With birthdays, it doesn’t always feel like anything is different once your special day has come and gone. You feel like pretty much the same person from the eve-of to the day-after. Yet when you look back at where you were on your last birthday, you may be surprised to see a world of difference. Whether it is changes in your physical self, how much growth you’ve experienced, your workplace, a new home, or even the people that surround you, there is likely to be something that has changed in the last 365 days of your existence.
When I reflect on my last year, it is hard to believe how much I have changed and how much growth I’ve gone through, walking through both mountains and valleys. This has been a year of transformation and I believe 22 will be as well. There are so many things that I’ve learned over the past year, so here are 21 lessons, habits, and goals I’m taking in to year 22.
1 My Morning Routine
Lately I’ve been waking up about 3 hours before I have to be somewhere, giving me time to workout, make breakfast, have study/devotional time, and get ready without being in a rush.
2 Less Time on Social Media
I have set time limits on my social media apps (in settings of Apple phones) and want to stick to those as often as I can.
3 Active Lifestyle
On top of my daily workouts, I do my best to walk when I can (to work, school, or leisurely while listening to a podcast) and little things like taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
4 Healthy Eating
This year I’ve discovered that I actually prefer healthy eating as it makes me feel better physcically and mentally.
A lesson that God has really put on my heart, being vulnerable with others has opened so many doors to connection, comfort, and growing friendships.
6 Live in the Moment
Such a cliché, but I really have been working on being present. I am a planner, so I often find myself constantly looking ahead, but I’ve been working on it. To quote my own high school graduation speech: “We’re so busy waiting for the sun to rise we forget to look at the stars.”
7 Community is Vital
The communities I’ve surrounded myself with this past year have been nothing but uplifting, loving, and encouraging. I honeslty don’t know if I would have made it through some tough times without all of those amazing people at my side (shoutout to Navs and Delight).
8 God is so Faithful in Pulling Me Out of the Darkness
If I can say anything about this past year it would be that God SHOWED UP. I could probably write a plethora of posts about this, but for now I’ll just say that God has rescued me and has shown me His grace in so many ways this past year.
9 God Expects Less than what We Think
Rather than striving, I’ve learned it is more important to build a relationship with Him.
10 Body Positivity
Something I’ve personally struggled with for years, I feel like I’m finally on the home-stretch of accepting and loving myself.
11 Consistent Blogging
I’ve really slacked off when it comes to consistent posting. I could give a laundry list of excuses, but in the end it boils down to not making my blog and writing a priority. It is going to be difficult with a jam-packed schedule this semester, but with writing being a big part of my long-term goal, it is worth the time investment.
I’ve always had faith, but my faith now is stronger than it has ever been. This year (and all my years to come) I want to dive in wholeheartedly wtih God into whatever He has planned for my life.
13 Developing and Growing Friendships
Similar to my lesson in community, I want to invest in others and surround myself with great people.
14 Eradicating Fear of Man
It is so easy to let others dictate our lives. My hope for this year is to get over that and to stop letting the fear of others’ opinions persuade my decisions.
15 Stand Up for Myself/Speak Up
I am not a fan of conflict, but in some situations it is necessary to speak up.
16 Pursuing My Call to Ministry
Something I realized this year was that the times I was involved in ministry, whether it was talking to others about faith, attending ministry organizations/bible studies, going to church, my own personal study times, etc., were my favorite moments and when I was the happiest. As I look for jobs following graduation, I intend to focus on faith-based positions/organizations.
I am so bad at rest. I know that sounds crazy, but my mind is always going a million miles an hour, there is always a to-do list somewhere around my room, and an empty space on my planner begs to be filled. I’m hoping to change that in the near future.
I really like the idea of just having less.
19 Strengthen Prayer Life
Rather than rushing through prayer at the very end of my day, seconds before my eyes close, I want to be more intentional with talking with God.
20 Narrow Down the Things I’m Invested In
I’ve always been the one to want to keep adding to the list of things I do/am involved in. Rather than investing a small amount of time and energy to a bunch of different things, I want to focus more on the things that really matters most to me.
21 Don’t Hold Back
I know for a fact I’ve held out on writing certain blog posts because I didn’t think my site was successful enough yet. I know that it is backwards thinking and I’m guilty of it in more areas than one, so from here on out I intend to be all-in with everything I do.
I know this list is ambitious, and honestly it is a little intimidating for me. I know there are so many improvements I want to make, but life really is a journey. Something I heard from the Basically Basic podcast (I think Amanda said it) is that we are never just going to arrive. There won’t be a day we just wake up and think “Yep, I’m here. I’m all done.” Life, and especially your walk with Jesus, is about the journey, not a set destination.
P.S. With my desire to blog more, I would love to know what content you all want to see! Whether it was something I briefly mentioned above in this post or another one, questions you have for me, or something entirely different, let me know either in the comments or message me!