2017 Intention Review: A Letter to Myself


Future-Letter-2017-Review.jpgFuture-Letter-2017-Review.jpg

new year's resolutions, future letter to yourself, 2017 resolutionsI recently shared my 2018 future letter to myself, and now I’m sharing the outcomes of my 2017 annual letter. How much “came true”?2017 was marked by the happiest and most important life change Kail or I have experienced to date: Learning that we would become parents. (This will, of course, be eclipsed by actually becoming parents with the birth of our son this year!)We also reached the halfway point of our assignment in Jordan, and I transitioned from full-time employment to what I thought would be part-time freelance work, which really has turned into extended nestingSo how did I do?Just under two-thirds of the statements I made came true. I made 35 total statements in my letter. Of these, 22 were true or mostly true, 11 were false, and two weren’t measurable. My “success rate” is about 63 percent — the lowest since I started this tradition in 2013.I’m OK with that. I wrote the following in my 2014 intention review, and I’ll repeat it here, slightly modified to reflect impending motherhood:

[T]he point isn’t to get a “perfect score” or beat myself up about the things I didn’t get done. It’s to set some achievable goals to help me be my best self — as an individual, a wife, [a mother,] a friend, a daughter/in-law, a writer, etc. — and yes, to hold myself somewhat accountable to those goals.

As we do every year, Kail and I read through my 2017 letter together and discussed it. I find it’s a good communication tool, since marriage and family are always the primary focus of my letters, and it helps keep me honest. Some statements are better judged by him. For example:

I did not allow work-related stress to follow me home at night or negatively impact my mood or interactions with Kail.

I first counted that as mostly true, because my recollection of my last few weeks of work is that it was a relatively stress-free time. But he reminded me about the first 7.5 months of the year (including the first four, when I was finishing up my graduate degree), when all was not smooth.Here are some other untrue statements:

Kail and I also enjoyed other international and regional travel, including trips to Paris, Tel Aviv, Aqaba, Cairo/other cities in Egypt and elsewhere.

I trained for and ran a sub-4:00 marathon.

I started taking Arabic classes and made an effort to learn the basics of the language.

I took concrete steps toward establishing a freelancing- and teleworking-based career.

I read more books (for pleasure) in 2017 compared to 2016.

We did travel to Paris and Aqaba (as well as Bangkok and Chiang Rai and Dubai) but nowhere else on that list. The sub-4:00 marathon? I literally laughed out loud when I read that. It’s been a goal since I missed that mark by a couple minutes at the 2011 Chicago Marathon (my last). I did run regularly for most of 2017, except later in my pregnancy, but never more than six miles.I did start Arabic classes as soon as I finished my Master’s degree. I took them for about three months until we departed for home leave in August, and I had intended to resume once we returned, but knowing I would only be in country for less than three months before heading to the U.S. again on OB Medevac kept me from doing so.The same goes for freelancing: It’s not off the table completely, just not my immediate priority. I have other things on my mind!Reading? I have no excuse. I don’t know how I managed to read more in 2016 — when I was both working full time and in school for the entire year.Now let’s take a look at what came true. Here are some examples:

Kail and I celebrated five years of marriage. We moved forward with plans to start a family …

We welcomed family and friends to visit us in Amman, and we traveled to the United States for home leave.

In addition to running regularly, I continued attending regular RPM, Body Pump and yoga classes at the gym.

I completed my Master of Science in Communication program at Purdue University.

I updated my Project Life: Jordan scrapbook with all of 2016 and 2017.

Even though I didn’t do as well, score-wise, on my 2017 letter as in years past, the most important statements — the ones about my relationship with Kail, our family, and my own personal growth — came true. I’ll take it. What were the results of your 2017 annual letter/New Year’s resolutions?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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