RESET + REFRESH FOR 2023
Each year, I get so excited to do this fun (and sometimes tough) journal exercise. It gives me a chance to express gratitude for the past 12-months in anticipation of all that the new year has in store. I encourage you to join me in reflecting on your top 10 of 2022. I don't typically complete these entries in any particular order so feel free to jump around. Even if you're well into January or even February of 2023, I still recommend giving this exercise a try because it can help provide some inspiration if you're still processing your goals for the new year.
TOP 10 OF 2022
10. Reflect on your bravest moment.
I've attended quite a few social events by myself. This has allowed me to get outside of my comfort zone and connect with others. It's been a great way to increase my network and meet some amazing people. What makes this so brave for me is that I've finally found ways to cope and overcome my social anxiety. It has been so fulfilling putting myself in new social spaces where I can prove to myself that my anxiety doesn't control me. I've also grown to appreciate the ease that comes with attending events on your own. I no longer depend on my friends to determine whether or not I want to do something. This has really been something that has improved my sense of independence and heightened my confidence in navigating new social environments.
9. What's the best decision you've made and how has it transformed your life for the better?
I became a homeowner this year and it has been an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. Home ownership has forced me to become more financially stable and it has motivated me to seek education and resources to help guide my short-term and long-term financial goals. When I think about how buying a home has transformed my life, it's so much bigger than me. If anything, it's more of an impact for my legacy, my future, and generations to come.
8. Wisest words of advice you've received this year?
7. Your greatest moment of joy?
On July 2, 2022, my best friend proposed to me and I said YES! I don't know how my fiancé was able to gather all of our closest family and friends for the proposal, but I was blown away. Our tribe traveled far and wide, and I'm just so thankful to have someone in my life who sees me and is open to taking on this adventurous journey called life together. It certainly was an unforgettable weekend.
6. How have you found peace amongst the noise?
I don't think I have. This year has been very chaotic and transitional. Through each transition, I have experienced peace of mind because I've put myself, what I need, and what I want first. However, I'm learning that just because I'm in alignment with what God has for me doesn't necessarily mean that there will be any less chaos or headaches. Instead, it means that I'll have discernment and peace in knowing that I am walking the path that God has designed for me.
5. Your most unexpected blessing?
The unexpected blessing that has blown me away is how much I love the graduate program I transferred to. I went from studying English to studying Emerging Media Design and Development (EMDD). Obviously, my decision to change graduate programs was intentional, but the part that has been unexpected is how much I love and have passion for what I'm learning. I started my graduate studies in an English program because I thought that's what aspiring authors do, but I'm learning that there is no specific path to anything. Any path can lead everywhere. My EMDD program has shown me that I'm not a weirdo for loving media, design, marketing, writing, and entrepreneurship (all at the same time). More importantly, I have found a program that fits my dreams and aspirations.
4. Greatest gift that money could never buy?
Rest and relaxation
3. How have you taken a leap of faith?
My leap of faith in this season has been forcing myself to be still and less active in self-solving every little desire of my heart. I'm accepting that the things that bother me most and that always surface when I have time to myself to think are not always things that I need to change. I am learning that sometimes there's self-work and development that needs to happen before I put effort into going out in the world and trying to receive what I think it is that I need or deserve. If I jump before I'm ready, my lack of growth will not render the results I'm hoping to receive. It's certainly a stage in my life where I'm relearning how to accept and trust that I will receive in God's timing.
2. How have you strengthened your character?
I attend counseling once-a-month because I feel like it has become a healthy practice in my life that reveals areas of myself where I need to grow. The idea of therapy can be very taboo because it's fairly universal that who are is a result of our upbringing, but I think what makes counseling so beneficial for me is that it forces me to become who I say I want to be without putting any blame on anyone else for who I am. Who hurt me doesn't matter. What I do with the hurt does. My character has definitely strengthened through therapy. This year has taught me that therapy isn't just something that's useful when I go through really traumatic or challenging times. It's a very useful self-maintenance resource that I keep in my toolbox alongside my faith and other wellness practices.
1. Choose 1-3 words you will use to inspire yourself to continue to grow throughout this new season that is 2023.
GET INTO IT!
Now that reflection is over, it's time to get to gettin on them goals! In my case, I'm going to grab my journal and begin jotting down a few realistic and attainable goals for this year. In the past, I've set lofty goals that lack intention and are disconnected from my lifestyle, so my biggest focus is centering my goals around things that I refuse to go on another year without changing. This ensures I'll be motivated and I'll take into account what's truly doable with everything else I have on my plate. I encourage you to do the same and don't forget to pencil in some time to truly rest.
If you're feeling this kind of self-care content, connect with me on Instagram @caraelainee. Until next time, beYOUtiful, keep life sweet, & never stop feeding your soul. -xo