2017: The year of learning things and adventuring. The year of regretful moments and “can I do that again?” moments. Bottom line is: I like the beginning of the New Year. Always have. I like the idea of staying up late and listening to music with friends and fam and then stuffing my face with food (God bless). Sadly, I think we lose identity in the small things of the New Year, including me, and we forget that every single day we are alive is literally a blessing from God himself. Each day is another day to shout praises to our God. Each day is another day to reflect Jesus. Each day is another day to take our trials and our errors and see how God will use us next. So yes, we can celebrate the New Year but we should celebrate everyday given!

Although I love to make new goals for myself and fantasize about the adventures I have yet to encounter (uhh cause who doesn’t?), I do like to step back and view my year. I take heart in recognizing my huge mistakes and actually find encouragement from them. That being said, by reflecting on my year as a whole, I am able to truly determine how to better myself in 2018. I decided to create a list of goals. Not just like, “Yes! Let’s run that marathon!” Cause I probably won’t…but like actual, deep, tangible goals that I believe anyone can accomplish. I would LOVE for you to maybe share the same goals as me. So let’s think deep and perhaps accomplish these goals together. Sound good? Okay, here goes nothin’.

Goal 1: Pray through my trials and dreams

I felt that I went through several trials this year, and although I learned LOTS from them, I didn’t handle them in the best way. I let emotions get out of hand. I said things I regret and sometimes let people walk over me. NOT cool. Actually, I had two friends that gave me (or are still letting me borrow ‘cause I’m slow…) books about praying through all things, and it is completely changing the way I think. Having a trial? Pray. Have a goal or a dream? Pray. Bottom line is, I need to be praying more and letting this guide my everyday life. I wanna pray in the car and pray with friends, and of course pray in my fav coffee shop cause that sounds amazing. I wanna pray for big things like my future spouse or even small things like my next test. If I am feeling heartbreak I wanna pray even harder. If I have an impossible dream, I want to pray for that sucker like it’s the last thing I will ever do. So yes, let’s pray with our friends and for our friends because if anything, that is moving. (Also, side note: Please read The Circle Maker and Draw the Circle. So good. So. Good.)

Goal 2: Be okay with being okay

So before I begin, I definitely did not make that goal up. Pretty sure I got it from some book but it sounds amazing and is exactly what I want to convey so. Let’s proceed. I think that I tend to bottle up my emotions in person because I always want to be happy. Like, I want other people to always remain happy, so sometimes I take their pain and sorta carry it for them. Healthy? No? Idk. But anyway, I have found that human emotion is something wonderful and I want to be okay with whatever I may be going through. Some days are just gonna be sad days and others are gonna be happy. Sometimes I may be feeling love and others I may be feeling stress. And it’s OKAY. I want to be okay with all of these emotions and find new ways to cope with each one. Emotions happen. Life happens. It’s part of being human.  Does that make sense? Do you get my drift? Cool. Thanks.

Goal 3: Say no sometimes!!

Uhhhh, I’m a people pleaser and the word ‘no’ does not exist in my dictionary, but it definitely needs to. ‘Milana, do you want to listen to this new song?’ Yes. ‘Wanna eat Chipotle and get coffee? Uhhhh always! ‘Milana do you want to pet my tarantula?” YES BUT I REALLY MEAN NO.  I just say yes too many times until I’m worn thin. I’m ready to be personable, but also be sensible and realize when I need time to myself…or when I really just don’t want to do something. Kinda self-explanatory but ya know.

Goal 4: Be love

So this was one of my goals last year and still is, cause it’s just so good and should never be ignored. So many people need love. SO MANY. We live in a world that we can explore and get to know individuals within communities by just being love. So love those that cannot be love. Represent Jesus in the best way! Love life! Love your taco! Love that friend that brought you that taco! Jesus died pouring out his love and rose again pouring out his love. If that doesn’t give you a reason to love, then ohhh let’s go back to Goal 1 and start over. There is so much hurt and pain in this world and some people just need to be loved. Love the unlovable. Move the unmovable. But do it with Jesus. That man is my right-hand man–my captain. You know that scene from The Polar Express where the conductor tells the little girl, “Follow you anywhere ma’am.” Yes? Yeah, that’s what Jesus is to me. I like following my Jesus and quoting the Polar Express so really you can’t go wrong. Ooookay moving on.

Goal 5: Appreciate the Small Things

Fellas fellas. Ladies ladies. Go look at the stars! I don’t care how cold it is (or how hot….you lucky sunshine folks) because they are beautiful! God made those! Go play with a child! I watch two beautiful gals over the summer and they are the smartest, most adventurous girls I know, and honestly, they teach me more than most of my friends do about life. So listen to children and learn from them. Hug your grandpa. Pet that dog. Buy that coffee. Buy those flowers. Take her on a date. Take him on a date. Worship louder. Eat Chipotle. Run (HA or not…you can decide on that one). MY POINT IS: Small things shape us and we are so blessed with what we have. No matter how rich or how poor you may be, appreciate every gift that comes your way. Guaranteed some are already upon you.

Goal 6 (cause it’s my fav # and my last point): Live

It’s the most simple message I could possibly give. I slack when it comes to living sometimes. I mean like yes…I’m physically alive..duh…but sometimes I grow timid. I don’t step out. I don’t look at the things around me and adventure. Sometimes to live we must take risks and sometimes we may fall, BUT sometimes we take risks and ACE them and life is completely changed because of it. Very simple message. Live. Love. Gotcha. Good.

Okay. Here are SIX of my biggest goals that I have for myself. I’m locking them in my memory and am gonna reflect on these babies for quite some time. 2017, you were quite good to me. I’m excited for this next season. : )

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