2016 was the year I turned 30. To me, it was a big year, and my goal for that year was to be in the best shape of my life by the time I hit that big day. I had been weightlifting at that point for about a year and a half, so I was in a really good head space going into 2016. I was focused, I honed in on my diet and really kicked things up a notch in the gym. I even added a bit more cardio to my routine, which really is a big deal for me! So when August rolled around and I had that weekend getaway with my girlfriends, I was happy to say I had crushed my goal of the year. I was definitely, at 30, in the best shape of my entire life. I felt great, I felt confident and I closed out the year feeling successful about completing that goal.
Fast forward to this year. My goal of 2017 was to purchase my own home before I turned 31. Objectively speaking, I can see how this is absolutely a way bigger and more committed goal than my prior goal of the year. I am happy to say that on March 14th of this year, I sat down in a tiny closing room in a local realtor’s office and signed 30 years of my life away to a little home in my favorite neighborhood in Metro Detroit- my dream home. When I first looked at the home with my realtor, I was certain there was no way I could ever afford a house this nice by myself. It was everything I wanted, 1930’s charm but with all the modern finishes I desired. 3 bedrooms, finished basement, it was seriously the house I always wanted. And I got it! That is where I am living today! I spent remaining portion of the year struggling to balance my new found costs, learning to do yard work and putting most of what little “free” money I had left toward the home. My year was stressful, incredibly so; and busy. That being said, other portions of my life weren’t what they used to be. I didn’t get a big trip or vacation this year. I didn’t make it to the gym NEARLY as much as I wanted to, and my weight and fitness absolutely struggled. I spent more nights than I care to admit stress eating crap that I absolutely was not used to. I struggled all year finding a balance. I am not where I was physically in 2016 in and I beat myself up over that every day, more than you can imagine.
I was reflecting on that this morning, on my drive to work, once more feeling self conscious and ashamed about my physical appearance. Once again frustrated that I had “let myself go” and was not where I was in 2016. And then, I had a moment of clarity. “What the fuck is wrong with you? I asked myself. No, you’re not a size 4 with abs this year but you are a single woman on a single income and you bought the house of your dreams BY YOURSELF this year. You did the yard work, you hung the pictures, you furnished it, you created costumes in a literal craft room that you built. That is huge and you’re literally beating yourself up over some gained weight?” Clarity Rachel was right. How was it I was near to closing a year in disappointment, even though, in general, I had accomplished some things to really be proud of, though the prior year I had closed the year out on a high note just because I had a figure to be proud of. How fucked up is that, really?
Our lives fluctuate in seasons. We have good seasons and bad seasons. We have some amazing highs and some devastating lows. We have good days and bad days, and hell if we don’t have good YEARS and bad YEARS. And I am learning that that is OK. I had an amazing year this year. I think everyone could sit and pick apart their 2017 and find things to hate about it. Hell, the state of our country right now is an absolute disaster, I am with you there. I would encourage you to sit back and reflect on your year, however, and think about the good things you accomplished this year. Maybe it’s something many might consider insignificant, but to you, it was a big deal. Guess what? It’s a big deal. Go into 2018 feeling proud of your 2017 and vowing to kick ass even more in 2018. That’s where I am. I am ready to find a real balance in my 2018 and I am confident I can do it. I am sick of beating myself up for something so trivial and am working on focusing on the good things going on in my life. I truly encourage you to do the same. Set a goal, small or big, and work to achieve that. And be proud of yourself when you do. Focus on what you accomplished, not the things that you didn’t. Trust me, I am working on taking my own advice here.