Twenty Eighteen: Year In Review

December 31, 2018

Twenty Eighteen: Year In Review

Welcome back!

            It’s been awhile, so have you missed me?  Probably not.  Much has happened since the last time I posted and I plan to do a life update post soon, but not in this post.  I hope your holidays were as wonderful and tasty as mine.  I’ve been on Christmas break for almost two weeks now and this is the first time I’ve gotten to sit down and work on some projects I promised myself I would get done during Christmas break (weird how that always happens...) Alas, that did not go as planned but no worries because here I am now, finally accomplishing some things and writing a new post.

            As you may have noticed, another year is in the books (is it just me or did it go by extra fast this year?)  I really enjoy writing these year end review type of posts, so that’s what I’m going to do today.  Hopefully this won’t get too lengthy, so my apologies in advance.  Enough being said, here’s how 2018 went for me:

            For the first time, this year I made a list of New Year’s resolutions.  Normally I don’t do this, mostly because I don’t want to fail them (I’m that kind of person.)  But this year I tried it out so I wanted to share some of them with you and talk about how I either failed or succeeded at them.

  • ·         Wake up early
  • ·         Eat Healthy
  • ·         Exercise more
  • ·         Read the Bible everyday
  • ·         Start a journal
  • ·         Be organized
  • ·         Read at least 15 books
  • ·         Spend less time on devices
  • ·         Be more positive

Waking up early
            When you’re homeschooled, waking up in the mornings isn’t so easy.  I could sleep until noon if I absolutely wanted to.  In fact, I used to do that and it actually made me really unhappy because I would wake up and the day would be halfway over.  So this year, I made it a goal to wake up early/have a good sleeping routine.  I think it’s safe to say I succeed at this goal because I have a much better sleep routine and it’s made me so much happier because my days are so much more fulfilling, versus sleeping through half of it. 

Eating healthy
            I’ve never technically been a “bad” eater.  My mom was never the mom at the grocery store with a cart full of junk food with packs of energy drinks hanging over the sides.  But I still wanted to do better this year and I actually ended up giving up all red meat (pork and beef.)  Not only for environmental reasons, but because I never liked eating those foods in the first place.  I would eat them if they were put in front of me, but this year I completely gave it up and I’ve never been such a happy eater in my life.  I like to call myself a “partial-vegetarian” and someday I hope to cut out all meat completely.  I’m extremely happy with the progress of my diet this year and I hope I can continue good eating habits in 2019.

Exercising more
            Okay so I already did a post on my fitness story (you can read that post here), but I’m really proud of myself for being a lot more active this year than I was before.  I started to enjoy going on walks, bike riding, and other outdoor sports I never thought I would actually like.  Fitness has become an activity I like now and I feel so good after a workout.  I would also like to point out that I’m not working out to gain or lose weight; or maintain a certain body image.  In my opinion, fitness and exercise should be about staying healthy in general and not trying to make yourself look a certain way.  I’m definitely proud of the progress I’ve made this year, and although anyone can look at me and not notice a difference, I can clearly see the progress I’ve made since I started exercising and that’s what matters to me.  For those interested, I plan on doing a workout routine post sometime; however, I like to change my routine up from time to time so I don’t get tired of doing the same workouts.  In other words, I don’t have a “consistent" routine I stay with for a long time.  Overall, I’m super happy with the progress I’ve made and I hope to be even more active in 2019!

Reading the Bible everyday
            This is also an area in my life where I’ve made some big changes this year.  To give you a short summary of my religious background, I was baptized when I was 9 (I think) at a church I had been going to for a while, but no longer attend.  Since then, my relationship with God has been through some rough patches over the years; and until this year, I was not in a very good place with God.  However, after many years of soul searching and church hunting (which is not easy), this year I finally found a church where I feel as if I belong and going there has really helped me deepen my relationship with God.  I have not read the Bible every day as I said I would, but I have been reading it a lot more frequently and my faith has become so much stronger this year.  There are still times when it gets hard, but I’m in a better place with God than I ever was so getting through rough patches is much easier now that I have a strong relationship with God.

