I’ve nearly ghosted all of my platforms the past few weeks. In taking time for myself, my health, and the holidays, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I want out of the new year. I reread my 2017 New Year post in which I created resolutions that were appropriate for everyone. In 2018, I have to be more intentional (I hate how overplayed this word has become) and likewise more specific in caring for me and setting personalized goals to be the best version of myself. I also wrestle with sharing the highlights from a year because they’ve previously only captured the positives. More often than not, the challenges and obstacles of a past year inform my decisions and actions in a new year. In 2017, I…
- Got a dream job as an IT Specialist at my alma mater
- Moved to a very tiny town
- Rolled out brand strategy services under my blog’s umbrella
- Got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lived with my significant other
- Made $4,000+ in one month from blogging
- Organized two fundraisers: one as a scholarship for a student at my high school, one to benefit the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center
- Quit grad school
- Taught my first community class on personal branding
- Went into anaphylactic shock from a food allergy
- Created an internship program for students interested in digital communications
In the new year, I mentioned the importance of specificity – goals that are measurable and personal so that they make sense only for me. I initially went to separate out those that were personal and professional, but I wholly believe that so much of my lives are intertwined that it is irrational to make a distinction. Hopefully, these tailored goals address gaps in both my purpose and overall happiness and will contribute to the best year yet. In 2018, I want to…
Take back my body
2017 was certainly the year of the body and I was not in charge. It felt like reading the Sports Illustrated Body Issue and the editors refused to listen to my input. Through learning about enduring an autoimmune illness and related complications, I learned about limitations. In 2018, I must steer my own health – mental and physical – and accept the opportunities I am afforded to reclaim my body as my own.
Read – period.
If we’re being totally honest, I didn’t read a single book in 2017. I started several, read chapters, dozens of articles and blog posts, but no complete books. For someone who has a book herself, it’s pretty ridiculous to not be able to slow down enough to fully and completely read the works of others. Reading has always felt like a chore to me, primarily because of school. I’m also incapable of reading without annotating, so the library doesn’t pan out very well. I’ve made a sizable list of books I want to tackle this year. I hope to provide a 6-month update and review of the ones I’ve worked through.
Become a better friend
Twice, I’ve taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment – once during my freshman year of college, and again in June of 2017. In both instances, I received a report reflecting the same top strengths. Despite dramatic life changes, I knew there was some continuity in who I truly am and what I have to offer. In 2017, I was told on more than one occasion that I’m not enough of a cheerleader, not an enthusiastic enough friend. In both assessments, one of my top strengths was Relator. Truthfully, I love building close relationships and I certainly fit the definition of that strength by showing interest in reaching goals with friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been known as someone who gets too excited, but I do realize that I’m a workaholic with tunnel vision when it comes to task completion. In 2018, I hope to cherish and celebrate the special individuals I’m proud to call friends.
Purchase my first home
After years of dorm life and renting, I am finally interested in settling in a home of my own. I’ve reached the point of living in spaces that I was bound to because of cost, proximity, size, etc. I want to paint walls, let my dog run off a leash, eat with friends at a dining room table. I’ve set myself up on a strict budget and savings plan throughout 2017 and into the new year that will hopefully make this goal possible in my new town I’m proud to call home.
Learn + teach media literacy
I feel that now more than ever it is essential for internet personalities to both understand and teach the value of media literacy. Sometimes, what I post online is strategically curated to evoke a certain emotion and response. I structure my audience’s reaction to events, collaborations, and more. Because I hold this authority, I am likewise responsible for helping followers to understand that my life is more than what appears on this site and on Instagram. Further, the social and political climate demands widespread media literacy to both make sound decisions for our future (and in electing leadership) and to simply cope with daily obstacles. I hope through my platforms and in my community classes, audiences understand their responsibility to challenge their surroundings and seek truth.