We are already a week into the new year and I am just now starting to feel like I am recovered from December. I’m probably a little biased, but I think I might have had the busiest December of anyone I know. With holiday parties, my birthday, shopping, wrapping, Hallmark movies and traveling to my parents for Christmas, its always a busy time of year. But this past December also included a trip to Disney World. That’s right! I got to go to the happiest place on Earth, during the busiest month of the year, and it was magical!
I love Disney World. This was my 5th trip during my lifetime, so far. My parents took us when I was in 3rd grade and again in 8th grade. My mom and I also got to make a trip on our own my 8th grade year so I could participate in the Thanksgiving Day parade at Magic Kingdom. (Thank you, UCA cheer camp for making me an “All-Star” and thank you Mom for making hundreds of funnel cakes to sell at the local Halloween Carnival to earn the money for the trip.) When my youngest sister turned 18 my parents planned another family vacation to Disney as our Christmas gift. She was the youngest on the trip and I have to say, that might have been the most fun of them all. Who knew Disney was so fun for adults? That was in 2007. Ten years later and I was back! Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and back to Magic Kingdom on Day 5 for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We had a blast and my nieces were in Disney heaven. It was so fun to be able to experience that with them. (If you love Christmas, I highly recommend doing the Christmas Party ticket-less crowded, special shows, free holiday snacks everywhere and an amazing parade and fireworks show.) Needless to say, I was completely exhausted when I finally made it back home. You can see some of my pictures from the trip on my Instagram page.
By the time I recovered from Disney it was time for Christmas. I was fortunate to get to spend an entire week at my parents this year. I can’t even begin to tell you the last time I spent that amount of time at their place. We had so much food, a Saran wrap ball full of prizes, a 1000 piece puzzle, gifts, a movie, golf cart rides, Bunco, family time, late nights and laughing until we cried. My heart was so full by the time I headed home. My hard working hubby stayed home for work and took care of the house and dogs and I was so ready to see him. Have I mentioned how amazing he is? He’s amazing!
I was finally home and ready to say goodbye to 2017. It was a rough year and it was a wonderful year all rolled into one. I closed out December of 2017 with tears rolling down my face with so much gratitude for this amazing life I get to live and so much relief that such a tough year was behind me. They were cleansing tears as the weight of 2017 was lifted from my shoulders leaving me renewed for a fresh start in 2018.
Now here I am, one week in and I don’t quite feel like I’ve started yet. Anyone else out there feel this way? The “new year, new you” motto that is floating around sounds great, but where exactly do you start when making a “new you” and do you really want to be completely new? Isn’t there something wonderful about our old selves-the pain, the joy, the memories and experiences? I don’t want to make a new me. I just want to improve upon the me I already am. Sure, I have areas that need a lot of improvement, but I also have areas where I am already moving in the right direction. I have areas that need to be reworked and I have a chapter in front of me that is a blank slate and I get to write it.
Today I met with an amazing group of women and we discussed our goals for this year-not our resolutions, but specific, measurable goals. If I want to be the best version of myself, then I have to be intentional with my actions. I have to write it down, make a plan and execute. I can’t sit back and hope for the best. Life just doesn’t work that way. Trust me, I tried it that way and nothing happened. As you step into this new year if the thought os setting goals sounds intimidating then just pick one thing to be intentional about. It can be losing weight, getting stronger, reading books, learning a new skill or a new language, planning your travel, creating something beautiful, quality time with those you love, getting involved in your community, prayer or budgeting, but be specific. Put a timeline on it. Write it down. Tell someone about it and then GET. AFTER. IT.
One of my goals is to read 25 books this year. I am currently working through the 100 Days to Brave devotional by Annie F. Downs and reading David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Another goal is to cook more meals at home with at least one per week being with my new Power Pressure Cooker XL. My husband and I have also set some family goals-one date night per month and one overnight date per quarter. I’m especially excited about where those might take us! I would love to hear what some of your goals are for 2018. Leave a comment with your goals, leave suggestions for books I should read and what books you are reading or leave me some recipes you love for the pressure cooker. Let's conquer this year together!
Here’s to the best version of YOU in 2018! CHEERS!