I didn’t love 2017.
2017 wasn’t a bad year.
It just wasn’t one of those years you look back on and think “damn, that was a really good year.”
It had its highlights.
I competed in Festivus in April, my first (and last) Strongman competition in July, and won a charity powerlifting meet in November. I went to weddings, friends had babies, birthdays were celebrated, and Beauty and the Beast hit theaters.
I learned to surf in Nicaragua and fell head over heels in love with the country and its people. I fell even more in love with teaching barre and strength training, got my nutrition certification, and started to figure out what my purpose is.
So maybe 2017 had more than a few highlights.
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But, 2017 was also the year of “no.”
I heard the word “no” a lot in 2017, both personally and professionally. For someone who is admittedly accustom to hearing “yes,” or else working until they get a “yes,” a string of “no’s” was humbling. Some were downright hard. Tears were shed, sometimes out of hurt, other times out of disappointment, and even out of frustration
I also learned how to say “no.” I’ve not only heard “yes” a lot, I’ve said “yes” a lot, usually because I wanted to, but also because I thought I was supposed to. As the year wore on, I learned how powerful a “no” can be. I said “no” to a relationship with a guy who adored me because I knew he wouldn’t make me happy. I said “no” to an organization I’ve been involved with for years because it stopped bringing me joy.
That was a big lesson as 2017 drew to a close – saying “no” to what doesn’t bring me joy, and pouring my energy into the things that do.
Which brings me to 2018.
I don’t believe in waiting to set a new goal. If I decide in June to make a change, I’m not going to wait for January 1 to roll around. But, having said that, with the progression of 2017 and the lessons I learned, the beginning of 2018 happens to coincide with time for me to set new goals for myself.
In no particular order, my goals for 2018 are:
Dive Into My Nutrition
I’m good at helping others with their nutrition, particularly those working to begin making healthy choices. I’m not so good at helping myself. I eat healthy 85% of the time, but I’m not in the habit of considering myself an athlete. At the end of the day though, the time and effort I put into my training sessions and the time and effort I spend teaching others gives me some of the same nutritional needs as an athlete. I want to dig into what my body needs, as well as learn more about how to fuel bodies further along in their fitness journeys.
Read God’s Word
I’m not proud to admit it, but I got away from spending time with God in 2017. Not entirely. I’ve remained faithful, continued my steadfast belief in God’s plan. But, my prayer life suffered a bit, I think in part to all of those “no’s” mentioned above. I’ve been journaling, but only putting words on paper. As the year drew to a close, I found myself being pulled back to my devotionals. I ordered the She Reads Truth Bible and have started to read it. I’ve also picked up a new devotional, 100 Days To Brave, by Annie Downs. God has done a lot of great things in my life. I need to give Him more of my time.
Be Present and Intentional
I alluded to being more present and intentional when I posted my January Intentional Living Calendar earlier this week. In saying “no” to that organization, I also learned a lot about what makes me happy, and that is being present, being intentional, and living in joy. This one will be a challenge for me – I can get caught up in the hustle of day-to-day life. I’m going to work harder at putting down my phone, giving my full attention to family and friends, and making sure I involve myself only in those things that bring me joy. And continue trimming away the things that don’t.
Start My Own Business
Just writing that gives me chills. It makes me nervous and excited and a whole bunch of other things I should probably sit down and explore. I have a personal training certification, a nutrition certification, a deep love of barre, and an even deeper love of helping others lead healthier lives. It’s time to put all of those things to work. Stay tuned.
I’ve chosen a word for the year for the last few years. 2017’s word was “vulnerable.” 2016’s was “courage.” I lived up to 2016’s word, but 2017… I give myself a B-. Maybe a C. I still need to work on being more vulnerable. With that said, my word for 2018 is “brave.” I’m being pushed to be brave, take a leap, and trust that I’ll fly in a number of areas in my life. As Annie says in 100 Days to Brave, “Being brave is hearing that voice of fear in your head, but saying ‘Okay, but the truth is, God made me on purpose, and for a purpose.'”
And so, I’m going to be brave in 2018.
Fearless, as the MantraBand I wear every day says. Because being fearless is a lot like being brave – it’s having fear, but acting anyway.
If you see me shying away from bravery, this is your invitation to remind me of my word.
What are your goals for 2018? Do you have a word for the year? What is it?