Year End Reflection: 2017 In The Rear View

Another year has gone. One of my greatest fears is living the same year over and over and calling it life. To ensure I’m not doing that, I prioritize year end reflection to evaluate how I did on my goals, and contemplate the year’s highlights, successes, and the new experiences it provided. I try not to take life for granted. Taking time to reflect helps me to better appreciate the year behind me, acknowledge my growth and successes, and express gratitude for it all. It also helps me to assess where I fell short and what I want out of the year ahead. And now that 2017 is behind us, here’s my year in review.

I prioritize year end reflection to ensure I'm not living the same life over and over and calling it life. This is my 2017 Year in Review including highlights and how I did on my 2017 goals.

2017 Year End Reflection Highlights:

1. New Travel Experience: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Mike and I traveled to Punta Cana this past March for our friend’s 40th birthday. That was not only a beautiful and incredible experience overall, but it also provided a wonderful exercise in letting go when we got stuck there a few extra days due to bad weather back home. Travel is important to me and I’m glad we went and had this luxurious experience. The trip yielded two blog posts if you’d like to read more about it:

Stuck in Punta Cana: An Exercise in Letting Go and

Jumping in at Hoyo Azul Cenote in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

2017 Year end reflection - sunrise in Punta Cana
The sun poking its head above the horizon for a brand new day off the coast of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

2. Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching Certification

In April I attended an Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching Certification course. Over the next few months I completed my coursework and practicum. In July I received my official certification. This course was worth every penny. I learned so many useful tools not only to help myself maintain well being and balance in my own life, but also how to help others do the same. Although other priorities have still been my focus, I am available for coaching. I’m not sure where this will take me yet, but I’m grateful for the tools and knowledge I acquired through this process.

3. Renewed Relationships

2017 saw the return of my father (and his family) into my life. I truly believe that things happen when we are ready, and when they are meant to. I’ve done a lot of work letting go, forgiving, and opening my heart. Once my heart was open, opportunities just seemed to present themselves. I seized those opportunities and was rewarded with the return of family. I am incredibly grateful for this.

Jessica Ann Walsh and dad - renewed relationships - 2017 year end reflection
Me and my dad at Longwood Gardens on December 22, taking in the festivities.


4. New Job

After thirteen years in non-profit, including six years at my most recent position, I made the shift to corporate. I left my job and took a position as Marketing Operations Manager in November. Changing jobs was not one of my 2017 goals, but again, opportunities presented themselves and I went for them. When they didn’t work out, I learned from them and went after more. I found a wonderful new job and am incredibly happy and grateful for this shift in my career. I’m also proud of myself for being open to a major change and pursuing it.

5. Weight Loss

I kicked off 2017 with a weight loss challenge to lose forty pounds in six months. It was the hardest damn thing I ever did in my life, but I did it. Yes, I lost 40 pounds in six months.

Unfortunately I’ve gained a bit of it (okay, a lot of it) back. But my weight loss still belongs on this list because it consumed six months of my year and was a tremendous accomplishment. And I am happy to report that I’m ending 2017 weighing less than I did when it started. Therefore, goal achieved.

6. Major Minimizing

I’ve been minimizing my possessions and embracing a more minimalist lifestyle for just under three years now. It’s definitely something that progresses in stages. This past year I minimized my already pared down wardrobe by more than half!  You can read more about that here. Minimalism continues to be a way of life for me. In fact, I’m playing #minsgame again starting January 1! And if you’d like to join me in playing, please post your photos on social media using #minsgamewithjw in your posts.

Minimizing my clothing

7. Not One Cigarette

I quit smoking July 23, 2016 and haven’t touched another cigarette since. Not when I was out socializing, not drunk in Punta Cana… NOT ONE CIGARETTE. Although reaching my one year anniversary on July 23 was very cool, I think it’s even cooler to say for the first time in over fifteen years: I DIDN’T SMOKE THIS YEAR! I have not one single experience associated with smoking in 2017. I’m proud of myself for that.

2017 Reflection:

Thanks to year end reflection I think it’s safe to say that 2017 was a good year. It definitely wasn’t the same as the years before it! I traveled, lost weight, was smoke-free, changed jobs, learned a lot, and rekindled relationships with estranged family. I can go to bed on New Year’s Eve with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart.

2017 Goal Analysis:

But how’d I do on my 2017 goals? Well, let’s see, shall we? Here they are:

1. Pay off three specific debts.

I paid off two of the three! The third I reduced only by $447.05. (2018 is going to be a big year for finances so stay tuned for more on that.)

2. Complete the first draft of my fiction novel.

I knew this was a bold goal. I didn’t even come close to achieving this. HOWEVER, I did make progress. And I do have some momentum heading into 2018. You will see this goal again. I refuse to give up on it. But I’ve adjusted my approach to accomplishing how I achieve it. Clearly, what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working.

3. Establish a healthy morning routine, and maintain it consistently.

I didn’t get up at 5 am every weekday, but I’d say I did wake up early more days than not. Therefore, I deem this goal a success. I rarely used the extra time to work out, but I did sit in my office, enjoy my coffee, plan for the day ahead, journal, read, etc. I enjoy my leisurely mornings. Overall, I have felt more organized and less stressed as a result of waking up earlier. This goal won’t need repeating because after a year, waking up early is just something I do most days naturally now.

4. Drastically reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook/social media.

Turning off notifications on my phone was one of the smartest things I did this year. This drastically reduced how often I check in on social media. I still find myself scrolling my way down rabbit holes at times, but it’s not as often. Regardless, I’ve learned I’m not missing anything. It’s still fun and I’m not about to quit social media, but I can certainly cut back even more. That will require mindfulness to catch myself because I swear sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

5. Continue setting New Moon Intentions each moon cycle with specific 29 day goals.

I’ve benefited from and enjoyed being more in sync with lunar cycles. I set new moon intentions almost every moon cycle. I can’t say how much it has improved my productivity, but it has improved my sense of connectedness to the Universe. For me, moon ritual is spiritual. My natural rhythm better matches the moon’s, and so this is what works for me.

6. Lose weight

For the third consecutive year I am completing the year weighing less than when it began. You already know I lost forty pounds this past year, but I also gained almost all of it back. But the goal was to lose weight. And I did that. You’ll see a version of this goal among my 2018 goals, but a bit different… stay tuned.

I’ve been saying all year that 2017 was a good year. Thanks to year end reflection, I can see with certainty that I was correct. Sure, there were rough spots and losses, but what would be the point in writing about those? When you focus on the positive, life is positive. It’s that simple. And I can see that I had one hell of a positive year.

Now it’s my favorite time of year! It’s time to plan for 2018! Stay tuned for my 2018 goals coming on December 31. Thanks so much for reading. I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What about you? What are some of your 2017 highlights? How did you do with your goals? I’d love to hear from you!

To ensure I'm not living the same year over and over and calling it life, I prioritize year end reflection to evaluate my goals and contemplate the year's highlights. New Years Day is my favorite holiday and this annual review is one of my favorite traditions.

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