What 2017 has Taught Me & What I’m Bringing into 2018

2018 is here and with it most of us are tossing our thoughts forward. How can we be better? Do better? Be more? Do more?

While this is good, my position is that we don’t need to recreate ourselves to step into 2018. Lofty goals and resolutions can definitely be positive – aim high! – but I think it’s important to start by taking a step back and reflecting on the year to see what lessons can be uncovered and carried forward.

Here are five things that 2017 has taught me and what I’m bringing into 2018:

  1. To love and care for others, you need to love and care for yourself

We need to take care of ourselves before we can be in any position to take care of others. 2017 has taught me that we need to put our own well-being and happiness first; we can’t give from a depleted source.

This makes me think about that pre-flight rundown by the flight attendants at the helm of the plane, where they instruct you, in case of an emergency, to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.

You can’t help someone to breathe if you can’t breathe yourself.

2. Just ask

This past year, Mike and I made the decision to move back to Ottawa. While I was content with this decision, I didn’t feel quite ready to leave my job. Rather than give my notice, I mustered up the courage to firstly tell my manager that I was moving back to Ottawa, and to secondly propose to her that I continue working remotely from Ottawa. Someone convinced me to “just ask”. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

I was taken aback by my manager’s immediate acceptance and support. She advocated my relocation to the firm’s partners and H.R and it was approved shortly thereafter.

Find your voice and don’t be afraid to use it.

3. Don’t think too much, just do it

I’m guilty of being too inside my head sometimes.

I sat on this blog’s domain name for over a year prior to publishing my first blog post. Trivial self-doubts floated around in my head. “Who wants to read what I have to say?” “I don’t even have a theme or purpose, what’s the point?”

Although a small personal step in the grand scheme of things, it felt really good to belittle those thoughts and to just do it. I eventually came to terms with what really mattered; I love to write and take photos, and whatever I write and post will develop and grow along with me.

4. Don’t be afraid of failure

This is something that I’ve grappled with my entire life. As an inherent perfectionist, I tend not to pursue things if I don’t feel sure of success. Not only is this exhausting, it can leave doors closed and routes unexplored. To overcome this, each year I make a conscious effort to push myself outside of my comfort zone in some way.

Mike and I moved to Toronto two years ago, faced with a whole lot of unknowns. By facing them head on, we’ve grown individually and together and have gained so much along the way.

5. Keep your friends close and your best friends closer

I have some very strong and beautiful women in my life and this year has really brought to the forefront of my mind how grateful I am to know them and to be a part of their own journeys and growth. Their immeasurable strength, perseverance and character through their own lives is inspiring and I count my blessings for their love, support and friendship.

And in the wake of everything that’s happened and come to light in 2017 outside of my own life, I feel the charge more than ever to lift up the women around me.

As we move into 2018, I also take the stance that we need to set smaller goals, alongside our ‘dream big’ goals to act as stepping stones to get us to where we want to be.

Here are some of my ‘every-day’ goals for 2018:

  1. Meditate every day
  2. Do yoga every day (5 minutes counts!)
  3. Read more classic novels
  4. Read more poetry
  5. Start learning a new language
  6. Save more money
  7. Volunteer
  8. Spend more time with family
  9. Spend less time on my phone
  10. Visit some new cities / countries
  11. Scuba dive again

Happy New Year friends!

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