For the past few years, my New Year's resolutions have become very broad. I find that I do a much better job upholding them if I don't narrow down my resolution to one very specific habit I'm trying to correct, but instead look at a bigger picture. Not only am I more likely to work at the resolution -- because fear of failure is less severe -- but I find that I'm much more likely to succeed, to look back at the year and think, "Yeah, okay, I feel like I accomplished that."

Going into 2018, I am feeling a lot of things. This past year was a wild year of ups and downs, And, honestly, kind of difficult to believe on a national scale. (If someone were to have explained 2017 to you five years ago, would you have believed them or thought it was some terrible SNL sketch?) Personally, a lot of really, really wonderful things fell into place for me. Globally, a lot of shit went down. It was a hard balance of happiness and stress and excitement and grief. But it's shown me, through good and bad times, exactly what I want to do with my time now.

My 2018 New Year's resolution is to live my life with greater intention. I want to spend my time, my money, and my energy in more meaningful ways. I want to get to the end of each day and have a sense of accomplishment -- whether through doing something to work toward my personal goals, or cleaning/de-cluttering some aspect of my life, or even just making someone smile.

In 2018, I want to collect more memories than I do things. I want to let go of everything that is weighing me down --  both the literal and figurative.

I want to take more pictures of things I love. I want to drink more water, eat healthier. I want to make sure I tell the people I love that I love them, every day. I want to reach out more to friends, make time to have fun. I want to look for things I can do for others; I want to think about how fortunate I am to have the life I have now, and to be more thoughtful in those moments where I feel down.

I had a feeling that I was going to make 2017 a good year, despite the dark cloud of, you know, "the world" that seemed to be hanging over my head last January. It feels like a selfish thing to say, but for me, 2017 was the biggest year of change, growth, and happiness. I have to remember to stay focused on how this past year was a very difficult year for many, many people politically speaking, and to not let forget to stay vocal about that. But I think my happiness has, if anything, made me more inspired to work for the peace of others' lives as well: 2017 has awoken within me a strength I didn't know I had. I hope I get to do great things with it in 2018.

See ya, 2017. Thank you for your many tests and opportunities. Thank you for pushing me to grow and not going easy on me. Thank you for the gentle moments that I've come to appreciate most of all.

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