A Lifestyle Blog Making the Most out of the Mundane

2017 Reflections and 2018 Goals

2017 Reflections and 2018 Goals

A New Year

We measure our lives in a lot of ways, but there’s one unit in particular that we all have in common: the calendar year. And the transition into a new one is a rather fascinating concept. It would seem that not much would change overnight – you wake up on January 1st and really it’s just another day, except you keep writing the wrong number on everything. But that new number, an 8 in this case, carries a lot of meaning for most people. It offers hope for new possibilities and dreams, another chance to start over. The changing over of a single day is meant to bring you the inspiration you’ve been waiting for to finally start achieving your goals and reaching your potential. The motivation to start doing all the things you meant to do the previous year but you were too busy or too lazy or too poor or for some reason or another it just didn’t happen. It’s a silly idea, that somehow we’re more driven to start working towards goals that, in reality, we have the choice to start working towards any day of the year. But there’s something built into us that is attracted to the concept of a new beginning, the beginning of another 365 day cycle. As we jump into yet another of these cycles, it’s helpful to review the previous one.


I took some time to reflect on the past year – how I filled my time, who I spent it with, what I accomplished and what I didn’t.

We got to travel to Florida and New York, and camp at Pictured Rocks, Ludington and Nordhouse Dunes.

St. Augustine New York City


Cousteau's Waffles








Tahquamenon FallsPictured Rocks


We got a freaking puppy! (I’m obsessed with my Roo baby and I’m convinced everyone else should be too – follow her Instagram @rootheretriever!)


There were a lot of game nights and bonfires and coffee dates and concerts and going out for drinks with friends. Bachelorette parties and bridal showers and lots and lots of weddings (two of which I stood up in).

Friends Traverse City Bachelorette Party Wedding


Slow mornings with Chad and Roo, sipping our coffee in the living room (my favorite). Taco Tuesdays and movie nights and more Netflix series than I care to admit.

It sounds like a pretty great year when I think about the highlights, but in between the good times there was certainly a fair amount of disappointment and even depression. There were new diagnoses that aren’t mine to share, missed opportunities due to my own apathy and good days spoiled by my own expectations. Comparison left me ungrateful and regret left me hopeless and stagnant. It almost bums me out to admit all this, but the good news is that every day I have the choice to do and see things differently. And having goals and purpose make that choice easier.


Participate More. It’s easy to scroll through Instagram or look around and get jealous of lives that other people are living. But we have the choice to sit back and watch as other people have fun or we can put ourselves out there and make our own memories! No more pity-parties or laziness or excuses, and when I do decide to do things, I want to really participate and be present and engaged in what’s going on around me.

Be More Intentional. Write more letters, call my family more, text people back before an embarrassing length of time has passed. Because when I think about what life is really about, what really makes it worth living, it’s all about relationships. With God, with family, with friends and just the people around you.

Organize All the Things! Sort through my closet, everything that’s been piling up on my desk and all the junk in our basement and spare bedrooms. I also want to organize and backup pictures. I’ve never been able to find a way to backup my photos without buying more storage, but after losing my phone this last summer and everything on it, I know it’s time to finally figure it out. The notification on my Macbook that keeps saying the storage disk is full is another reminder I need to get my digital files in order once and for all.

Take More Pictures and Videos! I don’t want to be too focused on capturing what’s going on around me that I forget to enjoy it and be present, but I do want to be better about documenting my life. I’m okay at remembering to snap a couple pics when something is obviously a big deal, like weddings and trips, but often forget to take photos when I’m just hanging out with friends or on a date with Chad, which are times I really want to remember.

Learn More About Photography and Editing. Chad bought me my first DSLR camera last year and I want to actually learn how to use it well! I also want to learn how to edit photos because I know basically nothing.

Learn More About Blogging! And figure out what I really want to do with it. I was really excited to start my blog, but there were a lot of life stressors distracting me. When I did try to focus on it I would always doubt myself or overthink everything, and there are almost too many resources out there that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. There have been many times I’ve wanted to say forget it, I’m too stressed or I don’t have what it takes or I don’t know the right people or have the right resources or skills or you name it, I used it as an excuse. But then I think of the possibilities and what it could lead to and decide to try again. And I hope I keep deciding to keep trying.

Overall, I just want to live a better story and love life.

Less complaining, more gratitude

Less comparison, more self-love

Less planning, more doing

Less overthinking, more living

So there you have it! If you took the time to read this, I hope it encouraged you to reflect on your own life and aspirations for the coming year. And remember that every day we have the choice to be better than we were yesterday, even two weeks into the New Year!


Big Al


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: