New Year, Better Me in 2018

Yeah, yeah. We've all made those pesky "New Years Resolutions." 

You know, the kind you are 100% committed to in January, make two weeks progress and feel like a rockstar, then get to the end of February and say "UGH, broke my new years resolution. Next year is my year!" 

Yes, me too. I know the feeling. I am always guilty of being too hard on myself, quick to dismiss all of the progress I have made over one tiny set-back. 

I read this quote the other day and it really got me thinking....


Have you stopped to think..

"When people talk about traveling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small. However, barely anyone in the present realizes they have the power to radically change the future by doing something small in their current day-to-day life."

- Unknown

Whoa. Sit back and think on this one for a second.

The Negative Impact of "Shoulding on Ourselves"

How many times have we let our own feelings of guilt or shame rule our everyday lives? 

I should've exercised today. I should've been more careful. I should've called my parents more. I should've said no to that piece of cake. I should've taken that new job when I had the chance. I should've been more grateful for _____.

Now ask yourself this... when we don't accomplish what we want to, or stray down a different path than we anticipated, who are we really letting down? What prevents us from turning these small mistakes into positive obstacles to overcome rather than as something we cannot fix?

One of my favorite professors at Ohio State introduced me to the concept of "shoulding ourselves" and how constantly focusing on what we "should" do or "should have" done stops us from getting back on track. Instead of judging ourselves, we need to acknowledge our mistakes, reflect on our self-worth, and embrace exactly what we are capable of accomplishing. We must use these New Years Resolution "cheat days" as ways to build our confidence and be proud of the direction we are heading.

Setting SMART Goals and Resolutions

When setting my goals for the year I tend to follow the SMART goal method. 

S = Specific

Spell out EXACTLY what you want your goal to be. This will make your goal...

M = Measurable

By articulating what you want to accomplish, you should be able to have a way to determine if you accomplished your goal or not. 

A = Achieveable

Make your goal feasible for you. For example, "I will not eat sugar for 365 days" would never happen for me. But cutting out sugar for three days of the week might be. Set a goal that will not discourage you or frustrate you if you get off course.

R = Results

Set a goal that will give you results, or outcomes. Ask yourself, what do I want to have accomplished when I finish this goal? 

T = Time-bound

Set a time limit! It is scientifically proven that creating a sense of urgency helps us stay on target and stay more in control of our efforts. 

Keep these goals in a place where you can look at them every. single. day. Whether this be a post-it note at your desk, a sticker on your bathroom mirror, or a vision board in your bedroom. Remind yourself of what you are working towards and NEVER GIVE UP!


So what are my personal goals for 2018?

1. Get A Full-Time, Big Girl Job: most of you know that I am finishing my last semester of graduate school and I am officially in the "this is not a drill" moment of adulting where all 23 years of schooling pay off and I hit the real-world work force!  

2. Spend Less Time With Social Media and More Time Building Meaningful Relationships with People: do you ever catch yourself texting or browsing social media during your free time? So many times I catch myself sitting down with my roommate at the end of the day, or walking out after class, half-listening to my friends' stories as I catch up on what I missed in cyber space. What frustrates me the most is SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN'T EVEN MATTER, but rather having deeper connections with my friends would create more meaning in these relationships. What do my friends love, what are they passionate about? What worries them? Here's to creating stronger friendships in 2018. 

3. Take Better Care of Myself: As stated earlier I am a product of my own self-doubt. Maybe this comes as a side-effect from being judged in the show arena, but I seem to care too much about what other people think of me and spend time doing what I think others want me to do rather than what truly makes me happy. I want to exercise at least three times a week and be proud of my own body. I want to spend time doing things that make me happy such as writing, riding, or playing sand volleyball (when the weather warms up of course). I want to take five minutes during the evenings, reflect, and journal about my day. I owe it to myself to take time figuring out my purpose and what makes my life meaningful. 

4. Travel to at least four new states as Congress Queen! Congress Queen is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a unique position for me to share my experiences with others as well as create positive change in the quarter horse industry. Look for me in Las Vegas and Arizona within the next couple months, and as always never hesitate to reach out!


So set those New Years Resolutions.

Embrace your cheat days.

Enjoy your journey.

Realize your potential in 2018!

Remember, you can and will achieve great things.

Make today great :)