I don't know about you guys, but I feel like 2016 has been drastically different than any other year to date. It has brought some of the highest highs and also the lowest lows I have ever experienced. While many people have been vocal about their excitement that 2016 is over, I haven't been able to help but let my thoughts linger just a bit longer on all the amazing opportunities, experiences, and accomplishments the past year brought.
Some of my favorite highlights of 2016 include:
- Visiting NYC twice to spend time with my older sister/best friend and also eat/dance/yoga my way through the city. New York is my happy place and I know it is the next stop on my life path, through probably not permanently, after I graduate college
- Spending my 20th birthday in the mountains at Big Bend with my best friend, my pup, and no worries in the world
- The launch of Soul + Spoon in May. My connection with food and the creative outlet it gives me, along with a voice with which to share my message about wholesome eating and living a balanced lifestyle, while also connecting me with such a widespread and supportive community, is something I am so very grateful for. It has been a humbling experience to grow as a home cook, recipe developer, photographer, and writer. I still have so much to learn, and I have no idea what this will ultimately evolve into, but I am so excited to have finally fully immersed myself into this soul project of mine
- Working for two wonderful companies, Thunderbird Bar and Lululemon, that have allowed me to pursue my passion of connecting with community through healthy food and an active lifestyle. I've learned so many marketing, business, organization and management skills working as the Brand Ambassador Manager at Thunderbird and have crossed paths with so many wonderful and inspiring athletes and leaders through the position. And as for Lululemon...I cannot even begin to explain how much this company has changed my life by helping me find what sets my soul on fire, encouraging me to set goals and then crush them, teaching me integrity and accountability and how to shift my perspective in ways I could have never imagined possible...gosh, the list just goes on. I have so much gratitude for my team (you people are my everything), my leaders, and for the company and its beautiful, beautiful culture.
- Finally, traveling to Boulder, Colorado a few weeks ago to spend a week with my very best friend. It was one of the best vacations I've ever taken and was the perfect way to round out 2016!
2016 was truly the year of making shit happen. Just going for what I wanted, without hesitation or second thoughts, capitalizing on each opportunity for adventure and growth as much as possible. I thoroughly plan to continue this practice into 2017, though hopefully with a bit more grace, intention, and awareness (insert awkward grimace here).
I know I have a lot to work on this year. I fought many internal battles in 2016, some which I have not yet won. I am still struggling to find balance, peace, and clarity in many areas of my life. I am still working on having a positive relationship with myself. In order to continue working towards these things in the new year, I have set goals for myself, not with the intention of making drastic resolutions or changes to who I am or the way I live, but instead to make minor adjustments in my daily practices, routines, and thoughts, to live more fully into who I really am, and do away with what doesn't serve me.
I wanted to share an exercise with you all that I spent tonight doing. I made a list of things I want to do more of in 2017, instead of focusing on what I want to stop doing.
Some things on this list include:
- Going on more walks with Zephyr
- Taking more yoga classes
- Being more mindful of where I park and set my keys/phone/wallet
- Writing more
- Reading more blogs/cookbooks/how-tos
- Responding to text messages in a timely fashion
- Putting myself in social situations where I feel vulnerable and uncomfortable and allowing myself to be fully present in these moments
The list is much longer, but I loved this alternate version of making New Years' resolutions. I'm not punishing myself or telling myself I have to stop doing anything. It allows me to look at what I want to accomplish in a positive way, and it feels manageable because these are just minor adjustments I will be making in my every day life. I think that by living into these small changes, I will discover more about who I am, develop deeper, more meaningful relationships, and feel less frustrated on the daily. If you're wanting to see changes during the coming year, I encourage you all to try coming up with one of these lists yourselves. Take into consideration what small things gave you pure bliss in 2016, and what small things really just pissed you off every day. And if you're wanting to go a step further and hold yourself accountable, publish your list somewhere, read it to a family member or friend, frame it on your wall at home!
My point is that change does not happen overnight, nor will things suddenly be any different just because it is now 2017. The change starts from within you. Set an intention. Find your purpose. Be vulnerable. Shed the ideas of who you think you should be. Get to know yourself. Make small adjustments and changes that will serve you. And then, things will all fall into place.
Happy New Year everybody! Let's kick 2017's ass.