It’s 5 PM on January 1st, which means it has been 17 hours since the enormous, glittering sphere dropped in Times Square, the champagne was showered, and the love birds kissed 2015 goodbye.

2016 came in quietly for this girl. And by quietly I mean curled up alone in my queen-sized bed, half-asleep, watching Leap Year to celebrate the next 366 days ahead. (In my defense, the celebrations over the past few days in Nashville had me run a little ragged. According to my fitbit I slept for almost 12 full hours – and I don’t regret a single minute of it.)

While 2016 may have come in quietly in a literal sense, it didn’t come in quietly in my mind. In the days leading up to December 31st, I couldn’t help but reflect upon 2015 and the ways my life changed in the course of a year. As 2014 came to a close, I shared my resolutions from the year – and how I did with them.  I kept a few of them going into the past year, but as I turn the page on a huge chapter in my life, I think it’s time for some new resolutions as well.

2015 was the year of adventures and mishaps. The year of heartbreak and finding myself. The year of 21. The year of gaining a second sisterhood. The year of graduating college and landing my first big girl job. The year I took the leap in following my dreams and standing on my own. The year of nothing I expected, and everything I needed.

2016 marks my first year that I will not be heading back to classes right away, as I make the decision on what exactly I want to become a master of and move in the direction of continuing my education. The year I start that “big girl job” (Monday morning at 9 am, might I add). The year of starting out on my own, and living on my own once again. The year I will become a resident of the great commonwealth of Kentucky.

In honor of the 16th year of the millennium, here’s my 16 resolutions:

  1. Work to let go of the things I can’t change, shrugging off unnecessary stress. 
  2. Stick to a yoga routine to help out with #1. 
  3. Make a conscious effort to disconnect from technology more in order to reconnect more with the world around me. 
  4. Be more open with my feelings, good and bad. 
  5. Send more handwritten letters, or even just little notes.
  6. Volunteer time at an organization that incites my passion. 
  7. Ditch the diet – and just work on forming healthier habits. 
  8. Spend more time exploring and less time netflixing in bed. 
  9. Start making my own doctor’s appointments. (I promise it’s a work in progress, Mom). 
  10. Say “Why the hell not?” and take more risks. I’m only young once, right?
  11. Finally make it to Red River Gorge, and anywhere else that will make me feel small in comparison. 
  12. Stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault. 
  13. Learn to accept that I will not always understand God’s timing 
  14. Continue to chase my dreams of being a writer. 
  15. Give more hugs and more compliments. 
  16. Continue to push the boundaries of my comfort zone – they’re a great place and all, but nothing ever grows there. 

Some people think that New Years resolutions are overrated, and to them I’d just smile and say, “To each their own.” As for me? I believe in beginnings. I believe in the magic of a fresh slate.

But most of all? I believe that 2016 has nothing but potential.