Multiple times throughout the day, one of us will look up from our laptops, make eye contact with the other and say “Wow. I can’t believe _.” The blank ranges anywhere from an incredible piece of member feedback that blew us away that day, to hitting a milestone like reaching Shine members in 165 countries, to noticing that the snack corner in the office is still fully-stocked (#surreal).

It’s an honor to be a resource to everday people as they navigate the highs and lows of life, and we’re feeling that tenfold as this year comes to a close.

So in honor of a pretty major year for Shine and, hopefully, for you, here are seven things we learned from the community in 2017:

1. Shine is more than a product or a company—it’s a movement.

The Shine community surpassed more than 1 million active members this fall—and spoiler alert, the growth since then has already blown us away. But it’s not just about scale for us, it’s about impact. Every day we learn of members who have used Shine to speak up for that big promotion, to improve a once-rocky relationship, to find life-changing self-acceptance, to get through a tough divorce, to navigate parenting—the list goes on.

Our members aren't waiting for a self-book, a pricey workshop, or some guru to them how to live. They're taking the bull by the horns, and using Shine as their secret weapon along the way.

Our members and the movement they've fueled through sharing and improving Shine represents a new way of living—one rooted in self-acceptance.

2. IRL time matters.

We got facetime with the VIPs in our lives, our amazing members. From a cocktail party toasting to our first year in business to our first Wine & Shine series with Shine Squad members—we got up close and personal and learned a lot about what our members are digging and how we can continue to grow.

If you missed these, we got you. 2018 has much more of this in store.

1 year event

3. People. People. People.

One of our most common “I can’t believe” moments is around the talent and heart of our foundational team. The new team members we added in 2017 possess our most important qualities. They're the go-get-em type who are 50% heart and 50% hustle, critical thinkers who can work autonomously and collaboratively, and above all, they’re good humans.

4. Purposeful rest is key.

Brace yourself for an unforunately wildly-true cliche. Start-up life is hard. (What? We warned you.) But really though, it’s not just the long hours or all that healthy rejection. When you’re working on something you’re passionate about, you’re all in, all the time. To maintain long-term emotional health, we have to press pause here and there. Across our team we got some R&R in where we could, traveling to Italy, Japan, Greece, Hong Kong, Montreal, and even had our first annual Shine Field Day in our hometown of NYC.

5. This is just the beginning.

1 year 2

We started Shine in 2016, with the goal of making daily wellbeing more accessible to everyone.

Our members flocked to the our first product, Shine Text—making sure they started their day with us (70% of Shine members set their delivery time to be before 9am).

But we constantly heard "I want more Shine."

So we went to work creating something that takes the experience of taking care of yourself to the next level. We launched Mindful Moments, our take on meditations (if they were from your BFF), in the Shine app earlier this month.

6. 2017 was tough. On pretty much everyone.

Yep, American's wellbeing is reportedly on the decline for the first time in three years.

And when we surveyed the Shine community, the top words to describe how they felt in 2017 were “tired” and “sad.”

We feel you. Read on.

7. Our members are ready to feel good in 2018.

In response to the last year, we’re upgrading self-care as the #1 resolution we all need to be setting. Taking care of ourselves emotionally is not a “nice to have”—it’s a need to have.

So let’s come into 2018 strong. To help you out, we launched the Feel Good Challenge—making it easier to prioritize the things that make you feel good.

Here’s how it works: for 30 days straight, starting on January 1st, do one thing that makes you feel good. Yep, just one thing. To get started on the challenge, download the Shine App and use our new check-in feature that allows you to track that one thing.

And if you need some extra motivation along the way, re-read the top Shine Texts from 2017.

Thanks for giving us more “I can’t believe” moments than we can count in 2017. Here’s to what’s next in 2018.

Now go and get your Shine On … and Happy New Year.


Read next: Here Are the Top 10 Shine Texts of 2017