By: Sierra Wright

As Christmas and the holidays wrap up and the New Year is quickly approaching I like to take these last few days to reflect on my past year. I like to do this for so many reasons:

Number one: I am able to count my blessings and all the things I am grateful for as a new year is about to begin.
Number two: I am able to reflect on all my accomplishments over the course of the year.
Number three: I am able to identify the things I didn’t accomplish and critique why I wasn’t able to.
Number four: I am able to set new goals based on what I did and didn’t accomplish in 2016.
Number five: I am able to reminisce on all the memories I’ve created, adventures I enjoyed and cherish all I was able to do.
Number six: I am able to remind myself of all the things that make me truly happy whether I have continued to do them or not, this way I am reminded and if I need to make a change, I can.

It is so important to be comfortable with where you’re at in life and for me taking time for myself to reflect on my past year, brings me a bit of comfort. Of course not everything I endured and not everything that happened over the past year were all glory moments or always the easiest of times but I’m able to sit here and say, “Hey I’m here, I made it another year and am healthy, happy and still doing all I can to be a better version of me.” So maybe setting goals for the New Year isn’t relevant to some of us because we are always trying to be a better version of ourselves all year, every year but this is still such a great time to take a step back, refresh and start with a breath of fresh air.

It doesn’t have to be this intimidating time of year, “new year, new me” but if you’re ready for a change, there’s no reason or excuse to not start than the new year. Change isn’t always needed for everyone during this time but maybe to just stay consistent or just try to be better in everything we do. So during this time of reflection, looking back at all the things that make me happy is so important in this aspect. Maybe we stopped a hobby because we got too caught up with other things or whatever the case may be but this a way to take this hobby back up or try something new.

Starting a new year can be intimidating as I said earlier but I highly recommend just taking some time these next few days before we ring in 2017 to just remember and remind ourselves how truly lucky we are to be here and reflect on our past year. Maybe even pull out a piece of paper and jot down everything that comes to your mind, whether it’s memories, rough times, or accomplishments. Now you can keep this paper tucked away till next year when you write your next.

This is something I have done for years and it’s so fun to be able to compare each year to see how far I’ve come and how much I have changed over the course of a year. So just remember going into the New Year, it’s not always about making a change for the new year but how far you have come and how many changes you made happen in 2016.

Happy (almost) New Year team, don’t forget how special each and everyone of you are as individuals. If you want 2017 to be your year; Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change if you feel the need. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Do the things that make you happy. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Be consistent. Don’t gossip. Be positive. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave in the year 2017.