Since its inception back in 2017, this blog served two primary purposes: to provide self-care tips and provide a safe space for personal introspection. The latter aligns nicely with this time of year. With the end of the year (and decade) upon us, many utilize this time of year as one to express gratitude, goal setting, and reflection.
Last year, I started a new tradition on this site. I published my inaugural “Year In Review” as a way to look at progress I made towards personal goals and establishing a focus for the upcoming year.
Feel free to check out the post here: https://caringcounselor.blog/2019/01/01/the-caring-counselor-year-in-review-2018/
Exactly a year ago, I outlined two goals.
Goal #1- Lose weight. 365 days ago, I possessed all the necessary tools to make this happen including a gym membership, a personal trainer, and a FitBit watch. Everything was looking up, and then, life got in the way. I took on a supervisory role for a mental health program that covered half the state of New Jersey. It took up what little free time I had. During the first half of the year, my health regressed due to high stress levels. My fibromyalgia symptoms flared up full force.
There was a span between Memorial Day and July that I worked only one full work week. Usually, I missed two or three days a week. I reluctantly resigned from this position in August. I snuck my way back to my former job with a pay raise. It gave me the opportunity to make my own schedule, work part-time, and still make a living wage. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I made all year.
Over the next two to three months, my symptoms were back under control. With the help of my doctors, I finally made the appropriate lifestyle changes that eased the pain. I switched up the majority of my diet to avoid red meats and eat more organic/natural foods in place of artificial means. This assisted with the inflammation. I also started doing yoga twice a week with my persona trainer. Yoga stimulated blood flow and stretched out otherwise tight muscle groups.
Although I am almost exactly the same weight as I was a year ago, I made progress in other ways. Half of the battle was finding an exercise regimen and diet that could accommodate my fibromyalgia without exacerbating my symptoms. Through a lot of trial and error, I finally feel confident in my ability to move forward with some new tools.
For this upcoming year, I am outlining specific daily and weekly goals to help me achieve my larger annual goal.
Daily/Weekly Goal #1- Track my diet at least 6 out of 7 days a week. This will provide me with helpful data on calorie intake, protein-fat breakdown, etc.
Daily/Weekly Goal #2- Be active at least three days a week. I am not talking hardcore workout. I am keeping it real with myself. I literally mean being active for at least 20-30 minutes walking, stretching, riding my bike, cardio, yoga, etc.
Luckily, I have a FitBit to help me track these two goals. I noticed a bit of a correlation this past year. When I follow through on tracking these two areas, I often lose a few pounds. Otherwise, I start looking like I am about to give birth to twins. I aim to lose twenty pounds by the end of the year and keep it off.
Dedicate more time to The Caring Counselor Trust at least one individual on an intimate level. I can happily say that I accomplished this goal. In 2018, I found myself sporadically posting and going weeks without new content. I made it a personal goal to post at least once a week. 52 weeks later, I did it. There were obviously some posts that felt forced, and others I pride myself over. I followed through though.
I furthermore kept track of my Instagram and Facebook, posting related content on those outlets. I tried to put up content that others might find inspirational or helpful. On average, I posted three or four times a week on both platforms. Mission accomplished.
With this goal being achieved, I bring a new goal into focus. I struggle with intimate relationships, primarily romantic ones. Thanks to an extensive history of trauma, I find it difficult to trust others. It takes a wrecking ball to knock down those walls.
An idea I coined “circles of trust” serves as the basis for this goal.
Feel free to check it out more here: https://caringcounselor.blog/2019/04/21/circles-of-trust/
I want to let a person in. I want to find someone who I feel comfortable with allowing across the permeable trust membranes. Gradually, they will work their way to my inner circle of trust. Ideally, I want someone who I can see in a romantic light, but a friend or family member will suffice. This one will surely take time but can be achieved in a year.
Use this time wisely. Utilize it as a time to reflect on your progress. Look at what you did right and what might need improvement. Regain focus and get back at it. Hopefully, this will help with gaining 2020 vision.
-The Caring Counselor