In 2018, my resolutions were all about mindfulness... in 2019, I have to remember, if I don't take care of myself first, I can't take care of anyone else! In fact, they say, to be truly successful with regard to  your resolutions, you have to write them down and revisit them often... put them out in the universe, if you will. I did just that last year... Here's what I wrote:

2018 is going to be all about mindfulness for me: spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.

That sounds like a pretty lofty goal, but even a step in the right direction is an improvement. When you break it down, it's really all about stopping and taking a moment to pray, have a meaningful conversation with a loved one without staring at the phone in your hand, resisting an impulse buy or stopping yourself from mindlessly eating the entire package of Oreos!

That's a lot to take in, but this is how I've broken it down.

1. Pay myself first. Each pay period I'm transferring a specific amount of money from my checking account into my savings with the understanding that it won't be touched unless I desperately need it.
2. Upping my 401K election. Between upping my contribution and my employer now providing a company match, I'll be saving aggressively for my future.
3. I've changed my investing strategy to reflect the current market's performance and take advantage.

1. I'm taking more productive 'me time' in 2018 and I refuse to feel guilty for it, even if there's a pile of laundry that needs to be done. After all, if you don't recharge your batteries, you won't have anything left to give.
2. I'm going to do better balancing my work/personal obligations. I get anxious when I have a lot on my plate and I'm not hurting anyone but myself by saying 'yes.' Here's to saying 'no' more in the new year!
3. I'm going to take time to nurture my relationships.
4. I'm going to take more time to pray and meditate on the Lord's blessings in my life. Hopefully being more mindful about this will help me to step back before making impulsive (read: bad) decisions with my personal and professional relationships.

1. I've tried cross fit, cardio kickboxing, weight lifting and intense cardio and I'm still the biggest I've been in my life. I've also tried every diet under the sun. I'm going to continue using Plexus in the new year, but I'm not going to do a specific diet. I'm going to be more mindful of what I put in my mouth and concentrate on prepping healthy meals each weekend with the help of my husband and his grill master skills! Honestly, I think I've made peace with being a big girl, but I'd like to be a healthy big girl so I don't miss a moment with my friends and loved ones!
2. I'm practicing yoga. I took my first class Wednesday with Tina at Empower Yoga in the Villaggio in Bossier. It was WAY harder than what I thought it would be and I'm taking my next class tomorrow morning at 9:30! Seriously, muscles I never knew I had sat up and said hello! However, yoga isn't just about getting leaner, it's all about being mindful and becoming strong both physically and mentally. During my first class, I had an epiphany. I need to get out of my own way! Wonder what kind of self discovery I'll have accomplished after several months of practice?
3. Lastly, I'm going to take better care of myself by getting more sleep. I'm sick of always feeling tired. Exercise, a healthy diet and a consistent schedule can all help, but I've grown too used to hitting the snooze button and feeling rushed all the time. I resolve to be present and on time in 2018, ready to take on the day after a good night's sleep!

What are you doing to become a better human being in 2018? I'd love to hear from you and maybe we can become each other's cheerleaders!

I actually made a lot of progress in 2018, but life threw me a LOT of curve balls. Financially, I consolidated and paid off a lot of debt. I've upped my contribution to my 401k by 1% each year and my company has started to contribute as well. Unfortunately, as you know, the market is TANKING! However, I've really been much more mindful of my spending and I'm doing way better!

Healthwise, I started the year strong with yoga classes and taking control of my health with my doctor. I've managed to lose right at 40 pounds. Unfortunately, my excercise now is mainly focused on taking care of our farm and horses as well as my mother. When I told you life threw us a few curve balls this year, I wasn't joking. We lost our barn help at the end of the summer then my mother fell and has been in a wheel chair since September an non-weight bearing. Thankfully, we're close, so it's been a bonding experince, I won't say it has been easy, but we've also found joy. With all of that, I jllust haven't found my way to the gym and I haven't found the time to meal prep as often. I really need to remember that despite everything that needs doing, if I don't take care of myself, the rest won't get done if I drive myself into the ground! I'm not the first, nor will I be the last to take care of an elderly parent. I just wish someone would have told me to take care of myself a little better sooner because in the midst of things I tried to burn a tree that fell at our farm that was covered in poison sumac. You can guess what happened after I inhaled all of that... It wasn't pretty!

I also lost two friends this fall. I don't think you're ever ready for that, especially when one of them was a suicide. I really struggled with trying to understand God's will in Joe's death. On top of losing Joe and Donna, I also said goodbye to my sweet Paisano. Yes, he was a horse, but he was dear to me. Spiritually, I had to find a new maturity in 2018 and realize that I had to trust in His plan. For years I tried to push too hard.... I'm finally learning to wonder what He's doing for me instead of what He's doing to me. I know it sounds weird, but live with the concept for a while and you'll get it. Life gets so much easier when you stop asking, 'Why?' all the time!

So, as selfcentered as it sounds, I'm going to take care of me this year. As I take care of me, I'll be better able to answer His call and take care of my loved ones. I'll be able to be more 'mindful' (see 2018) and present.

What are your goals for 2019? Remember, you try your hardest not to break a promise to a loved one, try even harder not to break a promise aka resolution to yourself!

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