New Year, Better Me?

New Year’s easily takes the cake for my favorite holiday of the year.  There is something kind of beautiful about the idea of starting anew and being able to leave a lot of the ridiculous moments of the past year behind you.  Obviously, I don’t think I’m a different person on January 1st from the one I was on December 31st (in fact I’m very much in the “new year, same me” boat).  I do, however, like to use the new year to reflect on the year before.  2017 was an eventful year (for both the world and me).  It was truly a year of personal growth for me.  I have (FINALLY) learned how to study in a productive way (that only took what twelve years), I have become more productive, and I started this website!  Big Animals Little Vet has been an idea in the back of my mind and 2017 was the year I realized that the only way to get things started is to do it!

So while reflecting upon 2017, I have made my own kind of “resolutions” for this new year.  Not like the regular “I’m going to go to the gym for 3 days and then never again”, but instead two goals I have for the year that will help me grow more personally and for me to reflect upon at the same time next year.  For me my two main goals for 2018 are:

  1. To learn
  2. To become more mindful

In the first half of 2017, my learning was based solely off my education.  Until around April/May of the year, I rarely ever looked for outside information on my own or even did any research based on my own interests.  For the most part, this was not that much of a “bad” thing, considering my classes were all animal based and I was actually learning a lot that helped me in choosing topics to write articles about this summer, but at the same time I felt very stagnant.  Over the summer, when I began big animals little vet, I started doing more research.  I read peer reviewed articles, spent countless nights on Wikipedia, and got back into documentaries (which by the way I LOVE so if you ever have any documentary recommendations please pass them on to me).  

This year, one of my main goals is to learn more.  Obviously this encapsulates my education and all of the outside learning I choose to do, but mainly I want to learn more about the world and the animals that I plan on working with.  This means actually listening to people and allowing myself to really take in their words, whether I agree with them or not.  Recently I’ve been getting more into podcasts which is a great way to find new topics that I can learn more about on my own time, and if anyone would like, I can start posting some of my favorite podcasts on Instagram!

“Learning” is a very broad term, but because of that I think this is a great resolution to keep.  It is not a daily chore, like working out or eating healthy, and it is something that happens naturally.  We learn new things everyday, but the way we interpret information is the most important part.  We can take a snippet of material and either forget it, or try and use it in a way that is beneficial to our own growth.  For example, I am taking a class on nutritional and metabolic diseases.  I can take the information from this class and either remember it enough to take and pass a test, or I can use this information to help me write thoughtful articles about nutritional imbalances that can happen in our pets.

Also, I want to be more mindful this year.  Mindfulness is the process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.  This is something that is more like a “resolution” to me, because it is something I want to focus more on daily.  I’ve noticed that I often focus more on the future than I do on the present moment and because of that I’ve been known to ignore conversation or just miss experiences in the moment.  It is also becoming more aware of my influence on the things around me.  Especially when it comes to the surrounding environment and animals.  I think that we as people like to think about how what we do affects people, but never how it affects wildlife, our pets, or our environment.  Although what we do may not be negatively affecting something, we’re also not putting a positive influence on them.  In general I would just like to be more aware of what I’m putting out into the world so that I can learn to better myself from it.

Anyways, those are my resolutions this year.  I want to challenge all of you to follow suit and make some resolutions that can benefit you in the long term that you can look back on at the end of this year.  Plus, I’d love to hear any of your resolutions this year! See you guys on Friday with some talk on wildlife!