The transition from an old year to a new one can be tough. We analyze and over-analyze, even scrutinize our decisions, failures, and transgressions. Funny how when you look back at your year a lot of the negative feelings pop up first.

I didn't reach the goal I wanted.

I hate that I didn't accomplish more.

I wish I would have grown more as a person.

What would happen if we just took the time for reflection to do simply that - to just reflect? No emotions, no attachments, just an unbiased and objective look at what was. What would happen then? I'll use myself as an example.

In 2017, I achieved personal, professional, and collective growth. Sometimes growing was difficult. I had a few meltdowns. I had a few moments that I felt like I was on the brink. These moments weren't bad. Sad sometimes, sure. Definitely frustrating. More than anything these moments were a necessity. In order to grow and learn we must make ourselves uncomfortable.

Also in 2017, I made new friends. I advanced in my career. I wrote an unpublished manuscript. I obtained my Master's degree. I grew spiritually. I was a body model. I did things I never thought were possible before mainly because I recognized that without pushing myself past my limits, past my comfort zone I would never grow beyond what I had already become.

Looking back objectively, I can see my mistakes and learn from them without feeling anything about them. I can take that knowledge and apply it to create a better me without sadness, bitterness, or disappointment. It's a learning experience.

On the other side of that notion, I also can see my achievements for what they are without arrogance. I can use these accomplishments as fuel to set my next set of goals and to create a better me.

What a lot of people miss about the idea of re-inventing yourself every year is the work and the journey. People don't change overnight. There's a lot of work involved. Dedication. Studying. Improvement. Self-care. Re-invention is not about the objective as much as it is a true change in your habits and lifestyle. You are the change.

The other thing that people miss is the journey. What I mean by that is that many people focus on only the goals and not the path to the goals. People don't enjoy the journey. They look at improvement as moving from point A to point B but that's the furthest thing from the truth. The journey is there to allow time for the changes. The journey is there to teach you about yourself. The journey is there to be enjoyed. Without truly enjoying and experiencing the full journey, you're likely to fail in achieving, creating, or uncovering the version of yourself that you desire.

Remembering these tips going into 2018 will truly keep you on track to accomplish the self you're looking for:

  • Reflect, don't wallow.
  • Be objective.
  • Learn.
  • Be open to the process of change.
  • Expand beyond your comfort zone.
  • Work, work, work.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • Follow these tips, and I guarantee you'll uncover a whole new version of yourself you've never met before. You may have never even imagined this version of you before. Change can be frightening, but change can also be nothing short of magical.

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