The start of a new year always brings with it the promise of a fresh start, a chance to right your wrongs, put the past behind you, and re-write your future. We commonly hear the familiar saying “New Year, New Me!”, and like many others around us, we often find ourselves setting out a list of New Year’s Resolutions, whether they are personal changes that we want to achieve in ourselves or life goals that we want to see come to fruition in the coming year. But how many of us actually stick to our resolutions and really become a newer and improved version of ourselves? I’m personally convinced that this is my year to shape the “new me”, so in today’s post, I’m taking a look back at the past year and sharing my goals for 2018.
I know, I know… I’m a bit late on the New Year posts. But I wanted to give it a few weeks to really get an idea of what direction I wanted my life to take in 2018, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. The truth is, my journey to start building and shaping the “new me” started back in January 2017. I was at a critical shifting point in my life because I was finally finishing my PhD and moving on to the real world. I had been in university for 9 and a half years, and that experience had become the norm in my life. Waking up, going to school, coming home, and doing more work was what I knew – it was my routine and I was comfortable with that. But there I was, finally at the finish line with a brand-new job lined up to start the following week, and I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under me. I was in a new environment, the type of research I was doing in my new lab was completely different than what I had done during my PhD so there was a steep learning curve, I was no longer the most senior member of the lab, and the familiar faces I had grown so used to were no longer there.
But there was one major perk of entering the work force, other than being paid of course. I was also faced with a ton of extra free time since I no longer had to take work home with me, as I once had to as a graduate student. I immediately decided to use this time to my advantage – I started this blog so that I could pursue other passions of mine such as beauty, lifestyle, and relationships. While blogging, I was also working hard at planning my wedding, which brought with it its own challenges as I discussed in a previous post “My Journey to the Altar”. In the midst of all the challenges and changes I was going through, I decided to start re-evaluating myself and my life. I also began evaluating what things in my life were healthy or unhealthy for me and my well-being. I really started to understand my habits, my emotions, the way I reacted to certain situations, why certain things made me feel a certain way, my relationships, etc. I talked to a few people close to me who helped give me an outside perspective on those aspects of my life where my view was clouded. It really helped me to see that a lot of things in my life were actually quite unhealthy for me if I was trying to be the best version of myself.
That enlightening discovery led to me attempting to make small and large changes in order to rid myself of the unhealthy parts of my life. I walked away from unhealthy relationships, I started managing my emotions in a healthier way, and I abandoned many of my unhealthy habits. This process took the entirety of 2017, and all of the changes that I was making in my life took its toll on me. Towards the end of the year I became extremely depressed because it felt like I had put so much effort into reshaping my life to be a healthy and happy person but I wasn’t seeing much payoff yet. I finally came to terms with this over the holiday season, when I took a week off work to rejuvenate and focus on me. I realized that the process I had started at the beginning of last year was just one part of a much bigger journey. I guess you could say the 2017 leg of my journey was much like pruning a rose bush – where I spent a lot of time removing the dead or unhealthy parts of my life, the parts that were holding me back from being the best version of myself that I could be.
I’m hoping that 2018 will be akin to the first spring bloom following the process of pruning, where I can really start to grow and come into my own. In the first few weeks of this year, I’ve really tried to embody that analogy so that I can set the tone for the rest of the coming year. I’ve made a huge effort to push myself outside of my norms and my comfort zone. That includes making slight changes to my daily schedules so that I’m waking up earlier, being more productive, and being more organized, but also making bigger changes like making an effort to network more since I’m an incredibly shy person and talking to strangers is not my strong suit. I’ve also recommitted myself to eating a MUCH healthier diet, because it makes me feel so much better not only physically but also mentally to be taking care of my body in that aspect. It may not sound like much so far, but I am definitely planning to add to that list as the year goes on, and to continue pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I’m also making a commitment to start blogging again, because let’s face it – my ups and downs last year really diminished my motivation to blog. I felt like I needed to help myself before I could share my life with others. But I am feeling great about life right now and am really excited to start blogging on a regular schedule again.
So what exactly are my new year’s resolutions for 2018? Well first off, I definitely want to see myself bloom into the best version of myself that I can be right now. This means being healthier emotionally, mentally, and physically, but it also means pushing myself outside of my comfort zone so that I can really start to experience other aspects of life that I closed myself off from before. Secondly, I want to work on developing a great balance between my work life, social life, and home life. I love my job and want to excel in it as much as I can, but I also want to focus on taking time for me socially and also really developing myself as a new wife. Thirdly, I have developed a “30 Before 30 Bucket List” that I will be sharing in an upcoming blog post very soon, but I definitely want to work towards checking off the majority of that list this year.
There we have it, a look back at the journey that I started last year to become the “New Me” and my goals for continuing that journey this year. Let me know down below what resolutions you set for yourself this year. Have you been sticking to them so far this month, or have you already given up? Remember, even if you haven’t stuck to them so far, we’re only a few weeks into the year so you still have a ton of time to get back to those resolutions!