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Updated Philosophies + New Years Resolutions

Hello everyone, and happy 2016! I hope that the new year has treated you well, and that you enjoyed your holiday break! In today's post, I'm going to discuss some of the lessons that the previous year has taught me and talk about my personal goals for the year to come. 2015 was a very stressful and busy year for me, as well as a period of learning and personal growth. It definitely had several ups and downs, but all in all, it taught me invaluable lessons that I know will be useful in 2016.


As someone who dwells on the past and my past mistakes, this is a very hard philosophy to wrap my head around and practice. I will often find myself worrying about my previous decisions and running the situations through my mind, thinking "what if?". This question constantly plagues me because from the present moment that I am in, I have no power and jurisdiction over my past self's thoughts and actions. It keeps me from moving forward and enjoying the current moment that I am blessed with. Instead of living in the past, we should learn from it. This allows for personal growth and improvement, rather than trapping yourself in a cycle of reliving your memories. I still haven't fully learned this lesson, and I still struggle with letting things go. However, I know that if I wish to move forward in life, I need to accept the reality that is given and remember that it is what it is. 


One of my biggest mistakes of 2015 was trying to fit in and be someone that I wasn't. This caused me quite a bit of frustration because no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to fully become that perfect human being: I still laughed too loud and rambled on when I spoke and cared about other people's opinions. I thought that if I fit in, I would be confident and happy and everyone would like me. I eventually realized that perfection doesn't exist, but beauty does. Simply existing and living in my own skin rather than attempting to be someone else was the most beautiful thing that I could do. After I adopted this philosophy, I noticed that there were other real people who shared my passions and enjoyed my company, even when I wasn't trying to be someone else. I attracted the people that were right for me and they are now my best friends. The simple choice to be myself not only completely changed who my friends were, but also bettered my quality of life and made me happier. My point is, let yourself be the masterpiece that you were born to be, and enjoy the many wonderful consequences that will follow.


I've always been fascinated with the Buddhist outlook on impermanence. One of the main aspects of their religion is the belief that everything- good and bad- is in a constant state of change. They will even create beautiful and complex sand mandalas before destroying them to represent the fluidity of life and its short-lived nature (see a video of the creation and destruction of a sand mandala). This, however, is a double-edged sword. It is quite easy to apply this philosophy when you're struggling, but when life is going well, we tend to not think about how good times end, too. I often forget that happiness cannot come without the expense of sadness, and eventually the high of joy will be replaced with the low of sadness. This may sound depressing, but it is a reality that we all have to deal with. I'm still learning how to accept this truth, and I know that I have a lot of  ups and downs ahead to help me learn this lesson.


With these philosophies in mind, let's take a look at some of my personal goals for 2016! I try to stick to realistic resolutions, because I have a bad habit of giving up on them within the first month. I picked five goals that will better me as a person and allow for my personal growth and improvement.


As someone who plans to study abroad sometime during my school career, this goal is very crucial and critical. I've attempted this goal in previous years, but I always fall short and give up. To keep myself from falling out this year, I am using an app called duolingo. Not only can you learn German, but you can choose from a wide range of other languages, too! It's a great way to start learning a new language for the new year!


I often do yoga in times of stress and frustration, but I would love to continue this practice into my happier times as well. I've found that yoga helps me relax and is a great way to get some exercise! I was lucky enough to get a book on this goal called Wanderlust. I absolutely love the message and tips that it provides, and I would highly recommend it if you want to add the practice of yoga to your life.


I've had this goal in my past resolutions, and I struggle with keeping it throughout the entire year. On dull days, I often don't want to write in my journal, but in 2016 I hope to write every single day. Writing stimulates your creativity, and you also are creating a memoir of your current year. I always enjoy going back and rereading my entries and reflecting on the lessons I learned and the fun times that I had. The journal that I'm using for 2016 is a beautiful notebook from Rifle Paper Co. I recommend all of their journals, but my current favorite can be found here.


I am a firm believer in the creation of art. I always enjoy stimulating my creativity, whether it be by drawing, painting, or even coloring! Coloring books are currently popular, so you can find them nearly anywhere. I personally love how calming it is to sit down and color! One of my favorites is a Van Gogh Coloring Book that I received for Christmas! It's a perfect use of your free time on the weekends, plus, you get to create your own masterpieces that you can keep and even hang up!


Stress is something we all have to deal with, whether it be because of school, work, friends, or even family. However, I tend to over-stress, which is something that I would like to change in the new year. I hope that the practice of meditation will help me remain calm when life throws me troubles. Another way to de-stress is to get more sleep and eat a healthier diet, because both of these factors increase your day to day happiness. I hope that being mindful and aware combined with using meditation practices helps me cut down on my stress.

What are your new years resolutions? Tell me on Instagram!


My Yoga Routine

Merry Christmas!