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Contributing writer Morgan Schmitz has graciously shared her #DearMe letter for 2017 with Women's Forum. Read on and perhaps it will inspire you to be your best self in 2017 as well!

Ringing in the New Year means out with the old and in with the new. I'm finally getting the chance to take a breather after the hustle and bustle of the holidays to really think about what I want to change, improve and accomplish in 2017. It's effortless to claim that my New Year's resolution is to hit the gym more often -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But this year, I really want to accomplish so more than that. 2017 is the year where I'm setting goals for my body, mind, and soul to help me become my best self yet. 

Dear Me, in 2017 I'm going to....

1. Spend more time outside enjoying nature

Being cooped up inside all day really puts a damper on my day. I become grumpy when I think about the many hours I have spent inside in front of my computer, in class, or studying. My goal for the year is to spend more time outside, whether it's a morning run or just eating lunch outside; I want to really embrace the greatness of what a breath of fresh air can do. 

2.  Stay connected 

The world and people are constantly changing every day. To have a better understanding, I really want to take a few minutes of my day to stay connected and involved with what is happening around the world. Whether it's watching a TED Talk in my down time or scrolling through a news app while I am walking to class, today's technology has made it easy to get involved. 

3.  Stop procrastinating

This is one habit that is a tough one to break. In school, I have found myself too often scrambling to pull an all-nighter, finishing a paper or studying for an exam. I'm also guilty of staring at that pile of dishes thinking "I'll just do it after I finish this..." for days. This year I have made the commitment to stay organized and motivated with school, work, and even with completing those daily tasks. 

4.  Stay positive 

I definitely tend to struggle with getting down on myself when times get tough or things don't go as I imagined. 2017 is going to be the year where I change that. I have made the goal to take a deep breath and look for the bright side to every situation and will encourage my mind to stay optimistic about the future. 

5. Strengthen my relationships

My goal for this year is to take more time to show those that I care about how much I value them and our relationship. Even though playing video games and talking sports aren't really my thing, I am going to spend more time with my boyfriend doing activities that he really enjoys -- rather than forcing him to listen to hours on end of girl drama. Along with that goal and despite my friends' various schedules, I will try to plan a weekly dinner with some of the girls, or even a girls night out! 

 6. Become more conscientious 

It can often be painful trying to get things done that I don't really care for or am completely disinterested in. Usually, the outcome of these situations isn't my best work. However, studies have shown that conscientious people are successful people. So if being successful means putting 110% in every task that comes my way, I'm going to do just that. 

7. Eat more veggies

With my schedule and out of pure laziness, it becomes hard to eat healthy in college. I find myself popping in a frozen meal for dinner too frequently, and in the end, the lousy food leaves me with a stomachache. My goal for the year is to spend that little extra time steaming some veggies to pair with my dinner, my body and brain will thank me later. 

8. Embrace the little things

This year I'm set the goal of spending more time enjoying life's simple pleasures. Driving with the windows down on a warm night, playing with puppies, or cuddling up by a bonfire are things that I often overlook and under-appreciate. 




Morgan Schmitz is a Junior at The University of Iowa studying Communications. She’s a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and is from Naperville, Illinois. Coffee and her two cats get her through the day


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