New Year's Resolutions for 2017

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A lot has changed since my last blog post...

I visited New Orleans and Puerto Rico, Iquit my job in Oklahoma, I moved to France, I started teaching, and fast-forward to now and it's already 2017! This past year evolved into something I never could have expected. I had always dreamed of one day moving back to France, but I figured it would be something that happened in 10 years or so. But look at me now, living my dream.

But 2016 really taught me that what is projected to others and your expectations of an experience, don't always match reality. From the outside looking in, I had an amazing year filled with experiences that many could only dream of. But what I didn't share were the struggles. I was unhappy at my job in Oklahoma and this really affected my overall life. I was constantly stressed and I found myself taking this stress and frustration out on the people in my personal life. When I learned we would be moving to France, I thought a new environment and a new career would be the answer to my unhappiness. SHOCKER... it wasn't. 

From the beginning of the process, I faced a lot of difficulties; my initial visa request was rejected 2 weeks before we were supposed to leave, I arrived in France and we spent three weeks in a hotel trying to find an apartment and get a bank account, I found out that I couldn't work with my visa until I went to the Prefecture, it took 4 months of going to the Prefecture to get my recepisse... I could go on, but I'll spare you.

Instead of France being the answer to my problems, I found I was having stronger and more frequent anxiety attacks than I have had in quite a few years. I began to question if moving was the right decision, which led me to question everything else, like whether I would ever find a career that would make me happy.

I don't want to go on too long, but 2016 really was a mixed bag of chips! This leads into many of my goals for 2017, because each is centered on a problem or a struggle I experienced in 2016.

Below, I'm going to lay out my big plans for the big new year! 

1. Content Machine

My first resolution is to really dedicate myself to achieving my goal of being an instagram model. JUST KIDDING! But I do want to dedicate more time and energy to growing my presence on social media this year. The connection that social media allows and the ability to flex my creative muscles brings me so much joy! I want to truly dedicate myself to creating and sharing more content with you all in 2017. In addition, I would really love to earn at least 50% of my income from content creation in 2018. So, to make this happen I need to build my online presence AND I need to consistently produce good work.

2. New Life

Moving to another country is a way more difficult than I thought it would be. In 2017, I want to find my peace with France. I have been missing the USA so much, and because of this, I've focused on a lot of the things that make me unhappy in France. But this year, I want to make France my new home. I want to feel settled and comfortable being here, just like I did in Oklahoma.

3. Reduce Distractions

I spend way too much time on social media, and it's negatively effecting my productivity. If I really want to be a content machine, then I need to use social media in a more intentional manner. My third new year's resolution is to reduce the time I spend scrolling online to just 1.5 hours a day. Wish me luck... I'm going to need it!

4. Less Perfection, More Action

My final new year's resolution is to spend less time worrying about perfection. So often, I find myself trapped and unable to finish things because they "aren't good enough". I must waste so much time each week trying to attain perfection! In 2017, I want to give myself a break and shift my attention to finishing projects. 

Tell me your resolutions for the new year in the comments below! 

Regan Shorter

42000 Saint-Etienne

Regan is a freelance photographer and travel blogger.