2017 was, by far, the fastest year of my life. It was also, by far, the best.
My life has changed a lot over the past year, and most of it was for the better. My friend Dana showed me a video of myself from earlier this year, and I could not believe it was from 2017. Was that really just this year? It felt like ages ago. I had long brown hair, lived in an apartment with 3 roommates, was still in college, and was still trapped in a life I didn’t fully love. At the time, I had no idea how much things would change, and how quickly it would happen.
I certainly don’t have everything figured out, and I’m not sure anyone ever really does, but this year I figured out a lot. I feel like I finally stepped into my place. I learned so many things, and I accomplished even more. I don’t want to say any of this to “brag.” If you know me at all, I’m not that kind of person. But I spent most of my life trying to hide my accomplishments, and not wanting to share them with others or admit them to myself because I was embarrassed or worried others would think I was bragging. I didn’t think I deserved to be proud of my achievements. Over time, I’ve realized how important it is to acknowledge my accomplishments. It’s okay to be proud of yourself. Who doesn’t deserve that? If I’m not proud of myself, does it even matter? I work hard, and I’m pretty damn proud of 2017.
To close out the year, I want to recap some important things that happened in 2017. Mostly for my own mental clarity, but also because I feel like people spend way too much time focusing on the negative parts of the prior year in order to figure out what they need to change for next year. My year was pretty great, and I won’t apologize for that! I’d rather look back on it and and be happy about it. And challenge myself to make next year even more amazing.
- I graduated from UCLA. This was huge for me. College never made me happy, and I felt like the past four years I was basically just waiting around for the day that I could get out and start my real life. I never thought the day would actually come because I was so used to school taking over my existence. I made it though, summa cum laude and all, and I even made it out a quarter early. For me, finally finishing college was a huge step towards really taking control of my life and pursuing what I really wanted.
- I moved into an apartment by myself for the first time. Throughout college I always had roommates, so it was my first time getting my own place. I’m the type of person who really loves to be alone, so living with roommates was always a little draining for me. Finally having my own space was another huge step towards increasing my happiness levels. Beyond that, I felt like a real adult. Getting my own apartment in L.A. was, dare I say, actually adultish. 😉
- I got rid of all of my nontoxic beauty products. This was really hard for me, but I did a huge purge and threw away or donated all of my toxic makeup and beauty products. It’s hard to basically throw away money, and I had a lot of makeup and beauty products. I was a total product junkie. That being said, nothing felt better than getting rid of everything and starting with a fresh slate. I made a commitment to myself to only use products that wouldn’t threaten my health, and now that I’ve found such incredible nontoxic, safe products, I will never go back to using the things I used before. I watched my lab markers improve, and I feel much better overall, so it doesn’t feel like I really lost anything. I only gained!
- I got my first full-time job. I worked throughout college and had many different internships, but I never had a full-time job before. I worked as Jordan Younger’s full-time assistant and Director of Partnerships for The Balanced Blonde, and it was the best and only job (in terms of working for anyone other than myself) I would ever want. I learned so much from that experience and owe Jordan the world. It was much more than just a job, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of TBB.
- I completed my Primal Health Coach certification. I had started slyly coaching people while in college without publicizing it, and I became very antsy to start doing it “officially.” While I truly don’t believe anyone needs an official certification to know what they’re doing, I wanted one. The Primal Health Coach program was the perfect fit for me and taught the same principles and values that I believe in. I loved my program, learned a ton, and felt so accomplished when I completed it.
- I officially launched my health coaching business. After completing my certification program, I announced to the world that I was offering health coaching services! This was a huge deal to me, and something I was so incredibly excited about. I have always known that I wanted to do some form of coaching, and my certification put it right at my fingertips. I extended Addicted to Lovely so that my services would be on my site, and I started seeing more clients (many of YOU!).
- I quit my full-time job and decided to focus on building my own business. Quitting my job with Jordan was a huge decision for me and tore me up inside. I felt very overextended. I was giving my all to my job, but I also wanted to give my all to my own passions – my blog, my podcast, health coaching, my Beautycounter business, and school. When I realized how the stress of balancing it all was affecting my own health, I knew I had to make a tough decision. In the end, I decided to take a leap of faith and just go after my own business, even though that meant not having a form of stable income and not even knowing if it would work out. One of many lessons I learned this year, though, is that taking a risk usually leads to to much greater things. It was so worth it.
