I've had 2018 on my mind since last February. That was when I turned 22. Now that 2018 is almost upon us, another birthday is approaching, and I'm not entirely ready for it. In my last article, I wrote about glowing up because that's all I want to do.

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You know how when high school ends you tell yourself everything is going to be different? Well for a while it was for me. I went to art school, I met great people, and I learned a lot about myself.

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I haven't been in school since 2014, I've barely talked to the people I met, and I feel like I've had a relapse. I'm back to thinking I have zero friends, zero self-confidence, and zero satisfaction with how my life is turning out.

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I'm so tired of feeling this way, and I'm determined to get my life back on track because all I want to do is live the life I imagine. Glowing up is a process, and a journey and I'm ready to embark on mine.

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Below are my top goals for the new year. I figure if I write them down for all to see it won't be as easy to fail. And who knows, maybe your goals are the same as mine.

1. Actively pursue my goals.

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Alright, so every new year we all sit down and write down our resolutions. Two months later we're back to our old ways, and we vow that next year, we'll really for real accomplish them.

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Well not I, I say, not I. Why? Because these goals are always in my head, new year or not, but sometimes having your fresh start be literal can work magic on your mind. So this year, I don't want to write down my list and leave it at that, I want to pursue the goals on my list ACTIVELY.

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That means taking progressive steps to pursue them. I'm already on my way to doing so. I want to make more money. Thus I've applied for a second job.

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I want to draw again, so I've reapplied to an online art school, I want to love myself, so I'm trying to think of ways to do that; I'm trying to work on my self-care habits, I'm making regular spa appointments, and I want to try some positive affirmation. You get the point.

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2. Get physical.

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That's right folks. I will be joining the 50 million other people hitting the gym in the new year. I've already got a gym membership, and in the past, I've been very active, so for me, it's just a matter of rekindling my love for cardio.

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I'm not one for weightlifting. I love the treadmill. I like to run for the endorphins and the way my mind filters through all the thoughts in my head until finally quieting. I feel the music pumping through my mind, and it translates to my legs and my heart, and it's the most fantastic feeling.

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I don't know how you feel about Jillian Michaels, but she is MAH GIRL lemme tell you. Whenever I do her videos, my body immediately feels stronger, and I miss that feeling.

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So in the new year, all I want is to bring Jillian and the treadmill back into my life and work on feeling strong outside and inside.

3. Think positively.

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I am that girl who doesn't keep anything to herself. My friends know all my insecurities, and even though I don't mean to sound negative, that's how it comes out.

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Have you ever just felt that your friends are too cool for school, and you're the ugly duckling? Well, that's almost how it feels. No, I don't think I'm the duff because I'm not sure that's a thing, but you could compare it to that. People gravitate towards them, and when they bring me along, I'm not sure their friends would even see me if I weren't with them.

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But you know what I've realized? My friends ARE cool but SO AM I. If I wasn't cool, they wouldn't choose to be my friends.

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So this year, I want to appreciate the friendships I have and think about myself in a more positive light. I'm so tired of regretting the things I say and second-guessing everything I do. I want to think more before I speak but I also want to trust my instincts.

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I want to love people more and stop assuming the worst of them. People around me tend to look for people who look a certain way, but I know who I want to be and what my good qualities are. I know I'm worth knowing.

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So all I want is to tell myself I'm worth knowing, and then actually believe it for once. I want to remind myself of that fact every time I belittle myself.

4. Stop wasting time.

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So as I mentioned, my friends are well liked, so sometimes they're elsewhere, and I'm just at home chilling. Watching T.V. ALL DAY LONG. You know what I could be doing instead?

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Studying, cleaning, running errands, visiting my grandma, taking my dog for a walk, exercising, cooking, you name it, and I should be doing it. I waste so much time, and there's so much that I want to do.

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So this year, I want to make good use of my time. I want to watch videos on things I'm interested in like Latin and the English language. I want to learn more about history, I want to learn Spanish, I want to plan trips and save my money.

5. SAVE. SAVE. SAVE.

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So you know what the life I imagine is? Living in a foreign country, helping other people, working as a freelance writer and artist, and teaching English.

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But classes on teaching English cost money, I'm going back to art school, and I've got to cover the payment the loans don't cover, I drive my dad's car, and it's old, and it's time for us both to get a new one. I love fashion and boy does staying on trend cost money. I could go on, but I'll spare you.

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Despite being aware of this, my money goes so quickly that it's tough to stick to a savings plan. Well no longer. I have apps I'm using to save now, and I'm more determined than ever. If I get a second job that will help immensely.

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I know age is just a number, but I feel like my youth is slipping away and there's so much more to do and to see.

6. Eat better.

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I have had digestive problems ALL YEAR. I know, sorry, TMI. But seriously, it's been horrible. It's partly my mood and partly my diet and lack of exercise. It's the most horrible feeling to feel bloated all day long, and I know that I need to incorporate better eating habits now so that when I do get older, I'll already have a routine in place.

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So I'm contemplating whole 30 and thinking about ways to meal plan and incorporate more fruits and veggies. I want to practice what I preach, so in 2018 I'd like to finally stop eating so much candy and crack down on myself and the food I'm taking in.

7. Grow creatively.

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You know why I wasn't that sad to leave art school? It's because I realized while I was there that everyone was better than me. For my first semester my freshman year it was devastating.

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But over winter break I made a good-things jar, I read positive quotes every day, and I realized that it wasn't such a bad thing. I worked to be more positive, and I realized that even though my major was animation, what I loved most was storytelling itself.

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So I grabbed hold of that and ran with it. I left school, but the ideas never stopped coming. Now, I may be almost 23, but Episode and Choices are my favorite games, and if one day I could write for them, life wouldn't be so bad.

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So I've found new goals to pursue and new ways to tell stories, but my dream is still alive, and I'm ready to pursue it once again on a part-time basis.

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So in 2018, I want to work on my drawing skills and grow as a writer in any way I can. So expect more articles from me because THEY ARE COMING.

8. Be happy. Be bright. Be me.

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I know I know, how is this any different then think positively? It's not really. I'm so serious about this that I had to write it down twice. I WANT TO LOVE MYSELF. In many ways I do, but it comes and it goes, and I'm tired of that. It's all in my mind, and that means it's all based on how I think. That's what needs to change.

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I read this quote to my friends in Anthropologie that said "Happiness is a choice. (and some other things)." And I asked them "do you think it's that easy?" My friends said yes, and so did this random lady who was shopping with her friend. And you know, that was fine.

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Anyway, another quote that comes to mind is one I've kept on my phone since freshman year at art school that says; "Happiness is a decision. You are as happy as you decide to be."

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Now that may be relative, and the Anthropologie quote might be too, but I'd like it to be that easy because, for that year at art school, it was. So I really, really, really, want to try to be more positive.

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I want to work on the things that I say about myself to myself, and trust that when people reassure me, they're telling me the truth.

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I could go on and on because as I said; there hasn't been a year that these haven't been my goals, but I'll stop here because these mean the most to me. I know that life isn't all about age and everything is a process, but more than anything I don't want to make twenty-four and still be here, feeling this way.

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So I hope that in 2018 I can do more than I've ever done before and accomplish new goals and work on who I am. Just writing it down has helped me immensely. So even if no one see's this I know I wrote it, and that's enough for me.

Image by Rachel

Happy new year guys. May 2018 be your year. And mine.