A whole year has flown by, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week or so really wondering what exactly I got accomplished in the last 365(ish) day. I don’t feel different. I don’t look different. Many things in my life have stayed wholly consistent. I often make plans for big change, but seem to fall a little short of the ideas that I have in mind.
The more I sat and thought about, the more I realized that it doesn’t have to be a ton of major changes that make a difference in my life. Little by little, things add up. Small adjustments lead to big changes — even if you can’t see them happening all at once.
But don’t get me wrong- 2014 hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies. For every positive that has happened, it seems like there’s another negative to knock me back down. It’s all about balancing out the two to come out strong in the end, something that I hope to improve on even more in the new year.
To help remind myself of all the little things that happened in 2014, I’ve decided to take a few minutes to highlight fourteen of my most important accomplishments. Some small. Some big. Some not quite finished yet. But in the end, all of these little bits add up to make a pretty good year all around.
Cheers to 2014, and all of the things that I’ve learned along the way.
- Got back into the swing of dance. I started teaching regularly at the beginning of 2014 and haven’t looked back since. Now, I’m up to classes four nights a week. It’s exhausting, but it’s nice to get back to doing something that I really love.
- Launched the Lehigh Valley Ale Trail. What started as just an idea back at the end of 2013 has flourished into a full-blown website, complete with corresponding social media accounts. We’ve also developed a merchandise store and a quarterly e-newsletter that goes out to over 1,200 subscribers.
- Moved (again). It seems that’s a trend for me over the last handful of years, but I am happy to report that I plan on renewing my lease for another year! I never have stayed in one apartment longer than one term, so it will be a treat to not have to do that annual packing of boxes.
- Vacationed with my family and friends. It’s always nice to be able to take some time off and get away for a few days. In the summer, Amanda and I made a weekend trek to Buffalo for some time away. A few weeks later, I joined my family for a few days in Myrtle Beach.
- Bought a new car. Okay, so buying a car might be the most stressful process ever, but it was worth it in the end! I chose the first car I looked at, and have been happily driving it for just over two months now. It’s a nice little upgrade from what I was driving before and it’s exciting to say that it is all mine!
- Came to term with student loans. I know, I know. We knew these existed, but I finally gave myself a big reality check and got to work on them this year. Little by little, I’m chipping away at that final total! Baby steps, right?
- Worked on some writing. This one is still a major work in progress- I’m sure if you’ve been following my sporadic posting you can see that it hasn’t quite been a success yet. As the new year rolls around, I’m going to buckle down and work towards some big goals in the blogging department. I promise, if you stick with me it’ll be worth it in the end!
- Learned about my own work habits. Over the last few months, I’ve been toying around with work environments, trying to figure out what works best for me. Do I work best in public places or in the quiet of my own home? It’s a trial and error process, but once I hit the nail on the head my productivity will really take off.
- Created gym habits. With the opening of the new arena in Allentown also came the addition of a brand-new gym facility. I hit a stride where I was consistently heading to the gym over my lunch hour, and I was feeling really great about myself in the process. As the holidays drew near, I slacked off a bit. After my little mini break from work, I’m going to get back in the swing of it and make these habits more permanent.
- Kicked off my third season with the Precious Metals. We’ve already established that dancing makes me happy, and this is no exception. I love getting to spend time with the girls on the team whether it be at practice or on weekends. Our season starts in April and things are looking great so far!
- Challenged myself in two courses. In September, I took part in the WordPress Writing 101 course. Each day, I was presented with a new blog topic, encouraging me to write every single day for 30 days straight. Let me tell you, that is not as easy as it might sound. I didn’t make it through the full 30 days, but did gain some great feedback in the process. In November, I participated in the beta group of 30 Days of Gutsy, encouraging breaking out of comfort zones and achieving goals. You’ll hear some more about this down the road, but it was definitely a great experience for me!
- Got organized. I’ve always been one for organization, but with everything going on in my life, it was time to take it to a new level. I’ve decided to go old school with a paper planner for 2015, and am loving the impact that it’s had so far. There’s something about a good old pen and paper that makes plans seem very finite.
- Launched my 101 in 1001 list. I published this list on my birthday this year, and have been crossing off some teeny tiny items throughout the year. I’ve got a long way to go still, and I’m hoping to make some big strides in the new year, including more regular updates on the progress that I’ve made over time.
- Found time for me. If nothing else was accomplished over the last year, I was at least able to dig down and learn a bit about myself and how I operate. I’ve learned to accept some things for how they are, and whether or not situations are worth my energy to try to change the outcome. Sometimes it’s better to be the bigger person and walk away, even if it may not seem like the easiest choice in the moment. Little by little, I’m working towards a better me.
See? 2014 was anything but a wash. Stay tuned for a list highlighting the 15 things I’m excited for in 2015. Thanks for sticking with me over the last 365 days, and cheers to another wonderful year!