Thursday, January 4, 2018

what i'm taking from 2017 into 2018

Happy 2018! I don’t know about you but I am so excited for the New Year. A fresh start, a new beginning, and 365 (361 as of today) days to accomplish new goals and chase new dreams. 

A lot of people tend to look back on their life and say, “2017 was just not my year,” or “2003 was an awful year for me.” Although some of my years have been better than others, I don’t like to consider any of my years “bad” or “not my year.” Truthfully, there is goodness and growth in every year…even the not as great ones. 2017 was a learning year for me—a year of creating new habits, while letting go of the old. It was a year of spiritual and religious growth, along with self-development and identifying the direction I want to take my life in. 

Here is what I added to my life in 2017 that will be coming with me as we start this New Year:

Reading More Books 
I made this a goal of mine last year, to start reading more books. With so many tech devices and sources of entertainment constantly at our fingertips, I, like a lot of people, got away from reading for a while. It became a habit to scroll through Instagram before bed while watching a few episodes of a show on Netflix. It wasn’t the worst habit in the world, but it wasn’t adding anything to my life. So, I made it a mission to start reading again. Personally, I enjoy books about self-development, growth, business, spirituality, biographies & memoirs. I read quite a few books last year and I have to say that it made a BIG difference in my life—including the way I think, the way I react, the way I start my mornings, the way I think about other people, and how I am the only one in charge of my life. I will make a future blog to elaborate on the books that changed my life, but the 3 books I read this past year that really stand out in my mind are: 

-The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
-The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
-The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Using the Dictionary 
For those of you that have an iMac or some type of Apple computer, you probably know that it comes with a dictionary feature. I have my dictionary icon on my toolbar at the bottom of my home screen so it’s easy for me to access. I made it a habit this past year to look up any words or phrases that I heard or read that I was unfamiliar with. If I am reading a book, an article, listening to a podcast, or watching the news channel and I see or hear a word that I do not know the meaning of, I look it up. This has not only expanded my vocabulary, but it has been a simple way to further educate myself. If I’m not on my computer, I use the internet on my phone. Looking up a word in the dictionary—whether by book, computer app or online—literally takes 2 seconds. I remind myself that there’s no excuse not to know what I’m reading, seeing or hearing. 

Creating a High End Morning Routine 
From one of the motivational videos I watched over the past year, I learned that how you start your day is how you start your life. I start every morning by listening to a spiritual, religious, motivational podcast or YouTube video. I learned from Joel Osteen that if you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have. Starting my morning with a positive message gives me the confidence and courage to go out and kill the day. I also do my best to avoid checking social media or emails as soon as I wake up. I find that this can be overwhelming right out of the gate, especially if you wake up early like I do. I will expand on my morning routine another day, but these simple habits have made a big difference in my life. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Unfollow
If you spend time on social media, like so many of us do, I’m sure you’re “following” or keeping up with many different kinds of people and accounts. From the many readings, videos and podcasts I introduced into my life this year, I have learned that we are a product of all that surrounds us. This means, we are a product of our environment—which includes family, friends, the television we watch, the books we read, the music we listen to…and the people we follow on social media (which is something I never gave much thought to). This year I made the decision to unfollow anything and anyone that did not inspire me, inform me, motivate me or empower me. I am actively trying to spend less time on social media, so that the time I do spend on it, will be a more positive experience. 

Pushing Myself
This came towards the end of 2017, but continuously pushing myself out of my comfort zone (which was not all that comfortable to begin with) has not only increased my confidence and built up my self-esteem, it has also opened doors of opportunity for me. I have learned that self-confidence must be built. You must do what you’re uncomfortable doing. Keep repeating experiences that are difficult and do the things that you are afraid to do. To learn, you must be willing to push yourself. It’s the only way you’ll truly grow. 

Nixing Negativity 
I no longer f*ck with negativity. I cannot afford to be around negative people, negative conversations, negative activities or negative vibes. I look at negativity like a disease. It robs you of the strongest version of yourself. While I can’t control the negativity around me, I can choose how long I participate in it. 

There you have it, what I added to my life in 2017 that will be coming with me throughout 2018. 

Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

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