The other day, I sat down and looked through a few of my journals from the past year. As I reflected on the goals I wrote down at the beginning of the year, I became overwhelmed with emotion and began crying. I’ve been beating myself up these past few weeks because I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything. I came close to achieving a few goals but didn’t quite make it to the finish line. Knowing this made me feel like a failure, but the more I read through my journal entries, I realized that I accomplished so much. 

Sometimes we become wrapped up in the things we didn’t do or all the things that went wrong, and we forget to take a step back and reflect on all the ways we succeeded. Our inner critic judges and demeans us, and it can be difficult not to believe that inner voice. Even if 2022 didn’t go exactly as planned, there is always something to celebrate and be grateful for.

One of my most significant accomplishments this year was losing weight. When I first started my weight loss journey last year, I felt discouraged by the lack of progress I was making. Since the beginning, I’ve had two factors working against me which are having PCOS and being on psychiatric medication. Not only does PCOS cause weight gain, but it can also make it extremely difficult to lose weight. One of the side effects of the medication I take is weight gain. At my heaviest, I was unhealthy. I was considered obese, and I had high cholesterol. Not just that, I was miserable with the body I lived in. I felt ashamed that I’d allowed myself to gain so much weight. I had made numerous attempts in the past to lose weight, but a lack of discipline caused me to give up. Last year, I realized I needed to make a change or things were only going to progress. At the time, I was already a vegetarian but that didn’t help me see any results. Once I transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a vegan lifestyle, the pounds started falling off. I was even able to bring my cholesterol levels back into a normal range. 

This past year I’ve come to realize that dairy makes me gain weight which makes sense considering there has been some research done showing that consuming dairy can have a negative effect on PCOS symptoms. I also realized that I needed to start working out. I honestly used to despise working out but this is the first year I’ve stayed consistent with exercising. I understand now that to reach my goal weight, I have to make a lifestyle change. My weight loss journey is a mental transformation as much as it is a physical one. I mentally have to prepare myself for everything that comes along with losing weight. I have to have self-discipline (something I’m still working on) when I’m lacking motivation. Discipline is what will keep me going when I don’t feel like working out or when I want to eat something that doesn’t align with my current lifestyle. I’m also learning to accept the body that I currently have while working on making healthy changes. It’s ok to love myself every step of the way. While I didn’t reach my goal weight this year, I am proud of myself for the progress I made, and I’m one step closer to where I want to be. 

Another thing I did this year was successfully complete my first year of college. Not just that, I maintained my 4.0 the entire year even though a few classes were challenging. I am proud of myself for taking steps to better my life and for persevering even when it got hard. This first year of school flew by, and it makes me excited knowing that in just a few years, I’ll be graduating. I can’t wait to hold my degree in my hands. 

A few years ago, I set a goal to be a published author by 25. Next year in June I’ll be turning 25 and I still haven’t met this goal. However, I have been working on one of my books. It’s an anthology composed of short stories, and I’m enjoying the creative process. For 2023, instead of focusing on trying to be a published author by the time I turn 25, I’m choosing to focus on just completing the first draft of my book. Writing a book isn’t easy and being able to get through the writing process is something to be proud of. I look forward to the day when I can call myself a published author. 

Aside from these accomplishments, this year I fell deeply in love with myself. I’ve been on my spiritual + healing journey since the middle of 2020, and over the past few years, I have made significant progress. I have witnessed the relationship I have with myself evolve + transform into something so beautiful. My inner child feels joyful as she watches me become the woman she never could imagine herself being. She never knew joy growing up or what self-love looked like. The love I have for myself now is worth everything I had to sacrifice. This year I walked away from people and things that were no longer serving me. It was hard, and part of me wanted to remain in those situations because I felt it’d be too uncomfortable and too painful to separate myself. I realized that truly valuing myself and knowing my worth meant choosing to walk away. Growth is uncomfortable but choosing to stay the same when you know things need to change is harmful. 

Honestly, 2022 was good to me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any lows. I think the lowest point of this year was reconnecting with an ex and getting my heart broken. Me and this person have always found our way back to one another regardless of how many people we’ve dealt with throughout the years. I truly believed that we were meant to be together, so realizing I need to let go of them for good has been difficult but I’ve found peace in knowing that I tried. A couple of days ago, I sent them a text saying, “I love you so much, but I love myself way more.” Sending this message felt empowering because I’ve never had the courage or strength to say this to someone. I will always love them, but I understand now that I can love someone and still release them. As much as it hurts, I know my life will be better once I move on from them for good.

I also had to let go of someone else who meant a lot to me this year. He was an energy drainer. In our relationship, I gave and gave, and he took and took. The energy I put out was never reciprocated. Not in our friendship and not when we were romantically involved. Over the past two years, I have given him multiple chances to hurt and disappoint me. It wasn’t until October of this year that I realized things would never change and that he no longer deserved a place in my life. I truly felt used and manipulated by him on numerous occasions. Any time he needed me, I was there even if it meant putting aside my own hurt feelings. However, when I needed support, he turned his back on me. Since setting a boundary, I’ve denied him access to me and that’s the way it will remain. 

2022 has shown me that I am resilient and that regardless of any obstacles placed before me, I will overcome them. I’m walking into 2023 with my head held high. I’m ready for everything this next year has to offer. I’m ready to continue evolving and elevating in every area of my life. As I take time to reflect on the past year, I am eternally grateful for this beautiful life. While everything isn’t exactly the way I hoped it’d be by the end of this year, I know I’m where I need to be and that everything happens in divine timing. 

I can’t wait to see how my blog grows this next year, and I look forward to continuing to educate and inspire my readers. 

Happy New Year!

Reflection Questions
What lessons did you learn this year?

What is the best moment you had in 2022?

What are you most proud of this year?

How did you evolve?

What did you let go of?

What brought you joy?

What have you learned about yourself this year?

What didn’t go well this year?

What are your intentions for 2023?

What is your word for 2023?

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