Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year 2017 Goals and Resolutions


A lot happened in the year 2016. 

I ran my first 5K, traveled cross-country by train with my sister/roommate, and traveled and flew on a plane by myself (well, sort of by myself). I bought my first smartphone, read a lot of good books, road tripped to the North Texas Irish Festival with some dear friends, stood up as a bridesmaid in another dear friend’s wedding, and collaborated with my friend Nathan on our first debut cover and music video. We also released a Christmas duet, in case you haven’t heard it yet. I went back to school, part-time, got my wisdom teeth removed. I made new friends. I saw the Oh Hellos, Relient K, and Switchfoot in concert! I also saw a lot of other great artists/musicians live thanks to NTIF. :-) I was in a wonderful stage production of A Christmas Carol with an awesome cast, crew, and directors! I vacationed to the Gulf Shores in Alabama with my parents and siblings. And not necessarily in that order.

Last but not least, A Vapor in the Wind hit its three-year-anniversary (as of December 2013) and its 100th blog post this last December! 

And that doesn’t even scratch the surface, especially in comparison to everything that happened behind-the-scenes and all of the spiritual and mental growth and healing that took place by God’s grace. How do you summarize and measure a year? I'm not sure if I could ever find the words. Life, as always, is a contrast of sorrow and joy, pain and laughter, peace and turbulence. This year has come with its own measure of pain, disappointment, and heartache. 

Perhaps the greatest thing that happened in 2016 was my acceptance of this reality. I used to find the sorrow intimidating and scary. I used to tell myself to stop whenever I found myself spontaneously bursting into tears. Now it seems so natural for the sun to be shining on a beautiful day, for my heart to be happy, and then suddenly the tears come. Pain does something to your soul and suddenly happy things make you sad and sad things make you happy and you stop trying to distinguish between the two, you simply let the strange contradiction and intermingling of all the emotions be, let the tears run their course, take a deep breath, and go about the rest of your day.

A lot of other things changed inside of my heart in 2016. I started dreaming again and stopped dwelling on the past. The future began looking more hopeful than ever. I stopped emotionally regressing, well, mostly. I still have those days. I stopped avoiding the sins hidden inside the crevices of my heart and came face-to-face with whatever resentment, bitterness, selfishness and anger I had been harboring. I still have so far to go and when I think about what I want to accomplish in the year of 2017, the list goes on and on. I feel like I have reached the edge of a precipice and there is still so much in my life that needs to be overhauled, repentance and growth that needs to happen. Honestly it's a little intimidating....okay, it's really intimidating. 

My perception of time changed in 2016. I was told that happens the older you get. I guess I'm getting a bit older because months and years don't seem very long anymore. I remember when I used to measure the passing time with every arduous school semester and while I am in school again, the semesters fly by and a semester doesn't quite feel like a semester used to feel. The stress of every exam, assignment, and paying tuition rolls off my shoulders as I realize all of this will end very quickly. It's a little easier to be patient and wait. In the grand scheme of things, here and now is not very significant and somehow that helps me to focus on what really matters.

The year of 2017 is going to be a year with a lot of change and I am not sure if I am quite ready for it all. But then I remind myself, it's just a year. And soon it will be over and all of those mountains that seemed so foreboding and impenetrable on the distant horizon will soon be behind me. I have a lot of plans for this year and while I won't divulge them here and now, I am sure you will hear about some of them in the not-so-near future.

I have so many resolutions for 2017. As always, I am unrealistically optimistic about all of the things I will accomplish, how much exercise I will get, how healthy I will eat, how much money I will save, how many books I will read, etc. I was informed by a random blog article somewhere that the best way to start a day was by setting three main goals for the day and to focus on accomplishing those goals while also completing whatever other demands, tasks, and goals that arise as you are able. I guess I am kind of treating this year as a new day. I have several big goals I intend to accomplish and everything else that gets completed will be a lovely bonus, a sort of icing on the cake.

What are your goals for 2017? What are your resolutions? Did you accomplish all of your goals for 2016? 

6 comments :

  1. Happy new year Dani! :) I hope that you are able to accomplish many of your goals, all while growing in the Lord and letting Him make your plans. It's wonderful that 2016 helped you learn to have more of a big-picture perspective. This is something I need to work on myself, as I get stressed about all the little things. ;) I don't make resolutions, but one goal I have for this year is to become a more confident driver.

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    1. Thank you, Paige! I hope you had a Happy New Year and I hope you can accomplish all your goals this year. Being a confident driver is easier said than done, coming from someone who has caused more accidents than I care to share. ;-)

      Dani xoxo

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  2. This is beautiful, Dani! Happy New Year! I am so glad 2016 was such a great year for you, filled with healing and hope and great experiences!! That is WONDERFUL!!

    2016 was a VERY busy year, with some tough struggles and trials, but also some amazing experiences and miracles and just a great blessing! I finished high-school, and got accepted into the uni I was hoping I would be able to get into (such a blessing from the Lord!) Excited to start studying in Feb! :D I got my driver's license and made some lovely new friends. I also went with my sisters to my first trip to the USA with the RZIM team, which was so inspirational. Oooh, and I discovered the show Merlin ;). So yeah, it's been good! ::)

    I have so many things I would love to do in 2017 - I think the highest thing really for me is to do well at my first year of university and really learn all I can, make good friendships, develop my writing and art and music more. Read more. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with my eating and sleeping habits. Also to grow in my faith and study God's Word more. Be there for my family and friends... to name a few things :)

    Here's to an even more blessed new year filled with God's mercy and goodness and joy, Dani! - thank you for your sweet friendship! You are a blessing!! :D

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    1. Joy, I'm so glad to hear that 2016 was an eventful year for you as well full of a lot of good changes! It's funny and awesome how similar our goals are this year. In many ways, for me, it feels like graduating high school all over again. :P

      Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done, especially when you're a student with homework to complete and exams to study for. Studying God's Word and cultivating a relationship with Him can also easily take second priority with the demands of college life. But what I've learned is that if these two things--drawing near to God and taking care of yourself--aren't a priority, everything else suffers, including my performance at work and school.

      I'll be praying for you in your endeavors this year! You have been such a blessing as well, Joy. Thank you for your friendship! If you are ever in the U.S. in 2017 let me know!! It would be awesome to meet you face-to-face. :) <3 <3

      Dani xoxo

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  3. 2017 sounded like a fun year! So much traveling. Traveling is always good. The goals advice is good. I always write a list of goals for every day and I have a list of goals for the year. Happy 2017!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Victoria! I wish every year could be filled with a lot of travelling. But the staying at home makes all the travelling in between worth it. :)

      That's a fantastic way to go about every single day and year. I hope this year is a good one! :D

      Dani xoxo

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