2017: The Year of Change

2017: The Year of Change

I think we can all agree that 2017 was a super uncomfortable year (though not as rough as 2014, 2015, or 2016).

When you feel uncomfortable, try to think about how that translates into personal growth. I’ll go first.

2017 Highlights:

  1. Organized the V-Day campaign for Las Vegas

  2. Filmed my 30-Day Grief Healing Challenge video series

  3. Published my first book, Good Grief: iHeal because iFeel

  4. Launched my new website at rachelvankoughnet.com

  5. Relocated from Las Vegas to Wenatchee Washington

  6. Reconciled years long, as well as decades long, estrangements with friends and parents through love and forgiveness.

Oh. No wonder I was so uncomfortable. I’ve grown leaps and bounds this past year.

My word for 2017 was FEARLESS and my resolution was to take note of all the times that I felt fearless. For someone with complex PTSD who struggles with that old fight, flight, or freeze response—I found myself thinking about fear, and feeling fear, often. Too often. I was sick of it.

Did you know they used to call me Daredevil?

Where did that Rachel even go? Am I ever fearless?

Yes. Every single day. In 2017 I learned that if it’s not even a little bit scary, I don’t really want to do it. I am fearless. When I have fear, I do it anyway because I am brave.

Do I still have an exaggerated startle response?

Yes, you can see it all over my face, don’t sneak up on me or I will startle you with how startled I am. Or go ahead and try to startle me, and watch how quickly my hands turn to fists. I am always ready to fight for my life.

Did you hear that?


Welcome 2018! I am ready for more discomfort. I am ready for more change. I am ready for more grief and healing. Mostly, I am ready for more FUN.

That’s my new word for 2018: fun. And my resolution is to have more of it. My intention is to take every opportunity to have fun, to make things fun and to say no to things that are definitely not fun. To me, this is the logical next step in unearthing Daredevil Rachel, the girl who did things bravely because they were fun.

This will be huge for Fearless Rachel, constantly looking for scary stuff to do—like damn, Rachel, I hope you have some FUN doing all that scary shit in 2018!

That’s the plan.

More laughter! More celebrating! More silliness! More of the things that light me up.

Like what?

I’ll give you one example: deep inside my soul, I miss singing with the chorus; something I loved doing from sixth grade through college. I felt the stir inside of me many times, calling to me:


I want to be a part of making beautiful music again.

When I moved to Wenatchee, I decided to pick it back up again and I will be attending my first chorus rehearsal in 15 years this Monday. I’m so excited!

And I really want to know what is going on with my readers.

Please leave a comment below if you want to share the results of your 2017 New Year’s resolution and/or your resolution for 2018. I would LOVE to hear from you!



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