The Year of Balance: My 2019 Year in Review
Every single year, my type-A, overly organized, and slightly goal-obsessive self does a year in review. Although I have done these for years, I have yet to share one publically.
They’ve always been private to me, as it includes both my successes, as well as my failures, two things I prefer to keep between myself and a few people.
That said, this year I decided I wanted to upload my 2019 year in review to my blog. I figured that some of you might find it interesting, and might even want to do one yourself.
I find that it’s helpful in keeping me accountable for my work, my goals, and even in my extracurriculars. So chatter aside here is my 2019 year in review.
Table of Context
- Life Lessons of 2019
- Favorite Reads in 2019
- Things I’m looking forward to in 2020
- Moved back to DC
- Launched Freckle
- Explored NYC quite a bit
- Spent quality time with friends
- Healed my stomach
- Enjoyed Lake Winnipesaukee with my family
- Brought Nick to the lake for the first time! <big deal>
- Learned to limit social media usage
- Got more into sustainability
- Grew more intentional with my friendships
While there were many successes both personally and professionally this year, there were also some pretty big failures. And as the wise Albert Einstein reminds me constantly, “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.”
In 2019, I failed to:
- Finish three books that I have started to write.
- Meditate consistently.
- Take breaks from work.
- Manage money in the way I wanted.
- Keep up with many of my long-distance friendships.
- Launch my Youtube channel.
- Set clear priorities for myself.
- Fight feeling like an imposter.
- Launched Freckle Studio.
- Completely overhauled Ezer Magazine.
- Wrote hundreds of blog posts.
- Stayed in shape despite various health-related obstacles.
- Put my health first and placed everything after it.
- Became increasingly more mindful of every decision, action, and thing that I do.
- Limited my waste.
- Received a diagnosis for a stomach disease that I’ve been fighting my whole life.
- Read 52 books.
- Incorporated meditation into my life, even if it was not as consistent as I would have hoped.
- Stopped shopping at Fast Fashion brands completely.
- Increased productivity.
- Worked smarter, and less.
- Exercised regularly, got into spin.
- Came to an understanding of what I want in life right now.
Life Lessons of 2019
#oof, I feel like I learned a lot in 2019. Partially due to the many ups and downs, and partially due to the fact that twenty-four is a pretty pivotal age.
Here is what I learned in 2019.
Over everything else, I learned to have moderation and balance in my life. My whole life I’ve used the excuse “I have an extreme personality. I’m all or nothing, hot or cold, up or down,” and in 2019 I stopped. I started incorporating routine back into my life, I developed a healthy relationship with exercise, and I learned how to work in moderation. I prioritized people, family, friends, and even my own body and self-care over the pursuit of success, and learned what it means to live in the present. 2019 was the year of balance for me.
Questions > answers. One of the biggest things I focused on in 2019, was asking more questions and giving fewer answers. We live in an overly opinionated age, where people have personal platforms to display said opinions whenever they want. The more questions I asked this past year, the more I forced myself to become more adaptable, inquisitive, and curious I became, while at the same time becoming more decisive.
Stop trying to do everything. Pretty self-explanatory.
At the end of the day, people are selfish beings. One of the greatest strengths I have learned is how important it is to make others look good. In my line of work, the better I can make a client look, the happier they are with me. Make people look and feel good.
You must define success for yourself. In 2019, I spent a lot of time figuring out what living a successful life looks like for me personally. It took asking myself, “Why do I do this?” in regards to a lot of things in order to realize what really matters.
The power of attraction. I’ve spent my life chasing things, dreams, hopes, places, people, and even jobs. In 2019, I learned that you attract the things you emulate. I learned that the more attractive you become (not physically, but skill-wise), the more likely people are going to approach you. I learned how important your internet footprint is, and how this can help you land jobs that you have only dreamt of before.
The power of a walk. In 2019, I learned what it felt to be lost. I also learned that after hearing my mother tell me to “go for a walk” when my mind is crowded for years — she’s very much right. There is power in being in nature, and power in cleansing your mind. Which leads me to my next lesson —
The importance of cleansing your mind. Whether this looks like meditation to you, steady breathing, HIIT workouts, or long walks, there is such importance in riding your mind of all the things that take up rent. I learned that not only do I need to cleanse my mind of excessive doubts, and obsessive self-actualization, but also of too many ideas. I learned to write things out, and get them out.
You observe what you obsess over. If you are always looking for a yellow car, you’re always going to see the yellow car. Be careful about what you allow to become your focus. Look for more of the good, the opportunities, the goals.
The power of gratitude. YEESH. I learned this one the hard way in 2019. Learning to be grateful for the small things, on the insignificant days really brought me through 2019. Gratitude got me through sickness, through health, and back through sickness. It helped realign my thinking and increased my self-awareness.
Stop complaining. We live in a society that thrives off of complaints. Whether its simply about the weather, or how “busy” they are, it’s constant. Don’t become part of this crowd. People will see such a difference in you if you stop complaining about the same old things.
Just do it. Sounds silly, but most of your life is dedicated to dreaming. Which is great, except its easy to be a dreamer and not a doer. Start working on your goals, instead of just talking about them all the time. You’ll be blown away at what you can accomplish when you simply make the first move.
You will make mistakes and life will go on.
Always keep learning. The most important and most romantic lesson on this list. Never stop reading. Never stop listening. Never stop conversing. It’s what keeps us going.
Favorite Reads in 2019
- Changes That Heal by Dr. Henry Mcloud
- A Man Named Ove by Fredrik Backman
- Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workspace by Marissa Orr
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
- Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human by Judah Smith
- The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Astonishing Dialogue Taking Place in Our Bodies Impacts Health, Weight, and Mood by Emeran Mayer
Bonus recommendation: Also, if you follow me because of wanting to get into the writing world, or simply because you also enjoy writing, I advise you to read Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I’ve read this multiple times and it’s great for writers or wannabe writers.
Things I’m looking forward to in 2020
- Lots and lots of weddings! So many close friends and family members are getting married in 2020.
- Turning 25 (what the actual #$^#@)
- Getting my certification to become a holistic nutritionist
- Traveling to new places
- Possibly moving again, maybe to NYC. Who knows!
- Growing Freckle Studio/making new hires
- More bylines! Better pitches!
- Increase my conversational French
- Launching a very exciting project that I’ve been working on for a while. (TBA – probably February)
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my 2019 year in review. I hope it shared a little bit of insight into what real-life looks like for me outside of this blog, and my social media accounts.
2019 was a year of great strides, but also a year of great failures. My health was up and down, my work ebbed and flowed, and I felt more emotions in 2019 than in any other year.
Thanks for keeping up with me in 2019, I look forward to 2020 with you!
“A goal is a dream with a deadline” – Napolean Hill
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