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2017: The Year of Control. 

When I hear the word control, it follows with some sort of negative connotation. Usually, I imagine someone else doing the controlling, not me. Why is that, you ask? I think the foundation of where it stems from is that I’ve always gone with the flow of those around me. It’s not that others have had total control in my decisions/life, but that I’ve sort of sat on the sidelines and let things happen to me. What I should have been doing is taking life by the reigns and actually controlling it myself. When I look back at that reasoning, there really isn’t anything too negative about it, so I had to ask myself – why I felt control was such a ‘bad’ word?

Sidelines = no bueno

That’s when I realized that my true personality and characteristics are not that of a ‘sit on the sidelines’ type of person. For those that know me are probably thinking, “No shit, Tracey. Why did it take you so long to figure that out?”. I believe that I find the word ‘control’ to be negative because I’ve never taken advantage of it in a way that aligns with who I am as a person. And that’s why my New Year’s Resolution is about taking control of my own life, in every aspect that I can.

Because a person’s life is like a million different things rolled into one, I think it’s best to categorize just a few things that I plan on controlling this year. You can thank me later for not blabbering on. Trust me, you don’t want to know every detail of how my 2017 will hopefully go. 


I’ve been out of college for almost 3 years now (WUT?), and the first year and a half I had settled in my career (BIG TIME). I had a job that paid decent money and was incredibly easy. And because of that, I wasn’t getting any sort of experience to help me advance as a young professional –  plus, I absolutely hated it. But, I didn’t care because it worked at the time.

The problem is, if I wasn’t learning anything and if I didn’t like it, then why did I stay? I honestly questioned it a lot and I came to the conclusion that it was mainly because I was scared to take any risks.

Fast forward a bit and I was ready for more. I knew I needed more marketing and writing experience – so I made the leap to join the Quad Cities Marathon as their Marketing Chair and Charity Bib Program Coordinator, got a job at a local marketing/production company and started this blog.

In 2016 I realized what I needed to be happy and satisfied with my career, and I made it happen. 2017 is about taking these opportunities and making the best of ’em. To be extremely honest, my final goal is to be able to work remotely one day. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to accomplish that quite yet, but my plan is to control the opportunities by staying proactive, positive and always on the lookout for ways to gain the necessary knowledge in my field.


Travel is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do, but never made it a priority. I could easily come up with 10 excuses as to why I didn’t, but I don’t think it’s fair to blame anyone or anything for my decisions, or lack there of. In 2015 I realized there was a void in my life because I was always yearning to see different places and experience different cultures (whether that’s within the US or internationally). I was constantly frustrated because I wanted to go somewhere, do something, but I couldn’t get someone to go with me.

That’s when in 2016 I decided I didn’t care – I was going to go where I wanted, when I wanted, regardless if someone came with me or not. (Thankfully) My besties were bitten by the travel bug this year as well, and we went on some amazing trips: Jamaica, Florida, New York City and San Francisco. This year I already have plans to travel to Las Vegas, Boston and Oregon – and then one single trip. I think having a solo travel experience will teach me a lot about myself; how I handle solitude, new experiences and how to immerse myself in a place where I don’t know anyone or anything. I vow to control my expenses so that I can make this happen, because if I do, it’ll be so much more than a fun trip, it will be life changing!


Love can mean a lot of things; it can relate to family, friends, significant others and most importantly, it refers to oneself. My goal this year is to find the purest love in all of these.

  • I am going to put family first and choose them over everything
  • My friends will be loved as if they were my family (not like I don’t already love them that way, but now they’re going to feel suffocated with it, hehe)
  • I am going to put myself out there and make confident decisions in the men I meet and decide to pursue.
  • Lastly, I am going to work on controlling my mind to start obsessing about the things I love about myself instead of dislike. I will continue to improve my love for myself, in every aspect.


Just like love, one’s health can refer to a lot of things and I want to make sure I take care of all three…mental/emotional and physical.


  • I will try to “control” my anxiety by working on breathing exercises and going to therapy as needed
  • Focus on the things I can control and accept the things I cannot
  • Stay organized
  • Take ‘breaks’ when I start to feel overwhelmed from life
  • Constantly advocate for myself and be my #1 supporter


  • Continue with the vegetarian diet, but become better at meal planning to make sure I am getting the right nutrients and the right amount
  • Work on my yoga practice – including medidation (this is just as much for mental health as physical) at home and in hot yoga classes. I need to choose to make this a priority!
  • Train for another half marathon and my first triathlon by making a schedule and holding myself accountable

Serenity, yup.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that control is all about figuring out what you want, and doing the necessary things to make them happen. The hardest part about control is accepting that you aren’t always going to have it and sometimes things are not going to happen the way you want them to. With that being said, I believe the strongest power to life is being able to truly live by the serenity prayer…

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

I may not be religious, but I do know that the serenity prayer, if followed and practiced correctly, will provide me with the power to find the happiness, balance and control that I need in my life. I’m going to end this post with a challenge: I challenge you to choose a New Year’s Resolution that is more meaningful than losing 5lbs, eating healthy, finding your true love. Choose a resolution that will change your life to its core. Trust me, that’s going to be 10x more fulfilling than skipping that extra side of quest fundido and guacamole.

Cheers to the best year yet…or to a better year than 2016…..
Which shouldn’t be too hard, so at least there’s that!!

Peace. Love. Control. 

Xo. The Welcome Woman


Side note: I promise this is not a biased comment, but you HAVE to check out the Quad Cities Marathon, it’s the best road race in the midwest! The event has a race for everyone: kids micromarathon, 5k, half marathon, mararthon and a relay race. Plus, it has the best after party – all the free beer, bagels, fruit and mac and cheese you can eat! 

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