Entering a new year can be such a refreshing thing. Saying goodbye to things you want to leave behind. Analyzing what has worked and deciding to let go of what no longer serves you. Setting new goals and planning on how to achieve those things that will ultimately lead to an increased happiness and improved quality of life. Other times, new starts are frustrating. Starting over. Trying to get back to a spot you were before and somehow you wandered off course.
Either way; we are in charge of our own stories. Each one of us is in control of what it is that we want, and figuring out how to get there. The journey is what makes us stronger.
For me, I am excited for what 2016 holds. Two years ago I had a difficult year personally. I felt a little lost professionally and was letting my unhappiness affect those around me. I learned my lesson and was able to let go of some of those ghosts in 2015. I figured out that it’s okay to be selfish and love myself. How can others love me if I don’t? Furthermore, how can I truly give all of myself to those around me if I’m not in a good mindset? I have learned a lot about myself over this past year; some things good, others could stand some tweaking.
I’m not so much a “new year’s resolution” type of person. I used to be in the past but was always faced with disappointment for not reaching those unattainable goals. Having said that, I do have things I want to focus on this new year:
- Re-adopting my healthy lifestyle. Somewhere along the way between Halloween and Christmas (sadly, this happens almost every year), I grew a little lazy. I blame it on the Halloween candy followed by the first couple colds of the season, and then pumpkin spice. Suddenly, spinach was no longer as appealing as a muffin and a latte. And who wants to spend their evenings working out when Hallmark Christmas movies are on TV? I’m guilty. And I enjoyed almost every minute of it (until I couldn’t button my jeans). Old Natasha, you can come back now.
- Writing more. I brought back an old hobby this year and I can’t wait to grow and develop it more this next. I’m also going to start a journal for my son. He amazes us every day and I want to make sure we have some of those moments recorded so we can share them again with him when he is older. He is bringing us so much joy and I want to remember these moments forever.
- More social less media. I think I’ve seen this phrase online (of all places) numerous times. I’m guilty of always being plugged in, and I hate it. I can’t give up my phone or social media for good, I’m not that strong – but I do need to pay attention to how often I’m on it when I’m with my family. I’m missing out on creating memories with them while reading about everyone else’s. No good. More coloring dates with Cooper, more real dates with Chad. Everyone wins.
- Growing with my mom. She and I have always been close, but sadly, things are different now that I’ve grown up. I’m a working wife and mother, and I’m busy. She moved out of town a few years ago, and we just don’t get to do the things we used to. I still love her to pieces, and I’m starting to understand her in a way I never have before. I get now, why she will call and text me repeatedly during a tornado to make sure I’m in the basement, even though I’ve explained to her that if I was in the middle of a tornado, I wouldn’t have time to respond to her texts. She loves me the way I love Cooper. And that thought alone makes me have a whole new understanding and respect for her. I can’t wait to bring back our monthly dates.
- Friendships. I am lucky to have a few very close friends that I have kept by my side; some for 26 years, some since high school and beyond. I have really learned over the years who has been and who will continue to be a true friend, and those who I have sadly had to let go of. On the flipside, I don’t always feel like I have been the best friend in return, and I am excited this year to focus more on those few people who have become part of my family.
- Spirituality. I grew up in a very faith-based family. I’ve never lost that, but I could be better. I really want to gain a better understanding of God, the Bible – everything that was taught to me as a child. I think I’ll have a different perspective now that I’m older, and I want to make sure I’m teaching my child the things he should know.
The longer I sit here, the more things I will come up with, and before I know it I will have a seriously long list of overwhelming things that I need to work on; and then none of that will get done. For the sake of seeking success, I’ll leave it at six for now. It’s my list. I can come back to it and change it as often as need be. That’s the beauty of writing my story.
What are your goals for this year?