- I became the sole host of the Actually Adultish podcast, and molded it into exactly what I wanted it to be. Starting the podcast was my idea and was always spearheaded by yours truly, but it moved from having three cohosts, to two, to one. In the end, this was the best thing that could have happened. I’ve been able to interview exactly who I want and ask the questions I want to ask, and it’s connected me with so many incredible people. More than that, I’ve been able to connect with so many listeners and cultivate an incredible community. The podcast is my baby. I am so proud of it and the way it’s grown. It’s all about #realtalk, and it’ll continue to be that way. I’m very lucky to call it my own.
- I started a new podcast, Straight Up Paleo, with my friend Kara. I adore podcasting, so it only made sense to start up a new podcast that could be strictly health/nutrition/fitness/wellness-based. Straight Up Paleo is modeled after a lot of other podcasts Kara and I love, but we aim to be a bit more blunt with our advice, talk about issues that affect a younger demographic (because being 20 is much different than being 50…), ask our guests “the tough” questions that other people skirt around, and share health information in an entertaining way. I am honestly just desperate to put an end to all of the BS health myths running around on social media. Plus, I love having a cohost who also happens to be one of my best friends.
- I published my first ebook, Gratitude: A Healthy Holiday Guide for a Paleo Thanksgiving, with my friend Kayleigh. I have always wanted to write a book, so I guess an ebook is a great way to start! Kayleigh and I wanted to create a resource that would be the ultimate guide to having a healthy holiday season. We made a ton of incredible holiday recipes, but we also really killed it (I know, I’m biased), in the lifestyle content department – but that’s what I think is most important. We talk about family drama, staying mindful, dealing with holiday drinks and treats, optimizing digestion, and so much more. Kayleigh and I worked so hard on this ebook, and we are so very proud of it!
- I published another ebook, #NoSugarNoProblems: A Lovely Collection of Paleo Sweetener-Free Desserts. This is my other baby. I am so so so proud of it. This ebook has 30 paleo, completely sweetener-free desserts, which I think is pretty revolutionary. Obviously that means no sugar, but also no sugar substitutes or high-glycemic foods. No monk fruit, no stevia, no xylitol, no erythritol, no honey, no maple syrup, no bananas, no dates. I’ve personally never seen anything else like it, which was why I was so excited to release it. This was really personal for me because I have had to be sugar-free for almost a year now, but I’ve been on sugar-free, gut-healing diets for the better part of the past three years of my life. I know what it’s like sometimes to just want a damn cookie, but not want to go off of your health protocol. I also know that so many of you are in the same boat as me and have to cut sugar for some reason or another, and I don’t want you to feel limited. There are options in here for almost everyone, including people who are low-carb, keto, diabetic, gluten-free, dairy-free, on a candida diet, on a low-fodmap diet, insulin resistant, or just want to cut their sugar intake. There are cookies, brownies, milkshakes, pies, fat balls, fudge, cake, cupcakes, and much more inside. Creating this felt like a marathon, and it was so worth it.
- I started the NTA program to become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. This was basically the only thing I ever actually wanted to do when it came to education and was always my longterm goal. I WANT TO BE A NUTRITIONAL THERAPY PRACTITIONER. I started the program in September, and it will be over in June. So far, I absolutely love it! I’m learning a lot, have met amazing people, and can’t wait to continue to learn even more.
- I launched my first group program, the Paleo Women Program. 1:1 coaching is truly what makes me happiest, but I really wanted to find a way to reach more women at once and get quality health information out to women who wanted it. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a client’s life and health transform through holistic, natural remedies, and this program was a way to help an entire group of women do just that, with each other’s support. This program is centered around live weekly calls, weekly PDFs, a supportive Facebook group, and constant access to me and other women in the program for questions. We talk about food, fitness, emotional health, body image, balancing hormones, health lies, and so much more. I got incredible feedback from women saying their migraines vanished, acne cleared up, joint pain went away, extra weight melted off, periods came back, sleep improved, and more. It was really rewarding for me to create individual relationships with many of the women and to see how far they came in just 5 weeks. Plus, I know they were shocked at how much information they learned. I think that everything in the program is crucial knowledge for any woman looking to live a healthy lifestyle, and I am really proud of that.
- I removed a lot of toxic people from my life. This meant unfollowing a lot of people on social media, and also ending many real-life relationships. It sounds sad, and it was difficult, but it was necessary. I was afraid to end so many of those relationships, but freeing myself of those ties ended up being the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I learned to choose me and honor what I need to be happy, and I don’t want one-sided friendships in my life.
