dreams, Faith, Identity, Lessons Learned

27 for 27


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I didn’t make any resolutions at the start of 2018, but as my 27th birthday moved closer, I realized that I had a lot of things in my life that could change. The past year brought lots of challenging lessons, both inspiring and painful. But to move into my next year of life without acting on the things I’ve learned would mean another year of missing out on God’s goodness and grace for my life. So, as my 26th year comes to a close, here are 27 resolutions for year 27 of my life.

  1. Take more risks. I’ve played it safe for most of my life, but I’ve also realized that I’ve missed out on a lot by not being willing to take a chance. I need to put my full trust in God and take that step towards the impossible.
  2. Read more. Netflix & Hulu are great, but they’ve led to a lot less reading and a lot more mindless watching. This year, I want to turn the TV off more and get back into books.
  3. Write more. If you look at the date on my last post, I’ve obviously slacked off on writing. But writing helps me process the world around me in a healthy, productive way. This year, I’m going to beat writer’s block.
  4. Make my own music. Anyone who knew me in high school and the first few years of college knows that I used to write songs all the time. I’m finally going to break the 8-year hiatus and get myself back into making music.
  5. Learn basic code. Even in my volunteer roles or my “extracurricular” work, I want to make sure I’m doing my best work. So if learning basic code is what it takes to produce quality content, I’m going to do it.
  6. Make more margin in my life. A lesson I’ve learned time and time again is that when I’m too busy, I can’t make time for the people I care about. By creating margins in my life, I leave time for the people I care about and don’t get burnt out in the process.
  7. Exercise more. What can I say? It’s hard to keep up. But I’m going to stay on the path I’m on and find ways to motivate myself to keep going.
  8. Eat less junk. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good meal of burger and fries. But I’ve hit a point where the effects of junk food on my body are disproportionately worse than my love of these foods.
  9. Paint more. Creativity has proven to be helpful for me to feel useful and to process my emotions.
  10. Get my finances in order. The hardest part about fulfilling your dreams is having the money to do it. By getting my money in order, I can be that much closer to being able to travel and do the things I want to do.
  11. Stop being afraid to express my feelings to people. I used to think it wasn’t worth it to express my feelings for people, out of fear that they would reject me or not feel the same way. But recently I learned that not telling people how you really feel leads to more regret than being honest with them. I want to make sure the people in my life know how much I care about them.
  12. Network more. When you get your first job, it’s easy to get complacent. But networking never stops being important, even if you’re planning to stay in your job for a while. I need to put myself out there and get connected to other professionals who can help me learn and grow.
  13. Really, actually work on learning/practicing another language. Keeping up with my Russian has been hard because I rarely use it, but I love the language and want to relearn it. I’d also love to learn some of a language that our refugee families speak.
  14. Invest in the community I already have. It’s really easy for me to get caught up in the fact that so many of my friends live outside of Pittsburgh. But the reality is that I have a great community here, but I need to invest in it more–and invest in the friendships I have outside of the city that are meaningful to me.
  15. Be better at self-care. I’ve been sick 4 times in 5 months–so it’s pretty obvious that I need to find ways to take better care of myself, starting with taking more vitamins and finding healthy ways to deal with stress.
  16. De-clutter. No matter how many times I get rid of stuff, I always seem to have too much. But the clutter is stressful, and I end up with a lot of unused things taking up a lot of useful space. Time to clean out.
  17. Explore new parts of the city. After 4 years of driving all over Pittsburgh, it’s hard for me to feel like anything is new. But there is still so much I haven’t seen, and I need to get out there!
  18. Travel more. Travel takes money, which is in short supply. But with friends’ apartments, a car, and grocery stores, I can find ways to get out of the city, even if it’s not too far away.
  19. Learn about the countries where my clients come from. Here’s a secret–I have little to no knowledge about many of the countries where our refugee families come from. I want to learn more about their culture and history and find ways to connect with them on a more personal level.
  20. Take better care of my diabetes. This one seems like a no-brainer, right? But pile on testing your blood 4-6 times a day, giving yourself insulin with every meal, making adjustments as the month goes on, and trying to do all of the other non-diabetes things in your life and it gets tough. But it needs my focus, and it’s worth my health to do it.
  21. Read my Bible more regularly. With small groups and church, it’s easy to coast along during the week without opening your Bible very often. But the best way to get to know God is by spending time with Him, praying and reading His word.
  22. Pray specifically. At 27, I have some pretty strong opinions about what I want in life and in my future. While I know that not all of those things may happen, I do believe that we are called to pray for things specifically, showing our full trust in God.
  23. Keep my spaces more organized. Confession time. While anyone who has lived with me or known me for a long time has seen the tragedy that is my room wouldn’t be surprised, most people probably don’t know that I often live life in the middle of piles of clothes. As I move into my 27th year, I want to work hard to ensure that my spaces are clean, organized, and stress-free.
  24. Complain less. One time a coworker told me she was counting how many times I said the word “hate” that day. While she was joking about the amount of times, I really had to stop and consider how much I was complaining about things that really weren’t that bad. Less complaining, more action towards change.
  25. Text less, talk more. Texting is great for a lot of things, but it’s not great for having meaningful conversations. While I’d love to get less people at work calling me, I really need to move into actual phone and in-person conversations with my friends.
  26. Avoid toxic relationships. This has been a joke going around the internet about 2018, but it’s legit. While I never love to cut anyone out of my life completely, I can certainly scale way back on the amount of time I spend with people who only drag me down.
  27. Show more grace to others. It’s really easy to get impatient with people, especially when they aren’t doing the things you want them to do or when they aren’t treating you well. But we all have our moments and we all have our struggles, and I want to strive to show the same grace to others that Christ shows to me.

 

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