I feel like this week between Christmas and New Years is always about two things: shopping post-holiday sales and reflecting on both the year we’re leaving and the year ahead. Lord knows I’ve done plenty of shopping this week (Nordstrom Rack and JCrew Factory really got me good!) but I’ve also been doing some much-needed reflection on what happened in 2017 and how I can make 2018 the best year yet.
Now is about the time when I would set some New Year’s Resolutions. These are always the same ones I (and everyone else) set every year – drink more water, exercise regularly, be nicer to people, and once and for all get rid of all the junk I own. However, this year I wanted to try something different. I’m usually overwhelmed with the number of resolutions I set for myself. So much so, that I fall off track of my goals pretty soon after the new year begins, and definitely by the time that syllabus week rolls around. It just feels so…time-consuming? not-fun? stressful? difficult? all of the above? to make 2892 life changes all at once. Let’s be honest, no one wakes up a completely new, more athletic, hydrated, and clutter-free person.
SO this year, I decided that instead of setting goals for myself, I would create a personal mantra to stick with for the year. Something that I could focus on, direct all my energy towards, and repeat to myself when the times get tough. I toyed with a few different mantras but eventually decided that maybe a word would be better. Something short and sweet.
Fearless maybe? I always feel like I could be a little more adventurous. What about joy? I’m graduating from college in 2018, so I want to make my time at school as happy as possible. Or maybe forward? With a job lined up for after graduation, I have so much to look forward to in the coming months.
All of these words are great, but I eventually decided that my 2018 word of the year was going to be: me. Yep, me. Sounds crazy, right?
I didn’t pick me because I want 2018 to be “The Hannah Show.” Instead, me completely encompasses all my goals for 2018 – to be the best version of myself. Throughout 2018, I want to make sure that everything I’m doing is for my happiness, my health, and my well-being.
“Me” in My Personal Life
In 2018, I want to start treating my body well, both physically and mentally. I signed up to run a half-marathon in April, and I really want to commit to a training schedule and try to finish in around 2 hours and 20 minutes. I’ve always dreamed of being someone who just runs because they love it, and 2018 is going to be the year. And of course, like the past 8 years, I’d really love to drink more water. I’m going to remind myself that water doesn’t have to be boring – tea and LaCroix count, too!
2018 is also the year that I officially move out of my house and into an apartment. I’m excited to live on my own in Washington DC, and I’m already compiling a list of things to do once I get there. No more “I can’t go to that museum I’m really excited about because no one will go with me!” excuses. I’m adventuring out on my own, going to places that I want to go, and not being afraid to eat at restaurants alone. If I want to go get an Instagram-worth donut on Sunday afternoon, I’m sure as heck going to go get it. And I’m not gonna be ashamed to take a Boomerang when I get there.
Photos by Gabby! Make sure to check out her photography website.
For those of you who may not know, I also have a budding photography Instagram account (follow along @_hancam_). I cannot wait to get outside and explore Washington DC with my camera in hand. I really want to kind of find my “style” next year, and I hope by having free reign in a new city, I’ll be able to take photos and capture moments that really define me! And you can bet that I’ll be saving every extra penny in order to travel and explore even more! Austin, Denver (round 2), Nashville, Seattle, Charleston, Canada, and Iceland are on my list!
“Me” in My Blog Life
So I haven’t exactly done a great job of keeping up with the blog this year. I do some behind-the-scenes work, but if you’ve been following along with the blog, you’ll notice most of the posts are written by Gabby. And honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the way that my posts usually don’t get as much traction as hers. Even though we’re in this blog together, it can be a little discouraging when I don’t get the page views that I want. And of course, page views aren’t everything. But they sure are a boost of confidence.
In 2018, I’m revamping the way that I look at the blog. I’m going to try to write every day so that I can keep those good creative juices flowing. I’m going to come up with content that I would love to read, regardless of whether I think it’s going to make it to the list of top blog posts. I also want to engage with other blogs more – 1. because I love reading other’s content and 2. because interacting, starting conversations, and boosting others up is just good for the soul. It’s good for the blogging community. And it will help me become the best blogger I can. Look out for some great content in 2018!
“Me” in My School Life
It’s no secret that I’ve kind of let school go by the wayside, especially once I secured a job after graduation. I’ve realized that this is my last semester of school (probably ever), so I want to soak up as much information as possible. I’m only taking 1 chemical engineering class, so I’m looking forward to spending more time in my liberal arts classes reading, discussing, and challenging what I currently know.
Last semester, instead of spending my extra time on the blog or furthering my learning outside the classroom, I usually ended up just sipping wine and watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. But I always just felt so blah. You know that feeling when you’ve somehow spent hours and hours scrolling through social media, and your life is none the better for it? I’m tired of feeling like that! It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game, especially also having blog and photography social media accounts. For that reason, I’m signing out of Facebook. Not to say that I won’t ever be on it [because I love memes and old Vines (#rip)]. But hopefully, I’ll spend less time staring at a screen and more time enjoying the last 5 months of freedom with my best friends!
(Sorry not sorry both of these pics are football related – go Irish!)
Over winter break, I’ve started to shut my laptop down and simply read. Right now I’m reading “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, and I really am feeling more empowered. It’s part of the reason that I decided to write this post! I’d love to start reading a mix of non-fiction and fiction; really anything that allows me to relax and learn something new! Just because I’m leaving school doesn’t mean I want to stop learning and let my brain turn to mush!
What the Word of the Year Means to Me
Basically, choosing me as my 2018 word of the year means that I want to let nothing stop me from living my best life. Instead of setting strict goals, I’m going to make a conscious effort every day to take my life in a direction that I’m proud of. I’m also not going to fall into the comparison trap, or beat myself up for making little mistakes. By emitting positive energy, I know that I’ll improve my own life and the lives of those around me, both in person and on the blog. 2018 me, here I come!
Do you have a word of the year? Or are you setting some awesome goals for the new year? Sound off in the comments! I’m in the midst of scheduling content for the beginning of next year, so let me know what you’d love to see! Right now, I’m working on some things about landing a job / internship and how to rock a career fair!