I spend a lot of time silently contemplating and reflecting on things, but during holidays, it’s taken to a whole other level. I go deep in thought about anything and everything in life–what could I have done better? What can I do going forward to get there?

2017 is already upon us. I remember last year around, waiting eagerly for the 2016 countdown to begin, feeling overly exhilarated and energized. 2016 was personally the toughest year to date. I said that in 2015 when I was waiting anxiously for 2016 to arrive, but 2015 was nothing like 2016. 2016 was rough. I don’t remember a year where I longed to travel this much, stressed about work and the future, felt more troubled over relationships, and raged and felt more annoyed with myself over the healthy limit. It was not pretty. Many friendships dissipated while others were nurtured, goals and priorities started changing, and above all, I changed the most.

I can’t deny that there were good moments too. I went on a trip to Boston, went on a ton of food adventures, wrote reviews and became Elite status on Yelp, started having more blogging dreams and goals, got to pet an alpaca at the zoo, started getting back to my hobby of photography, tried the pumpkin spice latte for the first time, finally got my Happy Holla Days Christmas sweater I’ve been eyeballing for years, joined fitness kickboxing and got back into some shape, purchased my first kindle ever, went on a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard and actually fell asleep in the hotels (rare occasion or maybe I’m really that sleep-deprived), explored more of my own city – New York City (looking forward to loads more this year), and went to the Night Nation Run.

Despite the messy tears, arguments, misunderstandings, lack of sleep and identity crises, I feel okay. I feel fine with where things are right now.

I like to visit and read my posts once in a while, and being that I’m my blog’s #1 reader, I want to throw some reflections and “resolutions” in this post and use it as another avenue to keep myself accountable.

  1. Be kind to myself
    Many people I know would tell you that I’m often too hard on myself or that I beat myself up too much over things. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I feel that’s the only way I accomplish things or keep myself in check. If I give myself an excuse each time, how do I experience growth? I know when I’m forcing myself too much and I know when I push myself because I know I could achieve that much more. However, one of the top goals for 2017 is to be kinder to me. I can’t control how kind others are to me, but I can always control how kind I am to myself. I will believe in myself more, respect myself, and treat myself well aka gifts to myself that I really want and could improve my quality of life.
  2. Bring more peace to my life
    Sometimes, it’s hard to maintain peace…2016 sure showed me that. Let me clarify, I mean more inner peace, serenity, and/or contentment. I let myself rupture and explode at every little thing that went wrong because I couldn’t let certain things go so easily. I kept hurting myself by feeling perpetually stuck and not being able to actually breathe. This year, I want to bring more inner peace by accepting things for what they are, decluttering the house/room which in turn might declutter my mind, and teaching my mind to become still, especially during bedtime.
  3. Read more books
    With my purchase of the kindle paperwhite, I’ll definitely be reading lots of books this year, and I encourage you to do the same. I set a measly 20 books as my challenge for 2016, but I am going to set it to 25 this year (I’m really hoping I surpass that and reach 30+, but don’t want to set it too high just in case other commitments take over). If you have any great book recommendations, send them my way!
  4. Kickbox more often
    I started kickboxing last year and it really helped me get back into some shape. I still remember feeling terrified during my first class but afterward, I felt so much stronger and happier. I cannot wait to pick it back up and go regularly. I don’t want emails saying that they miss me and they want to help me reach my goals because I haven’t been there for a while. Time to go frequently and kick some butt!
  5. Learn new skills
    It’s so easy to stay complacent and I’m not one for that. I want to stimulate my mind more this year. I’ve wanted to learn some skills for the longest and haven’t set aside time to actually make it happen. This year, I’m making it happen.
  6. Spend more time with family and friends
    I haven’t been quite the best at keeping up with friends. We’re all busy and we easily fall off the grid for months on end. I want to build and foster stronger relationships with friends and family. I’m aiming to go on more trips together, laugh more, explore more and love them more.
  7. Cook more
    I cooked a few times but that’s nowhere near how much I want to experiment in the kitchen. This year, I will spend more time cooking up some deliciousness.
  8. Travel more
    This doesn’t always have to be out of the state or country, it could simply mean more road trips or exploring new places which I’m all for!
  9. Live more genuinely and authentically
    A while ago, an anonymous person asked me on Tumblr “what are some strategies one can apply to foster authenticity?” and it got me thinking again. How do I live genuinely and be happy with myself and the life that I lead?
    – Self-awareness is a huge one. Have the intention to be genuine. Notice your emotions sensations, beliefs, stories and believe them.
    – Be or learn to be clear and truthful with the things you say and do.
    – Be open-minded and look at all sides of a situation. Narrow-mindedness and rigid thinking trap our vulnerable, authentic self because it results in judgment and limitation.
    – Embrace your uniqueness and, by all means, express it! We have one finite life – let’s stop worrying too much about what others say or think about us. At the end of the day, everyone is focusing on themselves. We need to make ourselves happy first. Learn to care for yourself and love yourself the way you do to your best friend.
    – Know your values and redefine your values from time to time. It’s hard to be authentic if you don’t know what you desire or value. Reevaluate and prioritize what feels right to you now and align your actions with said things.
    – Trust your intuition. We feel out of sync sometimes when we’re acting inauthentic and things don’t feel right. Pay attention to those hunches.
    Honestly, I’m still trying to learn how to live authentically and discover more about myself. The only constant in life is change and we are no different. Who we are changes and evolves over time, but let’s try our best to become more authentic each and every single day.

Cheers to the New Year! Let’s take it one day at a time. Let’s be faithful. This is the year we all hope to be better. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving it all because you are limitless as long as you believe yourself to be.

Thanks for stopping by – I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about some of my “New Year’s Resolutions”. What are some of your goals for 2017? I would love to hear what you are striving to improve upon in 2017. Let’s help to keep each other accountable! Feel free to comment below or tweet me @justviasyl

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justviasyl
Aspiring to be a woman comfortable and happy mentally, physically and professionally, JustviaSyl highlights Sylvia's personal and professional development journey through tips, thoughts, and stories in hopes of bringing more positive energy into the world and encouraging us to keep learning, laughing, growing, relaxing and reflecting to become the best versions of ourselves and live a life we're remarkably proud of. To get in touch or work together, send a note to justviasyl@gmail.com

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