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Though we rang in the new year almost two weeks ago, I’m just now getting organized and settled into 2017. I make a list of new years resolutions every year and there are some I’ve stuck to and others that I’ve abandoned by Valentine’s Day. Usually my resolutions are more along the lines of “do yoga every day” or “eat clean 80%, indulge 20%” but this year feels different and more reflective. Here is what I’m striving for in 2017.

  1. Focus on being truly happy. While this may seem elementary, I’ve come to notice how unhappy I’ve been. I find myself always wishing for more perfection, more clothes, more shoes, more likes on Instagram… and well, its become exhausting. Despite a tumultuous 2016, I have millions of reasons to be happy. I want to be able to simply be in 2017: to wake up and count my lucky stars for all I’ve been given, all I’ve worked for, and all the wonderful family, friends, and opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
  2. Embrace change without being anxious. I’ve gone through changes in the past. Graduating high school and going to a college far from home where I knew no one was difficult, but I did it. Living in New York City and Italy were big changes, but they ended up being some of the best decisions I ever made because of the memories and friendships that blossomed along the way. Now I face possibly the biggest change in my 20’s: I’m graduating college, starting a job somewhere, and possibly moving to a new city. While it’s exciting, my gut reaction is immediately anxiety and stress. While I accept that I am naturally a nervous person, my goal for 2017 is to embrace these life changes head-on with positivity, gratitude, and a smile.
  3. Don’t be so hard on myself. I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I don’t enjoy it, but I can’t imagine myself any other way. While it’s gotten better over the years, I still have a ways to go. I need to stop being so hard on myself for mistakes, problems and confusions. These mishaps are part of life and help us learn and grow.
  4. Recognize the need for rest. This past semester, I woke up every day at 7am to run four miles before classes, homework, and club meetings. While running helped my anxiety about everything that was happening, I was running myself -quite literally- into the ground. I barely slept, stayed up late studying and worrying, and didn’t nourish myself properly with enough food to fuel the amount of exercise I was doing each week. I came home for winter break feeling as though I hadn’t slept in a year. While I gained leg muscle, I felt weak in my brain, arms, and soul. I love to work out, but I’ve realized that my body needs rest- and lots of it.
  5. Take my time. We are all guilty of rushing through life. I am constantly counting down the minutes left in a class, the days until the weekend, and the months until a special occasion or holiday. In 2017, I hope to take my time in conversations, moments, meals, walking to class, spending time with friends and family- the list goes on. Life is too short to count down the days. I want to appreciate every minute of my last semester, of this year, and every year to come.

xx, Laina


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