Hi. I know it’s been a while, but what better way to come back on the scene than a New Year. And as others have continued to ceremoniously point out, a new decade. I felt like this deserved a blog post. I have been avoiding writing the past year. I should not say that, reality is I have avoided sharing. I currently have 15 blog post drafts saved in my WordPress blog account. I have at least 2 journals full of entries where I make a small entry each day. Some days I go deep and share my feelings to myself and the page. Other days I do good to get out what I am grateful for. But the words and the intense pulling to write have never left.
I would like to say there was some great force holding me back from sharing. Truth be told, it was me. I can come up with some pretty good excuses as to why I have abandoned this but at the end of the day it ultimately boils down to fear, pride / ego, failure to remain consistent, etc. The thoughts run through my mind of such things as: I am afraid my words won’t be received the way I think they should. Or that I am sharing too much of my life. Or that someone will tell me off. Or that what I have to share has already been shared. In reality all of those things are probably real things that can and will happen. But I am tired of allowing the crippling thoughts of what I impose on myself of what I think others think of me to inhibit sharing my own creative voice with the world. Because at the end of the day, what this past year has taught me is that it’s not about me.
Now to get to my review of 2019. I will apologize now for not including some pictures to accompany some of the bits I share, at this point I am trying to just act on sharing versus having it “perfect” before I share. Moving on….
I recently read the NY Times best selling book by James Clear entitled “Atomic Habits.” I highly encourage every person to read it. There is zero incentive received for me to say that. But there is a reason it has sold over a million copies. I also subscribe to his weekly email newsletter and he recently sent out his 2019 year in review. I am going to formulate mine based on the same questions he answered. Here it goes…
- What went well this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- What did I learn?
- What went well this year?
- 2019 was a year of personal growth for me & literally shedding things that have weighed me down for years, from finances to pounds / inches to removing mental weights I carried for far too long. I will write more on this later.
- In June 2019, my husband and I accomplished our goal of getting out of debt (except our mortgage). We started in the Fall of 2017 and 21 months later we paid off a total of $54,656.18. The bulk of that was my student loans. We used the Dave Ramsey 7 baby steps program / snow ball method to accomplish this. I am not going to say it was easy. But it was a journey that taught me so much about myself it kind of scared me.
- July 2019 marked 10 years since I re-dedicated my life to God. God has done so many wonderful things for me, but it has always weighed on me heavy about being re-baptized. In August 2019, I was re- baptized by my Dad in Jesus name. I was baptized as a child in the name of Jesus, but I have done a lot of living since then. After I was re-baptized, I felt this weight lifted off of me that I had carried for far too long. This was the beginning of me slowly breaking from a false pretense of who I had thought I was and had lived in for far too long. It was a beautiful intimate moment I shared with just my immediate family.
- Around 2013 I got really tired of yo – yo dieting and trying every new thing to hit the market. I was tired of always chasing something I could never catch up to and I wanted to focus on my health. I started following a Paleo way of eating (WOE). I have talked about my life long struggle with weight previously, but eating Paleo was what I found made me feel the best. I did a few rounds of Whole 30 and the other times I tried to maintain a Paleo WOE about 80% of the time. After I got married in 2016 I started having issues with my blood sugar spiking then just bottoming out on me. I started trying to adjust my diet / carb intake accordingly to avoid the awful feeling of blood sugars taking a life of their own. I did not really pay attention to the scale or much of anything else. In February of 2018 I went to the doctor, got weighed and found I weighed more than my husband, coming in around 205. I knew something had to change. I started to hone in on my eating and graduated into a more Keto lifestyle of limiting my carbs. I made a lot of mistakes but I knew I did not want a fast weight loss, I wanted something I could adapt as my WOE for life. I am still learning but am happy to say that I am now down in the 170’s (give or take a few pounds depending on the day), have lost more than 10 inches all over and have managed to keep it off. I still have health goals I want to accomplish but I refuse to do it an unhealthy or “fast” way. Keto has been the perfect marriage of sorts for me. I never feel deprived or as though I am missing out. I have learned to Keto-fy almost every dish. As a side note, I know there is a lot of info out there on Keto / low carb & I am sure many view it as a fad diet. But for me, it is not a fad diet but eating this way is how I feel my best. There are a lot of wrong ways to do Keto (which I have probably done) and a lot of right ways. For me I focus on eating whole real foods, no grains, limited to no dairy and also incorporate intermittent fasting. I no longer have issues with my blood sugar going all over the place, it has helped to decrease inflammation and provide me with a mental clarity. There are a ton of excellent resources out there. I highly recommend the book “Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung. Anything by Marie Emmerich is good.
2. What didn’t go well this year?
- Turns out saving money for me is hard. Following the Dave Ramsey baby steps and completing baby step #2 of paying off all non-mortgage debt, the 3rd step is saving 3 – 6 months in expenses. While we have had quite a few major expenses since getting out of debt (Im looking at you 2006 Honda Accord), it has almost been harder for me to save then it was to pay off debt. It is so easy to justify certain expenses that really are not emergent. Thankfully the new year has renewed a sense of urgency and if all continues as planned we should have our savings goals completed by the end of April.
- Committed to too many things – this is a life long struggle for me. Saying “No” to people is really hard for me especially when they have great reasons why I should not. But as I get older I want to focus on one thing and do it well. Not 20 things and fail miserably. I am trying to get better at this.
- Lack of consistency – my blog is obviously a testament to that. Educating myself and reading has helped me to hone in on habits that are causing this & I am continuously working on improving myself, albeit feels so slow most days.
- Doing a lot of talking but not a lot of doing – this blends in with point above and relates to some areas of my life, not all. More particularly my writing.
- Not believing in myself. Through listening to different podcasts / reading / etc. I realize I have had a really bad inner dialogue with myself for years. This is a slow process with multiple layers but I am surrounded by people who really do love me & have helped me to change how I view myself.
3. What did I learn?
- To let go of perfection and embrace vulnerability, even if somedays it makes me look like a crazed lunatic. I read several books by Brene Brown, which I highly recommend, but her work spoke so deeply to me and has helped me to process a LOT.
- Not allowing how others treat me to dictate my own perception of who I am or my self worth. Many times people treat you the way they do not because of you but because of how they view themselves / how they were raised or even what they have heard about you from others but not necessarily learned themselves. Just got to let it go.
- God often has many more lessons in what He is taking me through then what I want for Him to take me out of.
- Life changes are hard, it’s always ok to begin again. Give yourself grace through these changes even if it takes a few years to adjust.
- Teaching a class helps you to learn more, motivates you to keep it together & stick to the plan. I taught my first Financial Peace University class in the Fall 2019. I enjoyed it so much, I am leading another class this Spring. It is a joy to watch people’s mindsets towards finances change in the way it did for me.
- I really enjoy baking, trying new recipes & sharing my love to others through baking & cooking. I love to make keto treats & non keto treats. I definitely got this trait from my mother. We make a pretty good Carrot Cake if I say so myself.
- Eye & face masks & all sorts of other lotions and potions for my face are giving me new life. As I type this I have eye masks on. I have done more to educate myself on my skin than any other previous year. Perhaps the closer I inch to my 40th birthday the more I become concerned with things like retinol, vitamin c, collagen, wishing I had paid more attention in biology classes to all things that happen at a cellular level because now my face is depending on that.
What about you? What was your year end review?