Starting a journal
            This is where I begin to fail.  I’ve journaled off and on for years, but I’ve never kept up with it as I keep saying I will.  I started out strong this year, but unfortunately I never made it to the end of January (I know, so far.)  At this point I can probably conclude that journaling just isn’t my thing at all.  However, I did start something else this year.  Every day of 2018 (minus only a few days) I wrote down something on a piece of paper, folded it up, and put it in a Kleenex box.  On the paper I wrote down something good that happened that day.  Some days it was just little things, but even if it was a bad day I still had to write something down.  I haven’t looked back at any of them yet so I’m excited to go through and read them at the end of the year.  For this new year, I plan to do the same thing but instead of writing them on slips of paper, I got a gratitude journal for Christmas so I’ll be using that to write things down in there instead of the slips of paper.  I would highly encourage you to do this too because it helps you to see the good in even bad days or situations.  Doing this has helped me realize there is always something to be grateful for even if it’s just being alive. 

Be Organized
            I have always been a very organized person.  Physically and mentally.  For the most part, my room stays clean and uncluttered.  This year, I also stared using a weekly planner to write things down in.  Needless to say, it has helped me a lot and now I have an obsession with planners.  Not that I couldn’t remember things before; however, writing things down helped me a lot to have a plan for each day as well as remember school assignments and such.

Read at least 15 books
            I wanted to read this year more than I have the past few years.  Recently I’ve had trouble focusing during reading which had caused me not to read as much as I used to.  This year I really wanted to make it a goal to try to read more, which I did; however, I don’t think I reached my goal of 15 books.  I did read a lot more than I did last year though and I’m pretty happy about that.  I’ve recently been hooked on Sarah Dessen’s books (so cheesy but they make good easy reads.)  I hope to continue reading more in 2019 because it’s such a good hobby to have and I’ve learned a lot from books.  There’s nothing like the feeling of settling down to read a good book (and getting mad when your favorite character dies.  Book nerds can relate.) 

Spend less time on devices
            I, along with millions of other people on this earth, am guilty of spending too much time on my devices.  I don’t know about you, but this is something that annoys me because it can be a difficult habit to control.  These days it seems harder and harder to put down your phone and live in the real world.  What do we do when we’re bored?  Check social media.  What do we do when we need to speak to someone?  Text them.  What do we do when we look good?  Take selfies on our phone.  What do we do when…okay you get the point.  I tried hard this year to keep some distance between me and my phone and I have to say, I’ve done pretty well but not as well as I would have wished.  I could be better about putting down my phone and finding more productive things to do with my time.  So this year, I’m making it a priority to decrease the time I spend on a screen.  And I’d like to challenge everyone to this as well.  Make it a point to be present and in the moment because sometimes we miss things happening in the real world when we’re too concerned about what’s happening in our digital world.

Be more positive 
            This is probably the hardest and easiest goal of the whole year.  It was hard for me because I struggle with staying positive.  I’m not the kind of person that’s happy all the time.  There’s times where I’m depressed and it’s hard to even get out of bed and face the day.  However, those moments did not happen as frequently this year and it’s probably the biggest change I’ve made all year.  Looking back at how I got to where I am now, it all has to do with lifestyle choices.  Primarily the things I’ve listed above, along with a few other things which I want to talk about briefly.

This year I cut out all negative influences in my life and people who were not making a positive impact on me and my life.  Instead of investing in these unhealthy relationships, I chose to invest in relationships with people who are positive influences on my life and that’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I can legitimately say I’ve been genuinely happy this year and probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time. 

2018 has been the year of healing and moving on.  I moved on from things I was doing and going through that were not healthy.  Was it easy?  Definitely not.  There were times when it got super hard, but I knew in the end it would and will be worth it.  Healing is a process.  I’m still in that process, taking things day by day and some days are harder than others.  I know to some people it won’t seem like much, but to me I can see every small change making a big difference in my life.  I know I have changed in the best ways possible and those changes are helping me live a life I didn’t even know was possible.  And that was the best part of this year.

This year has been one of the best ones yet!  Thank you if you’re still here reading this…your support means the world to me!  I’m extremely grateful to be sharing my journey of life with you (for almost 2 years!)  I hope that God has blessed you as much as He has blessed me this year, and I pray that 2019 will bring joy and happiness into your life and that you will have a wonderful new year!

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