2014 Wrap Up

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, it's that time of the year where everyone begins to look back on their year, what they accomplished (or didn't), and what they hope to achieve the following year.  I wouldn't want to throw off everyone else's groove by not doing the same myself :), so here's a look back on how I did on my 2014 goals.  I wrote these out with the intention of having my readers hold me accountable, so here goes some brutal honesty with myself....

You can read the original list here.

  • Enhance my photography knowledge.
      • Well....let's just start this off with a bang and go ahead and admit that I failed miserably in this area - ha!  I probably haven't gotten my camera out more than 5 times all year since we got back from Haiti in April.  Not proud of this fact, I've just has a gazillion other things going on that weren't quite photo-worthy...like doctor's appointments, working 3 jobs, etc.  Here's to hoping next year will be a little better in this area!

  • Improve my overall fitness level.
      • Well, I certainly didn't lose 50 pounds like I had hoped, but that's ok.  When I wrote that original blog post, I had no idea that my incision would open 3 times, or that life would take me on a roller coaster this year.  I can say though, that since starting my new job here at Duke, that I've signed up for a gym membership and am starting to swim again with mom!  I also signed up for Weight Watchers this week, and my Doctor is on board to do what she can to help me lose weight.  I'm just beginning, but I finally feel like I've got a good support system and plan in place to make this a reality.  This goal is top of my list this year, so here's to hoping 2015 will see a 50lb lighter me!

  • Improve my quiet time.
      • This goal I was actually successful with -woohoo!  I'd say I still have more room for improvement, but I got better about making my devotion time a priority, tithing regularly, and found a devotion app I really liked too.  I started reading the Bible chronologically last month too.  It puts the stories I've heard so many times into a timeline which I've really enjoyed.  It's a year-long read through the Bible chronologically, so it will take me into 2015, but that's ok with me!

  • Decrease time on social media.
      • I'd say overall, I've been pretty successful with this goal too.  Between work and things we've had going on at church, I haven't had a ton of time to be on social media, but I have found myself recently not gravitating towards my phone as easily.  This goal is still on my list for 2015, because lets be real we could all still improve in this area, but I can definitely tell a difference from where I was in February, sitting and surfing the web mindlessly, to where I am now - which is checking FB only once or twice a day.

  • Pursue dream of becoming a wedding planner. 
      • This goal completely flopped. Once I began pursuing it, I realized that wedding planning is something that I'd rather do on the side for friends right now than make it a career.  I did find a career this year though - so here's an AMEN to that!

  • Become a better reader.
      • This is the one goal that I surpassed even what I thought I was capable of!  I not only read 2 books, I read almost 6 this year!!!!!!  Whoop, whoop!  Again, I know you readers out there think I'm crazy, but for someone who hated reading just a year ago, this is HUGE!  I'm finally becoming a reader and have even found a favorite author.  I still hate the library (thanks E for getting books for me!), but I'm reading so that's something! Beggars can't be choosers after afterall! Here is a little review of the books I read:
    • "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult: Probably my favorite read this year.  Jodi Picoult did a great job exploring the world of children with Aspergers while creating a suspenseful story that kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page.
    • "Vanishing Acts" by Jodi Picoult:  This one was good too with lots of twists I didn't see coming.
    • "Perfect Match" by Jodi Picoult: Gut wrenching read about the sexual assault of a young boy and the journey of bringing his rapist to justice, but man the book was so good!
    • "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult: I'm still reading this book about the story of a school shooting and so far Jodi Picoult has impressed as always.  I'm sure there is some big twist coming before the ending, but I haven't gotten there yet.
    • "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks: I liked this book, and parts even made me cry, but I found it to be a typical Nicholas Spark's story.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I enjoy the suspense of not knowing what's coming in Jodi Picoult's books versus the expected outcomes of his books.  
    • "Beachcombers" by Nancy Thayer: I couldn't get into this one. I tried but when I still wasn't hooked after chapter 5, I put it down and never went back to it.

  • Become more responsible and aware with my financial planning.
      • This is another area that I surpassed my goals in.  I not only have a great budgeting system in place now, but I even ENJOY doing my budget each month.  I finally get to be stress free over money and can look forward to the next pay check because I am in control now, not the bills!  I've gotten an emergency fund in place this year, almost completely paid off one of my small loans, reimbursed funds that I'd borrowed, bought a new car, organized my ministry finances, and am set up to hopefully pay off two complete school loans in 2015!!!!!  I can't even tell you how good it feels to be in such a place of peace and control when it comes to finances.  If you're struggling with money and haven't tried the Dave Ramsey system yet - go do it NOW!  It works people.  It's not easy, it takes work, dedication, and patience, but it WORKS and it even becomes fun when you get the hang of it!

  • Blog more.
      • I didn't blog nearly as much as I'd hoped this year, but I've been doing pretty good these last couple of weeks, so maybe that counts?  I'm sure all of you readers are rolling your eyes right now :).  I'll get better, just stick with me!

Stay tuned for my 2015 goals.  Here's to hoping that 2015 will be a little less crazy, and a lot more successful in the goals department!

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