For the last few days, I’ve been deep within my thoughts.. in a good way. I’ve been thinking about the areas of my life that need some improvement that will ultimately add to its longevity and its quality. 2017 was a challenging year for me, as was 2016. It’s been a unequivocal split with being the worst and the best year of my life.

Every year has its challenges. And every year, I try to make through to the other side as graceful as I can. And in addition to the grace, I try my hardest to view those challenges as lessons instead of losses. And ultimately, transform and apply those lessons as goals for the years to come. Gentle Reminders.

Eliminate What Doesn’t Help You Evolve.

For the past few years, I’ve held on to things that I’ve should have let go a long time ago. One of those things being my habit of fostering one-sided relationships. I’m a low maintenance friend, but there’s a fine line in being low maintenance and being forgotten. Or only being thought of when you’re needed for something. I decided to end all of that when I wrote this post. And I’ve been at peace ever since. And this is the same methodology I’m practicing in the 2018 and the years to come.

Pack Light. Literally and Figuratively

I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to some amazing places this year: Cuba, Orlando, Tulum, Atlanta, Frankfurt, Germany, & Cape Town, South Africa. And each time I’ve traveled, I know I’ve packed entirely too much. Especially when I’ve underestimated the amount of time it would take to make to the airport and get through TSA. Do you know how hard it is to run to the airport with three bags with one of those bags using the expand option? Extremely Hard. And I’m handling that.

But that also brings me to all of the emotional baggage that I seem to be carrying around in my daily life. Baggage from years ago and baggage from yesterday. I’ve realized that hanging on to emotions and triggering situations does nothing for me in a positive sense. It does more harm than good. And while I don’t think I could every truly forget anything, because that’s not how my analytical mind works, I won’t let it alter my moods or my well-being.

Live a Healthier Life.

Speaking of my well-being, it needs some work. The physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects. Every last piece. But there’s one area that’s weaker than the others and needs much more attention — my physical. Ever since the flood, my emotions were hard to manage and I became an emotional eater. And once the habit formed, it was hard to break, especially when the blows came to me this year. I ate when happy, sad, mad, at peace, etc. And because of that, I’ve gained a substantial amount of weight. My sleeping habits have changed. My digestive system does not generally cooperate with me. And those are just a few of my problems.

I’ve sulked over my weight gain for quite some time and I’m over it. I don’t plan to go full on Vegan, because I can’t. I absolutely cannuh. But I do plan on making extreme changes in my diet and exercise routine. And as for my accountability, that’s ya’ll.. because I plan to document my changes in some manner right here in this space with the hopes to inspire and motivate someone.

Cling to Gratitude

I talk to Harper a lot. She’s easily one of my favorite people. And in a very trying moment, I reached out to her and asked what were some of the things that she does to stay positive, and to always remember to be thankful. She shared her method and it’s really something that I would like to practice. Sometimes I get so stressed out about certain situations that I’m blinded. And in the middle of being so emotional about whatever, I forget about being so blessed.

I’m not sure how I’m going to tailor the practice that best suits me — whether I’m going to do a jar, a journal, or whatever. But I do know that it would help keep my centered.

Invest in Yourself

I deserve the same energy I put out. Point blank. And I haven’t been giving myself that. I’ve made others my main priority ignoring my own needs. The generous amounts of effort that I put into others often rids me of any energy to indulge in my own hobbies and interests. And as a result, this leaves me feeling subpar, especially in regards to certain areas of my life. And that needs to change.

I’m making an effort to read & learn more so that I can apply that to my life that will help me grow; I need to let go of this fear of making people realize my worth without a gentle reminder because sometimes you need to get straight to the damn point; but most importantly, I need to work on finishing what I start. (I have A LOT of unfinished projects that need my attention.)

Protect Your Peace. By Any and All Means

The only way that I know that I would be able to cultivate a deeper relationship with myself is to make sure I have inner peace and the mental means to protect it. This is one of my most important goals for the coming years. I expressed a little bit of what that meant to me in this post, and I’ve done a pretty good job. But in the coming years, I want to be better. An expert. And I will, because my peace is important to me. It’s valuable. Invaluable. And I plan to protect by any and all means necessary.

The New Year is closing in and from the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May you have the bravery and willpower to achieve everything and more in 2018 and the years to come. Peace, Love, and Blessings to you all!

With all my Love,


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  1. Harper

    December 31, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    LOL as I was reading live a healthier life I felt attacked while eating hot cheeto fries.

    Its hard to flip that desire to be stay in the negative but once you life gets so much better. 2017 wasn’t perfect but how I reacted to life happening was amazing. Get you some sage or use that chalk that we got in Cuba. Sometimes when my mind gets stuck I just wave the sage around my heart and mind and I get a bit lighter. Anyway, I’m glad that God blessed me with you and I cannot wait to travel the world with you some more in 2018!!

  2. Terin

    January 4, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Happy New Year, Rae!
    I enjoyed seeing you and Harper doing big things in 2017. You have inspired me so much to live life! I know that you have some awesome things in store for you this year!
    I agree with all of the points that you have made. The one that stands out the most is investing in yourself. Sometimes we find ourselves giving and giving and giving, and never getting anything in return. I appreciate that you’ve been able to step back and realize that you are important and you have needs too.

  3. Faith

    January 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I need to take some of your goals with me because I relate so deeply with everything you’ve written. I’m looking forward to reading more about how you work through to make you goals happen. Happy New Year. Wishing you an amazing 2018.

  4. Emily

    January 5, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Reciprocity is SO important in relationships/friendships etc. I’m empathetic to a fault and have trouble setting boundaries, and end up exploding when I feel like I’ve been used too long. I like that you just decided to let them go when they wouldn’t budge.

    Everyone has baggage- it’s unfortunate. It does do more harm then good _ I’ve learned this a lot in the past year as well. I love seeing all your travel posts- especially South Africa. It’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to go to and see.

    I’m with you on the weight train. I gained back all of the weight I had lost about 2 years ago. My biggest issue is with sugar. Every time I give it up I lose 30-40 pounds within months. I’ve started with this. (I’ve been a tad grumpy tho).

    I try to write down one thing I’m grateful for a day. Sometimes I feel like it’s a slap in the Lord’s face, because I should be grateful all the time, but I have to start somewhere? It’s hard to consistently invest in yourself and protect your peace, especially when you’re a mom of young kids, but it’s so imperative to consistently give to yourself as much as you do others. Great goals for the year Carla.

  5. Sanniyah Sloan

    January 5, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    These are awesome goals for this year and couldn’t be more important with everything that is going on in the world. Definitely have to do more of what you love always.

  6. Shannon

    January 6, 2018 at 2:00 am

    Happy New Year! This entry hit home for me and I feel that as women we often tend to put others before ourselves. As I’ve gotten older though, I feel more inclined to be more selfish. I’ve learned that being selfish sometimes isn’t always a bad thing. People can drain you and leave you with little to nothing of yourself. I had to learn the hard way a few times in my twenties. My mother use to tell me that when you reach 30, you reach an era of enlightenment when you start to pay more attention to yourself and your needs and also when you start shedding friends and people who don’t really have your best interest at heart. I think it’s extremely important that you hold onto those self goals. I wish you nothing but the best!

  7. Yetti

    January 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Wow, get out of my mind!
    But seriously, putting other’s before yourself has also been something I’ve been trying to dig myself out of. Sacrificing for others and not receiving anything in return is painful. I used to think it was selfish for me to want back what I give. But it’s not. It’s okay to want to be in a mutual friendship. Because both parties need to put in work to maintain each other.

    Happy New Year, to you my love! I know this year will be good to you <3.

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