- I survived on a Candida / food elimination diet for most of the year. I started my protocol this year, and I’m still going strong. My case is more complicated than expected, which has really dragged things out, but I’m proud of myself for persisting and doing what I need to do to ultimately feel my best and take care of myself. I refuse to give up on my health.
- I chopped my hair off. I never thought I would have short hair, but I took the plunge and totally love it. So many of us are emotionally attached to our hair, and I was no different. Cutting my hair felt like freedom to me, and it was a visual representation of the new life I wanted to create for myself. Although, I won’t lie, I might grow it out again.
- I traveled to places I had never been before, and I visited friends I had never met in real life but desperately wanted to. Nowhere too fancy, but I went to Texas, Philly, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego to visit friends, and I’m sure I’ll be doing even more traveling in 2018 as well. I used to hate weekend trips and always avoided going away. Even though it got tiring, it was so worth it. It can definitely get lonely when most of your friends live in different states and cities, and those weekend getaways totally filled up my soul.
This year, I felt like I finally found my place. I found my thing. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I will certainly continue to evolve and grow, but in this moment, I’m on the track I want to be on. I hope that leads to even better things in the future. For the first time in my life, I am utterly and truly happy. Things are not perfect. They will never be perfect – that isn’t realistic. But I feel incredibly grateful for my life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness every day, and I never thought I would ever really feel that way.
The one most important lesson I learned this year, and one that I will take with me into this next year, is to always have faith in yourself. Manifest what you want. Believe it will happen. If you don’t believe it, no one else will. If you believe it and manifest it, it will happen. You can’t get what you want if you don’t ask for it. I don’t care if you think that’s “woo woo,” it’s true. I manifested everything positive that happened to me this year, and it showed me that all I need to find my version of “happiness” is a strong belief in myself.
Let’s talk about 2018. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I really don’t like the whole attitude towards New Year’s resolutions and making big changes just because a new year comes. The truth is that every day is a new day, and every moment is a new moment. There is no point in waiting around to change something. You can change it today. You don’t have to wait until it’s a whole new year!
That being said, there are things I hope to focus on this year, not because it’s a new year, but because they’re just the next things in my life that I want to focus on. And it happens to coincide with the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.
- I’ll finally be launching my new brand, Christina the Channel, very soon. I hope to grow my nutrition business into everything I want, bring on more incredible clients, and help many more people figure out how to live their healthiest, happiest lives.
- I will continue to expand my podcasts, Actually Adultish and Straight Up Paleo. I cannot wait for the guests lined up for both of these podcasts – it only gets better. I really hope that the AA and SUP communities keep growing (join the Facebook groups if you haven’t already!), and I want to make podcasting an even bigger part of my business. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I can’t explain to you how rewarding it is on every level.
- I want to read more books. Not just audio books, but actual books. I want to take the time to slow down, sit down, and just read. I was a bookworm growing up, but I haven’t been that way since high school, when schoolwork took over. Nowadays, I want to make the time to regularly read for pleasure again.
- I want a better nighttime routine. This is something I go in and out of, but I really want to focus on it so that I prioritize my sleep more and give myself a break towards the end of the day. Speaking of which…
- I want to have “normal” hours and allow myself to turn off. I pretty much just work from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep, every day of the week, and right now that’s what I need to do to build my business. I hope, though, that I can start to draw better boundaries and allow myself more of a break when I need it. I would like to have real “weekends” where I don’t work the whole time, and to be able to turn off at 6 or 7 PM so I do have evenings to do what I want.
- I hope to expand my Paleo Women Program, and maybe launch something else. I love programs like this because it allows me to reach more people at once on a more personal level, and there is nothing that makes me happier. The Paleo Women Program was one of my favorite parts of the year because I watched a group of women transform their health, make new friends and connections, and learn a ton about what really makes a lifestyle healthy.
- I will finally get to the bottom of what’s going on with my stomach. It’s been a long time coming, but I know this is the year I will figure things out. Stay tuned.
I do have some secret projects in the works, of course. When do I not? I can’t wait for what this next year will bring. 2017 was a great year, and I know 2018 is going to be even better.
I’d love to hear from YOU. What was the best part of your year? What did you accomplish? What will you focus on this next year to make it even better? Is there anything you’d like to see from me in 2018?