The Ninja Diaries: Looking Back at 2017

As a means of pre-New Year's spiritual housekeeping, I shared these 20 questions to ask yourself before the end of 2017. I'm including my own answers here as a way to keep myself accountable and so that, at the end of 2018, I can look back and see how far I've come.

Spoiler alert: Seeing as how I became a mom for the first time in 2017, my answers definitely have a theme. Yours may or may not. The important thing is to be as honest as possible, and to include answers from the heart, rather than the answers you think you're "supposed" to. 

1.  What is something I accomplished this year that I'm proud of?

Becoming a mom and making tough decisions with my daughter's best interests in mind. 

2. What is something I did this year that I'll remember for the rest of my life?

Gave birth.

3. What was the most challenging part of this year for me?

Breaking up my marriage. 

4. In what area do I feel like I made my biggest improvements? 

Standing up for myself and for what I believe is right; shutting out the white noise and listening to my gut. 

5. If I could change one thing that happened over the past year, what would it be? 

I would have tolerated less. 

6. What are the most important things I learned this year? 

I learned that I am worthy of love, kindness, and respect. Just because someone says I'm not worth something I believe I deserve doesn't mean that it's true or that I should tolerate that situation. With that, my voice is just as important as the voices of everyone else around me.  

7. What three things did I do this year to help those around me? 

Listened, loved, and provided guidance, assistance, and encouragement when appropriate. 

8. What was the nicest thing someone did for me this year? 

Allison stayed in the delivery room with me for the entire 36 hours I was in labor with Izzy.

9. What is something for me that was hard at the beginning of this year but is easy now?

Listening to my gut--or, at the very least, it's much easier. 

10. Of the books I read this year, which was my favorite and why?

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. My friend Corinne gave me this book, and it gave me the courage to believe in myself and in my decisions. 

11. Which person has made the biggest impact on my life this year and why?

My ex-neighbor Angie. She watched over me, believed in me, listened when I needed someone to listen without judgment, and helped out in those moments when I was ready to take action. 

12. What could I have done to make this year better? 

Listened to my gut and trusted myself earlier on. 

13. What three adjectives best describe this year? 

Game-changer, fulfillment, transformation. 

14. Knowing what I know now, if I would travel back to the start of 2017, what advice would I give myself?

You got this.

15. When I consider the rest of my life, what percentage of what I learned this year do I think will be useful for me? 

Like, 90 percent. Aside from the year my brother died (2009), I don't think I've ever had a more monumental year than 2017. I am grateful that this year was game-changing, memorable, and transformative for all of the good it brought with it. Even the things that were difficult were directly related to the good parts of the year. 

16. On a scale of 1-10, how have I fared this year? 

I'd say a 10. And I earned that 10. 

17. Who do I want to celebrate my victories with?


18. What are my most important goals for next year? 

To do everything in my power to make sure Izzy feels safe, secure, and loved (and that she has fun, too!). To trust myself. To make time for myself amidst the craziness of daily life. 

19. How am I planning on achieving them? 

As far as Izzy goes, she is the main priority in my life. I will listen to her and let her let me know what it is that she needs. As for trusting and making time for myself, The Balanced Ninja will keep me accountable and provide a creative outlet.

20. What should I do differently next year? 

Not allow people in my life who breed negativity, don't respect me, or who take more than they give. I will also focus on the positive to breed more and more of it, and do my best not to fear change. 

Have you answered these 20 questions for yourself yet before prepping for 2018 with goals that will keep you accountable to yourself