New Years isn’t all about resolutions, midnight kisses and champagne. It represents a new, fresh start, which we are always in need of. Before we embark on our “new year, new you” journey, it’s important that we stop, think and assess where our lives are going and who we are becoming.

Everyone is excited about New Years Eve, but let’s get excited for the days leading up to it.

It’s a time to face our mistakes.

It’s also a time to forgive ourselves. If you are carrying the weight of guilt around, leave it at 2016’s door. This is easier said than done, but it sure is freeing when we decide to not let our past into our future.

If you’re having a hard time letting go, treat yourself to some coffee at your favorite place, sit down and write a letter. It could be a letter to yourself, a friend you wronged, a family member you hurt, or even to that memory that won’t get out of your head. Writing words down and seeing them in ink, spelling out why you feel the way you feel and that you are sorry or moving on, will give you closure.

Let’s make 2017 a year of loving others, but in order for us to do that, we need to forgive ourselves. And in order to forgive ourselves, we need to face our mistakes instead of sweeping them under the rug.


It’s an opportunity to pause.

We are constantly running around, never stopping, keeping moments from processing or sinking in. Taking time to reflect on our 2016 allows us to take time for ourselves.

During the holiday season, it feels like we never pause. Honestly, it’s not good for us. Take the time to sit in the quiet and think about the year. Sound unnatural? Even more of a reason we need to do it. Let’s go into 2017 refreshed and ready.

It’s a chance to gain perspective.

When we stop and look around, we are able to get out of our own head and circumstances. A lot can happen in a year. You might even be a completely different person now than you were in the beginning of 2016.

When we take time to reflect on the year, we give ourselves the chance to look at the big picture instead of the crazy few weeks or months that our minds are currently wrapped in.

Take the time to sit in the quiet and think about the year. Sound unnatural? Even more of a reason we need to do it.

It’s a great time to set #goals.

Let’s get better. Many aren’t into New Years resolutions because they feel like they will fail within the first week. Let’s be intentional this year. When we reflect on the whole year, it opens up the door to goals that could shape the direction of who we are trying to be and what we are trying to accomplish.

Not much for goals? Pick a word. Pick one word you want to embody in all aspects of your life. It doesn’t have to be a quantitative goal; it could just be a quality you strive to have. Strength. Compassion. Bravery. Reach. Whatever you choose, write it somewhere to remind you of what you are trying to exude this year.

A lot can happen in a year. You may be exhausted, ready for 2016 to get out of here or this may have been the best year of your life. No matter how the year was, it seems each year goes by faster than the last. If we don’t stop for a few hours at the end of each one, we’re going to miss it. We’re going to miss the time we could take to be thankful, get better, and move on. Don’t miss that opportunity. Let’s make 2017 the year of loving ourselves by taking the time to reflect, and of loving others by taking the time to be thankful.

Life is too short not to pause.

What’s your word for 2017?

Images via Paulina Kolondra


  1. This is a wonderful tribute to how we should interact with the season of the new year. Too often the focus is the party, too often it’s on the glitz and glamour of ringing in the new year at the best party. You are so right to focus on the reflection aspect instead of the idea society has formed around new years.

    Too often we pick a specific goal that is bound to become unattainable: healthy eating, more exercise, less television, cleaner houses. The one word idea is key. My word for 2017 is AWARENESS. Awareness of the beautiful and broken world around me. Awareness of what is happening in my bubble and outside my bubble. Awareness in thought and mind and deed as I figure out how to encounter other people. Awareness of the things I am doing that I shouldn’t and the things I’m not doing that I should.

    May we all continue to discover that one word and move forward into the new year solidly and with depth.

    Thank you for your words.


  2. My word for 2017 is breathe. With college ending soon and adulthood beckoning at my door, it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of it all and the uncertainty that my future has. This article was so helpful, and gives all of us a moment to think, learn, and prepare for the year ahead.

    Wishing you the best of everything in 2017,

    Emily Stinson

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