Why It’s Important to Pause and Reflect on Your Year

Happy New Year!!

Ready for a yearly reflection? I’m currently cozied up in bed, my makeup-free skin freshly hydrated after applying a face mask, and writing this post while wearing a Golds Gym T-shirt and yoga shorts (#fashion). It’s 2:30am and I’m in Austin, Tx at the Fairmont hotel with my partner in crime, attempting to Postmates curly fries from Jack-in-the-Box.

A few hours ago, I was all dolled up and celebrating NYE with friends. Now, I’m writing this post on my notes app instead of crashing out like one would expect.

Why?

Well, I feel like I haven’t had a chance to just stop and reflect on 2018. Sure, I posted highlights on my IG stories a few days ago, but that was more of a kickoff rather than a grand closing. Just because we’re now officially in 2019, who says it’s too late to look back on the past year?

I like taking the first week in the year to transition my mindset by reflecting on the past and looking ahead towards the future. It gives some perspective and helps shape my goals for the year while taking the pressure off the January 1st reset button.

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Wearing: Boohoo Duster | Forever 21 Dress | Steve Madden Boots | Jenny Bird Earrings


The highlights I shared on Instagram were truly amazing moments in 2018. I met great people at SXSW, I went back to Beautycon LA for the second time, and I finally visited the one place I’ve wanted to go to since I was a young kid–New York. Even on the blogging side, I collaborated with brands I only dreamed of working with!

But overall, I have to say I left 2018 feeling just okay.

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2017 was a year full of unwanted change and uncertainty that bled into the first quarter of the new year, so I was comfortable with all of the stability 2018 had to offer; however, I think that’s what left me feeling like I had a lackluster year. I don’t feel like I had a lot of personal development because I was too focused on finding stability that 2017 lacked. In hindsight, I wish I would have painted a clear line between feeling stable and feeling stuck.

At the end of the year, I think people feel bad admitting they had a fantastic year when others had a bad one, and vice versa.

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s okay to say you had a great year! It’s okay to say you had a horrible year.  And, it’s also okay to just have an okay year like I did.

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The question is, how will you make this year different?

Good, bad, or indifferent, challenge yourself to have a year that tops 2018. We’ve all heard the saying that you are your own competition, right? Well, apply that concept to your years (and days) as well! We should always strive to be better than the past versions of ourselves, but I think this thought process is a little more digestible as we head into a new year.

Despite the negative attitudes some people have towards waiting until the new year to make a change, there’s something about the year changing that gives everyone a boost of motivation…and I’m here for it.

Since I mainly felt like my year was too complacent, I’m challenging myself to grow and step out of my comfort zone in 2019.

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One area in particular I’m itching to grow is my photography. It’s my favorite part of blogging and even though I still edit all of my pictures, I’ve had a lot of help with shooting my outfits in recent years. (If you recall, I talked about this a bit during a Trying Trends shoot I did on my own last year.) I feel like I haven’t been able to exercise that muscle as regularly as I’d like, so I’m making a change!

This year, I am challenging myself to take a picture every day! My bigger picture (no pun intended) resolution is to improve my photography. I’m transforming that broader goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal, and breaking it down into actionable steps I can do each day that contributes to the vision. I have a checklist of photography styles I want to improve upon, and I believe I can knock them all out by this time next year!

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If you need help figuring out ways to challenge yourself in 2019, I suggest making a list of all the things you like to do, and all of the things you want to do. Pick 1 or two items from the list and break them down into small tasks you can complete at a regular frequency. For example, let’s say you want to meet new people. You can accomplish this by creating a weekly or monthly challenge where you introduce yourself to someone new. Attend a social event, go out solo, or venture into the app world!

Because I can’t possibly mention challenges without incorporating style, you can also create a style resolution! Let’s say you want to wear your current wardrobe more often and stop shopping. You can break this down by completing quarterly capsule wardrobe challenges! I did one a few years ago and I found that it provided so much clarity around my personal style. In fact, I don’t like to have an abundance of clothes in my wardrobe since completing that challenge. Now, I like to rotate items out if I bring in new pieces.

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Shop the look:


2019 will be the year of growth.

Let’s all make a promise to ourselves to be better than we were, even if that’s something as minor as drinking one less soda each month. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen when you commit!

And remember, take the time to reflect on your past. How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from?

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2 Comments

  1. January 2, 2019 / 11:37 am

    This a great post, love your honesty about how your year went. Pray you have the growth your looking for in 2019! Thanks for sharing.

    • Chelsey
      Author
      January 9, 2019 / 4:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Keoshia! I really enjoyed sitting down and writing this post, so I’m happy you liked it! I can definitely feel a shift in my mindset this year already, so I’m hopeful that the growth will only continue! Many blessings to you!