Saying Goodbye to 2016

This year I noticed a very disturbing trend on social media as the year 2016 closed.  People were by and large extremely negative about the year.  They couldn't wait to see it be gone.  They painted the whole year as a complete disaster that almost seemed out to get them personally and that by turning over a calendar page that it would all be better.

I am a girl who loves a fresh start.  I love the feel of the newness of a whole year.  I get excited about that turn of the page.  BUT, really was 2016 really truly that bad?  Was there nothing good or redeeming in their lives last year?  Nothing at all?  Personally, 2016 had it's challenges, just like everyone else, but where we place our focus is what will define what kind of year 2017 will be.  I really can't help but feel really sad for the people who were so negative because with that attitude and focus, how will 2017 be any different or better.  The hard will come but in it there is always something good.

So, as I said goodbye to 2016, there were two major changes or victories that I have chosen to hold onto.

The first one is the changes I have made to my physical health.  Since August I have worked hard to clean up my eating habits.  I have worked hard to increase my overall physical fitness level.  Now back to that question...  Am I in the best shape of my life?  Nope!  Not even close.  BUT I am in so much better shape than I was a year ago.  I have lost 25 pounds.  I no longer feel like I want to curl up and cry or die during warm up in class.  I am not in the best shape of my life but I am headed in the right direction.  I have made changes that will help me continue on this journey towards the best shape of my life.

The second change has been much more subtle, it is a mental perspective.  When I was setting some goals for the new year over the holidays I noticed the change.  I do believe that the changes to my physical health are a big part of it.  I have faithfully attended my kung fu classes since I started about 5 1/2 years ago.  Yet, I never had truly entertained the idea of a black belt.  That was for other people.  I never believed that it was even remotely a possibility.  My journey through my blue belt has been hard.  It has been riddled with injuries to overcome.  Now as I am heading down the home stretch of that journey, I have noticed a change in mindset.  Really, not that long ago I was happy to be a blue belt forever.  Then there would be no pressure to step up my game.  Now I'm finding that I am ready to push forward and see what the next part of this journey will look like.  I am still scared to death of grading for a black belt - healthy respect for anyone who even attempts it.  I have found myself setting the goal of getting my brown belt.  I have found myself mentioning that I need to start looking at the black belt fitness requirements and start working towards them.  I have found myself having these thoughts that actually sound like I may be entertaining the thought of jumping into this insanity of taking it to the next level.  The change is subtle but trust me it is huge.

So with fear and trembling and excitement and anticipation, I am heading into 2017.  I am ready to remember the good that 2016 has brought to my life instead of focusing on the parts that were hard and really sucked.  It's all about perspective people.  I can choose my focus and that will have a huge impact on any outcome.  I know I can't control everything that will happen this year but I can control how I look at it.  My heart is full of gratitude that I have the IHC team.  Being surrounded by positive people who push me and believe in me has truly been life changing.  I am looking forward to this next stage of my journey.