From 2015 into 2016: Looking Forward (Part 1)

Last year I discovered the concept of One Word, and I instantly connected with it. I've never been a big resolution girl as I feel like resolutions don't actually have a whole lot of resolve behind them, and as a result they usually don't last very long. This past year's One Word was "dare," and I really felt like I lived it out thanks to careful goal setting and then just experiencing life. I graduated with my Masters, moved somewhere new, started a new job, adopted a furever friend I've named Sawyer (she's the most beautiful pup in the world), and tried to successfully "adult," whatever that means. 

(Side note: In the past, I've primarily used this blog for work related reflection. Some personal thoughts and reflection were intertwined, but overall I've used this space as a professional safe space to think about how life has been going. This was really helpful as a #SAgrad and as someone who was working to build and assemble her graduate portfolio leading into her first #SAsearch. However, my goal for 2016 is to use this space as less of a work haven and more of a personal one with some work stuff entwined. I hope that those of you who follow along will still be interested.)

As I've started looking ahead to 2016, I've searched inside a lot to figure out what I want my One Word to be for the upcoming year; what I want to be my cornerstone for moving forward through the next year of life. After a lot of reflecting and talking with my best friend, I've landed on "fortitude." There are a lot of steps I want to take this next year, but some of them are big and scary and I know for a fact that they won't be easy steps to take. Hopefully by making "fortitude" my One Word, I'll consistently be reminded to move forward, regardless.

That being said, I'm currently following along with Lara Casey and her 2016 Goal Setting process. About a week ago, she posted the first part of her goal setting series. After reading through that post and taking my own time to reflect in order to start planning and looking ahead, I thought I would should what I came up with. Here's what I wrote out for my steps:

  • Step 1: I've been chasing perfection. Being perfect at my new job, being perfect at "being a grown up," trying to have a perfect life (materially), and trying to cultivate a perception of that perfection. And all this has mean that I feel like a failure and that I'm not good enough. But most of all it has resulted in a lot of STRESS.
  • Step 2: I'm TIRED. Stress and worry and trying to survive and just managing to scrape by are EXHAUSTING. I don't fully understand how to really "adult" (For instance, finances? I'm lost somewhere in my understanding of being financially stable and how to save and what's important and it's SO OVERWHELMING!). Overall, I just end up with this feeling of continually wanting to do better, and being too tired to do so.
  • Steph 3: Since this was a period of "new" for me, asking questions worked. Working out resulted in a whole bunch of healthier-ness (mentally, physically, emotionally). Having a dog to talk to helped with that as well. Plus using mom as a sounding board is always helpful. I also took a lot of time this year to reflect and reconnect with members of my "community." I read a lot of books: some new and some old favorites. And when I could remember to put my phone down (and the computer and the iPad) that worked, too.
    • I learned that worry is fruitless; I need Jesus, church, and the community that results from both; people are willing to help if you ask for it; dogs are the BEST; a good night's sleep does WONDERS for the soul and the heart and the mind; I don't always have to be in control for things to work out; pride doesn't do any of us (including, or especially, me) any good; every penny counts; listing to fear isn't helpful; looking inward and upward more would have helped prevent a lot of headaches (and heartaches, too).

As Lara posts additional reflection questions, I will post my responses on the blog as well. Once I've gone through her goal setting steps, I plan on sharing my goals here. Because accountability and authenticity and all of that other fun stuff.