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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Welcome 2018

I was trying to get this post completed before 2018 arrived, but you know how life sometimes gets in the way...

2017 was a good year for me. There were also some REALLY challenging times, but even while experiencing difficulties, I have been able to accomplish some things. I'm not a big "New Year's resolutions" type, but I do believe in reflection and goal-setting.

I'm in the process of assessing my accomplishments for the past year, and putting some goals in place for 2018. I don't always accomplish each goal in exactly the way I had in mind or within the original timeline, but I do see myself making progress. I find that I have more success when I take baby steps. Although it can seem like I'm not making movement, when I look back, I can give myself a pat on the back for having moved the needle somewhat.

For me, it's important to acknowledge even the smallest of accomplishments, because it can be really easy to get discouraged and feel defeated. So I like to keep a running list of what I consider to be accomplishments - acknowledge them, build upon them, and use that list to inspire me as I continue through this journey of life.

I mentioned that 2017 was difficult for me at times, but I've learned some valuable lessons. Here are some of my top takeaways.

1) Even if your confidence is undermined, continue to move forward - There were times when my confidence was low and I was questioning my worth, but there was also a part of me that knew what I bring to the table. Just because others weren't willing or able to recognize and acknowledge that, I had to muster up my belief in myself and keep trudging ahead.

2) People typically mean well when they give you advice and words of "encouragement - However, it's not always applicable or meaningful to your situation. You have to pull out what's relevant and ignore the parts that either don't apply to you, or that you really don't want to hear.

3) Nothing stays the same forever It can be really easy to feel discouraged and feel like your situation will NEVER change, it will. The waiting game is the hard part. While you're waiting, you have to lay the groundwork for the change. Don't just expect things to happen for you - you have to put in the work. Even if you don't see immediate results. The work that you put in, will help prepare you for when it's time to make that change. It will make that transition a lot more smooth.

4) It's okay to walk away - From any situation that not only no longer serves you, but drags you down. It doesn't matter if you invested a lot of time in a job, a relationship (of any kind), an investment deal, etc. Why continue putting the time, effort, and money into something that is no longer worth it? Yes, each time you walk away you're leaving something behind, but that's not always a bad thing. Don't continue to invest in dead end situations.

5) There's always something else out there It will be different, but different is not always a bad thing. I happen to like a certain element of stability and predictability, but that doesn't offer the most, in terms of growth opportunities. I have a friend who used to be a consultant, and in her line of work, she was constantly being challenged with new ideas, tasks, and responsibilities - and her approach was to "embrace the ambiguity."

That's a great way to look at life - instead of being fearful of what's to come, become more open to accepting the fact that you don't know everything, you can't control everything, and you're going to make mistakes, but you're going to grow. So here's to embracing the ambiguity of a new year, new challenges, and new way of approaching life.

Happy New Year!

And always, Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!