Before the first week of the year comes to an end, I wanted to document my reflections (proper) of 2017 and what I hope to achieve in 2018. I’ve been so bad with this blog but if anything, sitting down and letting the words flow at the turn of each year has become somewhat of a tradition with the me-time.

At the end of 2017, I said I wanted to (1) learn to breathe & let go(2) get stronger and improve my spinal health & flexibility and (3) be less dependent on the internet. So how did I do? Pretty damn well, I must say! I started incorporating prayer, meditation and yoga into my life wherever I could. This really addressed the first two points. Immediately, a lot of my emotional and physical woes started to melt away. At the start of the year, I was still so dependent on physiotherapy for the release but by the middle of the year, I had learned to manage myself to the point where regular massage therapists no longer cut it for me.

When I started the year, I could barely bend at the hip without rounding my back but I’m now touching the floor with my hands and my entire being just feels younger and better.

The mind and body connection I seemed to have lost post births has come back and I feel like I am ready to get back on the horse in so many ways again.

Sometime in the third quarter, I also embarked on my very first true solo retreat. I had very little in the tank and a friend of mine said, “Bank of Janice is calling, it’s time to put something back in.” That spoke to me and almost immediately, I booked myself a long weekend away alone. The aim of the weekend was to turn the world off, to worry about no one but myself, and to love my body, mind and soul.

I spent the weekend on a raw vegan diet, drinking juice and elixirs, practising yoga, praying and meditation – and nothing else. I allowed myself a couple of text messages to Hubba and the kids twice a day, once upon waking and before sleep. No emails, no social media.

I spent my time in quiet solitude and slept early. I doodled. I wrote a letter or two to God, as recommended by my brother-in-law. It was a very enriching three days and did a world of good for me – so much that I immediately swore I would do this for myself henceforth at least once a year. I even tried doing a social media detox erasing all apps off my phone. That didn’t last long but it sure highlighted how much I would mindlessly turn on Instagram and flick through photos and videos. I now do this a lot less as a result and have vowed to be more in the present.

So what’s next in 2018?

Well, 2017 was a level-setting year. It was just the beginning. I want more.

I plan to continue all of the above. But this year, I’ll take it once step further and commit to a more structured yoga practice – my daily practice in 2017 was all about getting on the mat next to the bed when the kids were sleeping.

With the new P1 regiment, I plan to get myself to some classes in the mornings.

I also plan to do something about my growing lower body, growing in mass but weakening in strength. This needs to change so I think regular spin classes at lunch and weekends rides are in order. We already have a long weekend ride trip planned so that’s a good start.

I promise I will continue to make a huge effort with my little ones. So far the year has gotten off to a good start and I feel like they are doing so well emotionally. May 2018 be about taking motherhood to the next level too. May I always remember through all the busy-business that they need me to be their guide, their champion and most of all, their friend.

Continuing on from 2017, I need to learn how to care less so I fret less. A more centred me, I realise, is a far better daughter, wife, mother and friend. I’ve started to learn this but consciously need reminding.

What are your goals for the year ahead?