. Realize it and be grateful to be a part of this kind of community.
- Make a game plan and develop my blog. Learning how to monetize my blog is the first step, but so is looking into where I want to go with it. Compartmentalizing my sites based on a personal artist page (blog with my guitar work, songs and creative videos), and another based solely on my professional music journalism (reviews, live event coverage and interviews) can help me better focus on and approach my work. Setting a calendar of dates to post a new blog or record a new video will help me stay consistent as well.
- Find a paying job I love (or can at least deal with and grow from). In order to move out, I need to find a job. And in finding that job, I need it to be something relevant to my own desires. Now is my time to get my feet wet in the working world and actually use my degree — whether it’s in music writing, concerts and events, in some studio or picking up a gig. The most important part is that I need to learn to get paid by using my degree and skill set in order to support myself.
- Create, create, create. This is the reason I exist and do everything you see me doing! Constantly re-engaging and reigniting with my love for the craft is huge. I need to share my work, learn more guitar and strengthen my voice. Art allows us to expose ourselves as humans in tangible ways, so let myself love it and love myself enough to share it. (Posting my first video of the new year with me singing was a huge step — the cat is finally out of the bag!)
This past 2016 was full of soul-searching. This time around, it’s all about putting those dreams, hopes and desires into action. As saving money and living at home have been acts of putting my life on “pause” to prepare for my next “move,” it’s time to make that next “move” or “thing” happen, whatever it may be.
With love and honesty,
What are your goals for the new year, and how do you plan on getting them?
As I am not one to be big on resolutions, I find that having the positive intention to be better and hold yourself accountable throughout is more important than failing and giving up. Sending more power to you all in finding those ways to be kind to your mind, body and soul, and to find the happiness you all seek!