2017 Reflections & 2018 Resolutions

Rifle Paper Co. Midnight Menagerie January 2018 illustration with insects

Happy New Year, dear readers! Hope you had a fun NYE. We kept it low-key this year and spent ours at home with homemade roast chicken, baby potatoes and arugula salad, and we watched Sicario on Netflix—very cozy indeed. But now that the holiday season is done and the Christmas decorations are all packed away, it's time to look ahead to the new year stretching before us, full of fresh promise.

Looking back at 2017

If scrolling through Instagram on the weekend was any indication, 2017 was a challenging year for many, and while I had my share of highlights there were low points too.

The lowest points of 2017 largely involved my health. Although I tried my best to look on the bright side, in private my endometriosis diagnosis was devastating. In the weeks immediately following my surgery, I shed a lot of tears and agonized over what we'd do if we couldn't have children. Hubs and I ultimately decided on a cautiously optimistic, wait-and-see approach. We'd just try and see what happened. If we could have kids, great, but if not, at least we were already abundantly blessed to be able to have the sort of privileged life we lead right now.

Just as we'd reached an uneasy truce with "Can we or can't we?" the answer came in the most bittersweet way. I had a miscarriage the week before Christmas. The past few weeks have been mixed to say the least. I thought I'd escaped 2017 relatively unscathed, but there were still curve balls right to the end.

Despite the sour note on which the year ended, in many ways 2017 was the culmination of a years-long journey. Each year I like to pick a few keywords or a mantra and work backwards from there in setting personal and professional goals. 2013 was about "balance" and "slow but steady growth"; 2014's keywords were "self-care" and "optimization"; 2015 didn't have any mottos or keywords (but turned out to be one of the toughest years in recent memory, so I guess the theme of that year was being kind to myself); 2016 was devoted to "A simpler life with more room for what I love"; and 2017 was the year of "You can do anything, but not everything."

While some resolutions have been constant (save money, exercise, get more sleep), I can also see the personal growth arcing through the past 5 years and the trajectory towards a simpler, healthier, more balanced life. I'm less of a shopaholic, more aspiring minimalist. I'm fitter than I've been in years thanks to Bar Method. My focus has shifted more towards leisure time to just be and towards developing my career in tech, as opposed to chasing down freelance and blog opportunities.

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa selfie

Looking ahead to 2018

"Be still." Work and my career are more demanding than ever and we are planning to start a family at some point—both of these things promise a dizzying amount of change. I've spent the last 5 years building a life I love, diverting energy towards the priorities that resonate with my present self. There will be no radical upheavals or ambitious goal-setting this year. Rather, 2018 will be a continuation and deepening of previous goals:

  • Career > blog. I want to devote my energy to my work goals and projects and to coaching my team. And to be perfectly honest, lately I've been valuing life offline over blogging or media events and parties.
  • Prioritize my health. That means taking breaks without feeling guilty, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, striving to go to 10 Bar Method classes a month, eating more fruits and veggies, and going on walks and taking the stairs.
  • Meal-prep 3 nights' worth of dinners a week. Any more than that and we'd likely get bored from eating the same thing every day. Not only will this help us save money on dining out, it'll help us eat more whole grains and veggies.
  • Save more money. Analyzing my 2016 shopping was an eye-opener and definitely helped me rein in my 2017 shopping. Overall I've spent less and saved more than last year, but I think I could do better by cutting subscriptions to unnecessary services and cooking at home more. The meal prep should help.


  1. Lisa, I'm SO sorry about your miscarriage. There are no words! It's so hard, both emotionally & physically!! Martin & I were just there this past November, we miscarried at 11 weeks and it was awful. Plus, I had several complications to get through, which made the whole ordeal very long & tiring! You're in my thoughts love!

    As for your goals?! I'm right there with you, on every single one, wishing you all the best for 2018!!


    1. Aw thanks for your sweet comment and well wishes, V. I was thinking of you while I was going through it.

      The most surprising thing for me was no matter how much I tried to "rationalize it better" ("At least I was only 5 weeks along, I didn't even know until I wasn't anymore," "At least now we know we can get pregnant," etc.) it still hurt A LOT more than expected and I just had to take the time to be sad.

      Hope 2018 holds only good things for you and Martin!

  2. I'm sorry for your lost. I also had a miscarriage, in late November, and it was sad, devastating, eye-opening and life changing. I'm still getting over it and I commend your honesty. It is sadly not something people talk about enough. The more I have shared with people the more I learned how many people I know have suffered through one alone.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Miss M, and I'm sorry for your loss as well. I don't know if this is what you're experiencing, but I find that I'm okay for the most part, and then, bam—the sadness sneaks up and comes at me sideways. I'm glad you're finding support on your journey towards healing.

      Wishing you all the best in 2018.

  3. Oh I'm so sorry for your loss! It's really hard, particularly near Christmas time when the rest of the world is so happy and upbeat and you're just not. I'm really sorry 2017 ended in a less than perfect way for you. I hope you do achieve your goals and 2018 brings you good health and happiness!

    Happy new year!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Mica. Yeah, Christmas was...mixed.

      Let's hope for the best in 2018! Wishing you a happy new year as well.


Back to Top