New Year. New Goals. New Outlook.

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Ringing in the new year has always been a range of emotions for me. On one hand you are thrilled at the thought of a new time, a fresh start, and moments in the future to look forward to. On the other hand you are saying goodbye to a year that has again passed. A year of your life that is again gone to the hands of time. New Year’s Eve is the one holiday that you can grieve the loss of something while celebrating something new at the same time, and in all honesty I find that beautiful.

In the past I have attempted to come up with New Year resolutions, but ultimately they fail. Whether it’s the typical eating healthier, exercising, or spending more time for myself, those all end up happening less and less until they have diminished completely.

I realized the problem with these goals was that I was just making them up on the spot. They had no purpose or meaning. They were just a filler for when the question, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” popped up.

Instead I reflected on 2017. It was a great year. My husband and I are happier than ever, our baby grew so much while being happy and healthy, and I have gotten into better shape post pregnancy and am very satisfied with my body and mind. Although eating healthier and exercising never hurts, it just doesn’t fit with what I needed to improve on right now. After looking at 2017 I thought to myself, “What are some things that I need to improve on to make my life better in 2018?”

1. Don’t let the little things get you down.

One thing I am going to work on this year is not letting myself get worked up about minor things that have no major significance to me. Lately I have found myself upset over such small things that then put me in a foul mood, and I let it keep me in a foul mood. Even worse than that I have found sometimes I go into a situation already thinking the worst.

GOAL: Be more optimistic especially when entering a new day or a new situation. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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2. Venture out.

I am a homebody at heart. My favorite place to be is sitting on my couch watching Netflix with my family (#dreamlife). We definitely ventured to new places in 2017, but in reality it wasn’t much. There are so many places where we live that we could explore and experience, especially with our daughter.

GOAL: Travel (even somewhat locally) to a new place each month, sometimes with our daughter, but sometimes just as husband and wife.

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3. Make a plan with money.

My husband and I (just kidding, it’s only my husband) are responsible about paying bills and keeping on top of our finances. Alternatively, my husband and I (just kidding, it’s only me) are not great about saving money either. We are by no means in any financial trouble, but I’ve realized that it’s good to be on the same page with our finances, and to work together on how we can save money.

GOAL: Sit down together to discuss where the money is going, and how we can start saving more (even if it’s only going to be a conversation about how much I have to STOP spending money on clothes).

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4. Do good things.

The week between Christmas and New Years I took my daughter grocery shopping. The store was crazy. It was so hard to move around with all the people in the aisles, the parking lot was a madhouse and by the end of the trip my daughter was so cranky and tired that all I wanted to do was just be home. After I loaded my groceries into the car, and was in the process of buckling a whiney baby into the carseat, a man approached my car and said, “Here Ma’am, let me take your cart back for you. You seem to have your hands full”. That simple gesture made me almost cry. After squeaking out a simple, “Thank you so much” the man replied, “Not a problem. I’m glad I could help. You have a beautiful daughter. Happy New Year!” That interaction turned one stressful moment into an entire great day.

As I drove home I thought to myself how lovely it was for him to do that, and how happy it made me feel to have such a genuine act of kindness.

GOAL: Be a good person. Do nice things for people. Say nice things to people. Compliment people. Make someones day. Help someone when they need it, or even when they don’t need it. Even if I can’t do it every single day, just do it as often as possible.

Happy New Year, my friends. Make 2018 the best year yet.

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