And so it begins... Oh, 2018, am I excited for you. After such a hard 2016 and 2017, I think this year is starting off on the right foot. I actually have butterflies thinking about what this year will bring - launching of this blog, birth of a dear friend's baby girl, countless trips to visit friends, law school graduation, turning 25, sitting for the bar exam, standing beside my little as she gets married, starting my first "big girl" job - I simply cannot wait!
First and foremost, I thought it is important to share why I wanted to start a blog. Blogs and bloggers receive a lot of negative stigma. The blogging industry has exploded these past eight years and I do find the concept a little strange. It always rubs me the wrong way when bloggers make money off items they receive for free or promote products that do not work simply because they are getting paid. I have come to find that once money enters the equation the genuine nature seems to disappear in anything we do in life. The blogging industry is also exceptionally competitive. I mean, there are blogs out there devoted to snarking on bloggers. Oh, the irony!
However, blogging really is so much more than all that. It is a way to tell a story. Your story. It is a way to connect with others and make friends all over the country simply because your interests align. It is a way to find inspiration that makes you feel a little less alone. At least that's how it was for me. As I said above, 2016 and 2017 were rough. There will be more on that later, but something I always did turn to in the dark times were blogs. Whether it was an outfit I coveted but could never afford, a recipe I fell in love with, or a post reminding me You Are Not Your Sadness - blogs helped me to get out of the funk. After talking to countless friends, and receiving around twenty-five messages one day asking about a dress I wore to a wedding, I decided this was something I wanted to do in order to share my life with others. My mission is to keep A Pinch of Serendipity as genuine as possible and I'm so thankful for all the love and support I have received thus far.
New year, same me - because I'm already a badass! In past years, I have made resolutions and failed. The word "resolution" in general has such a negative connotation, so I refuse to use it, because 2018 is the year of positive thoughts. One thing life has taught me is that to reach certain goals you must have motivation. Motivation can take form in a variety of ways. Call it desire, call it discipline, call it not wanting to look like a whale at your friend's wedding, call it whatever you want - you gotta have it. Therefore, I decided to make my goals things I really wanted to accomplish. I'll break down my 2018 goals into sections below so feel free to pick and choose what you want to read!
For 2018, my most important goal is to be positive.
Over the holidays I decided to start the book You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It. Is. Amazing. Everyone NEEDS to read this book. The biggest take away I got from it is that positive thinking can drastically change your life. If you think positive, you put off positive frequency, thus positive things happen to you. On the other hand, if you think negative, well, your life will turn out negative. It seems simple enough. However, it is quite difficult. Being aware of my negative thoughts made me realize that I have a lot of them. Quite frankly, I don't think I am alone in that. Therefore, I am vowing to make 2018 the most positive year yet and see the impact it has in all aspects of my life.
For 2018, my most important goal with faith is gratitude.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
We all have so much to be thankful for in this life. Sometimes it's hard to remember that. I feel as though I don't necessarily praise or thank God when things are good, but I am the first to blame God when things go wrong. I feel awful for even typing that out... Therefore, I am starting a gratitude journal this year where I hope to write twelve things each week I am thankful for. I got my journal from May Designs and it has prayers on one side and gratitude on the other, but any journal will do! I am really going to challenge myself to not put the same things down each week. I want to try to put moments as opposed to the usual "apartment", "food", "friends", "family", etc. (Although those are never bad things to be thankful for!) I am hoping this impacts the positive life I am trying to live in 2018.
For 2018, I want to make it to 180 consecutive days of meditation.
To be honest, I always thought meditation was a load of crap. I could never sit still. I didn't feel an immediate impact on my anxiety. I didn't enjoy sitting in complete silence. However, after being told by every medical professional that it was legit, I decided to give it a go! I use the app Headspace. I am currently on day 15. I like it. I don't see any serious impact on my anxiety yet, and I do find it extremely difficult to block out all of my thoughts. When meditation starts, my mind immediately goes to my to-do list. It is difficult, but with time I'm hoping to get better at it.
For 2018, I want to run 100 miles.
Let me preface this by saying I do not want to run 100 consecutive miles! That would be insane. Just 100 miles TOTAL. At the time I'm writing this, I have run 15. It's a start! This is a season of sickness so, unfortunately, it forced me to take some time off. I got to catch up with my friend, Emily, over the holidays and she may have convinced me to run a half marathon this year. It is an extremely realistic goal and something I want to work towards. She is a badass and could run a half marathon everyday if she wanted to, but a dream of mine is to train and run one together with her.
For 2018, I want to complete another round of Whole30.
So, I expected to start Whole30 on January 9. After Oklahoma won in the National Championship. Because I would be partying all night in celebration. Oh, wait... *broken hearts everywhere* Then I got extremely sick and saltines were a large part of my diet. I came to terms with the fact that I needed to put off completing Whole30 until later on this year. I decided I am going to do Whole30 this summer when I'm studying for the bar. It is right before my little, Sarah, gets married so it will be a perfect time. Maybe I can make it a Whole60!
For 2018, I want to read 12 books.
In 2017, I read 5,772 pages across 15 books! Seeing that accomplishment made me so excited because I am also in law school which requires constant reading. I love reading - I really do. It's just the last thing I want to do when I crawl into bed at night. A lot of people switch out TV time for reading, and that just isn't for me because I don't watch TV before bed. By the time I crawl into bed, exhaustion hits me, and it only takes me about 10 minutes to pass out. Therefore, I want to make more time for reading during the "spare" moments I have during the day. Whether I'm commuting, laying in the bath, or have 30 minutes to kill before I leave my house - reading will be my go-to! Below are the list of books I plan on reading each month. Let me know if you have read or plan on reading any of these and we can chat about them! Also, feel free to follow me on Goodreads where I frequently post what books I want to read and am reading. The icon is at the bottom of the screen and it'll take you to my Goodreads account.
January: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
February: Columbine by Dave Cullen
March: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
April: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
May: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
June: Simplified Life by Emily Ley
July: Nice is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything by The Betches
August: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
September: Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
October: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
November: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
December: All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister
Now, I'd love to hear from you! What are your goals for 2018? I'm always interested to hear other's goals and maybe if we have some in common we can keep each other accountable!