It’s the first day of 2018…perfect time for looking back at the year that was and trying to figure out how to move forward. And it’s very timely that I got a reminder from Facebook’s On This Day about a picture that I posted on December 31st, 2016:

2017 che

At the time that I posted this, I was in a job that I thought I wanted, one that I exchanged for a job that I loved doing in an organization that I was so proud to be a part of. However, 2 months in the new job was all it took for me to realize that I made the wrong decision. The work itself, the pay and the benefits were great…a lot of people would wish to trade places with me. But the system, the environment was just so toxic that merely showing up for work exhausted me. It was so draining, and everyday I could see myself changing, and not for the better. My health suffered, I ached all over, and I turned into an incessant complainer. I was so unhappy and I felt that my conversations with my husband and my friends were all centered on how miserable I was. I knew then that if I didn’t leave, the system would just swallow me whole and spit out the worst version of me. So that night, just before the year ended, I wished…I prayed for a way out. I had no idea when or how it would happen, but I had faith that it would.  A couple of days later,  a friend/colleague from my old job told me about this new position that opened up that she thought I would be perfect for. I interviewed two weeks later, got the job, and the rest is history. 2017 went by like a blur, and I guess it’s true how time passes by so quickly when you’re having fun. I love what I’m doing now and I love the people I work with. I can’t say that I got everything I wished for that night, but as far as relationships and work are concerned, I am happy and I am at peace.

My health? It still leaves a lot to be desired. A major part of me thinks that the reason I failed to achieve my health resolutions in the past is because I did not set  a more specific and realistic action plan on how I intended to achieve that goal. The good thing about  each new year is that it ushers in new chances, another opportunity for a do-over. So for 2018, I resolve to be healthy, in mind, in body and in spirit. I will keep my goals simple and uncomplicated that a sixth grader would not have any trouble following it. And although it feels a little scary to commit my resolutions to paper (aka my blog), the fact that it’s published will definitely help me with the accountability:

  1. I will work out at least two days a week.  Last year, whether my workouts happened or not always depended on whether I felt like I had enough time on my schedule, which meant it didn’t happen more than it did. My athletic club has an app that tracks how many times I went to the gym, and I never saw the number go up past 4 times a month. This year I will change that. I hope to eventually come up with specific workout days, but for now I will settle for a generic, twice a week schedule.

Image result for make time for exercise quote

2. I will develop and maintain healthy eating habits. I actually took a step toward this before the year ended. My husband and I went to see a nutritionist at Duke Integrative Medicine (which is an awesome, awesome place!) last November. Based on the hypothyroid symptoms that I continue to manifest despite being on what the doctor thinks is an “optimal” dose of thyroid hormones, the nutritionist suggested that we do a food sensitivity testing. She said that a lot of autoimmune disorders are either aggravated or alleviated by the food that you eat and it totally made sense to me. So we did the bloodwork and the results showed a lot of sensitivity to foods and beverages that I love love to eat and drink! She came up with a 2 week meal plan to eliminate the culprits from my diet so my gut can heal and we agreed to start right after the holidays, to increase my chances for success.

Quiet waiting room at Duke Integrative Medicine


3. I will remove unnecessary stress from my life by actively practicing mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness helps us break out of habitual and ineffective patterns of thinking and acting and frees us from stress and anxiety by being more “present” and ultimately, more resilient.  Stress is inevitable, but there is the good kind and the bad kind. A lot of times the stress gets so bad that it manifests physically, ergo the headaches, the backaches, the anxiety, the stress-eating. And when I think about it, I realize that I am to blame. I subject myself to the unnecessary, bad kind of stress because some of the decisions I make are driven by my fears. I overextend myself because of the fear of losing control, the fear of saying no, the fear of disappointing or offending someone, the fear of not being liked or loved. I’m a classic people pleaser. I care too much about what other people think or say and I need to stop doing that. Before 2017 ended, I saw this on a friend’s Instagram post, an excerpt from Rebecca Campbell’s “Light is the New Black”,  and it spoke to me. I am not for everyone, and everyone is not for me, and that’s ok. This is my new affirmation.

Image result for light is the new black quotes

So there you go, I think I’m all set for 2018. To my family and friends, I need all the help I can get so if you see me backsliding, please call me out. Happy New Year y’all!

P.S.  Thanks to my bestie Bing Sonsona for letting me use her doodle on my featured image…such a talented one, she is!