Everything I've Learned in 25 Years about Setting New Year's Resolutions + My 2018 Goals and the Top Posts of 2017!

I'm going to be completely honest here: I did not know where to start with this post. I had so many ideas for a post dedicated to kicking off the New Year but as I was looking around at what other bloggers were posting, I realized I didn't want to just share my resolutions or my top posts for the year. Yes, I'm going to share the top blog posts for 2017 as well as my New Year's Resolutions but I wanted to also throw in some real, actionable advice for all of you who are ready to make 2018 your year but you're maybe not quite sure where to start.

If you're reading this like, "Yas girl!" with your hands up just like my favorite emoji, then welcome to the club. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I have never, ever been good at sticking to goals let alone setting them. In fact, until just recently I don't think I had ever truly set a goal and stuck with it until I achieved it. Kind of shocking, right?  A few years ago, I decided to do what's called a 101 Things in 1001 Days list where I wrote down things I wanted to accomplish by 2019. This was truly the first time I've sat down, wrote out goals, and successfully managed to have crossed a good chunk of them off. 

It wasn't until June when I decided to launch this blog that I really got into goal setting. When I decided to launch this blog, the first thing I did was write down a goal: to launch the blog on a specific date. Obviously, I succeeded because you're all here. But I figured I could really give y'all some killer advice on setting goals and new year's resolutions now that I've finally figured it out after 25 years. So get comfy and grab your hot beverage of choice (and maybe a snack) because this is going to be a LONG post, Y'all. 

Write your goals and resolutions down

The very first thing you need to do before anything else is to write your goals and/or resolutions down. Whatever your goals for 2018 are, get a notebook, open a Google doc, write it on a post-it note. Do something that incorporates writing the goals down. I don't know about you but I constantly forget my goals. If I haven't written something down in January there's no way I'm going to remember it in June but that also leads me to my next tip:

Plan for quarters

Businesses have this part of goal planning down to a science. When you're a business, you generally set one big goal for the year, yes. But you also plan for quarters. Quarters are a great way to help keep you accountable and actually moving towards your bigger resolutions. So instead of only focusing on one huge resolution for the entire year, break them down for the quarters. For example, if one of your New Year's resolutions is to start a healthy lifestyle, then maybe write down what you can do in quarter one of 2018 (January-April) to help you better reach that goal! The quarter system is what I'm already planning on using for 2018 which is exactly why I've created a printable just for you! Did I mention that it's free? You can snag it by clicking the link below and providing your email!

Make sure they're SMART

Setting SMART goals and resolutions is something I wish I had learned so so so so so so long ago. I had actually heard about SMART before the past year but had never really heard it applied to setting goals or resolutions. I realize that I got so excited about telling you about SMART goals that I forgot to tell you what SMART means. Anyways, a SMART goal is the following: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. So building on our last example, if your resolution for 2018 is to get healthier, that wouldn't be a SMART goal. To make this goal SMART, we can say instead that our goal is to Workout 4 days a week for January-April and that would make the goal fall into the SMART category. 

Wow. That's a lot. I hope that's some pretty solid advice and that you love the free worksheet I came up with! Don't forget to snag it so that you can be setting and crushing goals like the badass ladies I know we all are! Should we get right into the top posts of the year?

I am seriously blown away by how much this blog has grown in just the 6 short months since I launched at the end of June. I only had a few simple goals when I launched and one of those was building a community of helping ladies let go of their fear and live their fullest lives. I hope I've succeeded in doing that for even just one of you. Anyways, enough with the sappy-ness. Here are the top posts of 2017 on Darrian Michelle, some chosen by the numbers, others that I just really enjoyed writing:

5 Things I Regret NOT Doing in College

18 Things You Learn as a West Point Girlfriend

west point girlfriend, west point ring weekend, usma ring weekend outfit, ring weekend outfit
blogger outfit ideas, christmas outfit ideas, fashion blogger outfits
west point couple, west point relationships, darrian and justin

The Best Piece of Dating Advice for your Twenties

My 21 Day Fix Experience and Results with Photos

Whew. I told you this post was a long one. Which is good because after writing this and Saturday Morning Coffee tomorrow, I will be taking a week off completely to recharge and tackle 2018! Anyways, if you've stuck around this post long enough to get to my actual New Year's Resolutions for 2018 then you, my friend, are a saint. Now, I'm just going to generalize my resolutions for the year and not break them down into SMART goals here since this post is already SO long but if that's something you're interested in, definitely let me know. 

2018 is going to be a huge year for me. I will be turning 26, getting married, moving away from New York where I've lived for three years and leaving a secure job for the unknown life of a military spouse. Well, I'm getting teary-eyed just writing this but I think 2018 more than ever before is going to be one of those years that I want to just really throw myself at life and live it to the fullest. With that being said, here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2018.

Capture more 

Justin and I took a break from vlogging but we came back because we realized how important capturing memories is. Whether it's by writing, vlogging, or simply taking a photograph, I want to make sure to capture all moments big and small.

Be more present

I am terrible at being on my phone all the time. At dinner, while watching a movie, even when I'm working out. I definitely want to focus on being more present in everything that I'm doing and not getting so distracted by what's going on around me.

Grow my faith

My walk with God isn't something I talk about much publically but I feel as though I am being called to share my faith journey more and more by God. I'm looking forward to sharing my testimony with y'all and growing more in my faith in 2018. 

Be more conscientious

I want to be more conscientious of my time, money, resources, etc. Pretty self-explanatory. 

Less self-doubt

Finally, I want to learn to doubt myself less in 2018. Every time I have a new idea I find myself saying, "we'll see how this goes" or if I'm applying for a job it's, "I'm not going to make the list." I want to start singing my own praises and seeing my own worth in 2018. 

WOW. Wow wow wow. I told you this was a long one but MAN do I feel great. This post was exhausting to write but every fiber of my being is tingling with the hope that a new year brings. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I have. 

What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2018?

PS: Don't forget that I'll be taking off a week from the blog starting January 1st! I can't wait to recharge my creative battery and get started on some amazing content for Y'all!