2019 In Review
My Biggest Accomplishments
Running a Half Marathon and Getting Myself into Better Shape
I may arguably be in the best shape of my life right now thanks to deciding late in 2018 that I wanted to run a half-marathon in 2019. It was a goal that, at the time, seemed almost impossible and I’m really proud to say that I was able to push through and make it happen. I learned a lot about myself as I struggled through physical setbacks, early mornings, and freezing temperatures on my way from the couch to 13.1 miles in 2 hours flat. I’ve managed to keep running (albeit not nearly as far) for the remainder of the year and even won 1st place in my age group in a 5k this fall. I also lost 40 lbs during the process and have managed to keep almost all of it off. I learned 2 big lessons on this journey: running and exercise are really important to me, and I should always trust the process. Sticking to a plan was the only way I was ever going to achieve my goal and many days when I wanted nothing to do with running I did it anyway because that’s what the plan called for.
Making Reading a Priority
I did not set out to read X number of books or anything like that this year but I did make the conscious decision to focus more on books and less on other forms of media (including internet articles). In the end I read about 26 books this year which is a big jump from my usual number. I also chose to read more non-fiction and literature with a focus on stoic philosophy and mindfulness. See all the books I read this year here.
Being More Honest with Myself
2019 was a year that I tried to put my finger on why I was feeling so “blah” for so long. Feeling like each day was blending into the next, like I was living every day just to make it through to the next. I was feeling like I was living someone else’s life, or at the very least, not living true to myself. This introspection led me to the realization that maybe I didn’t really know who I even was. Had I made all my decisions leading up until now based on what I really wanted or was it all because it’s what I thought I was “supposed” to be doing? I realized that I hadn’t really been living intentionally. I hadn’t always listened to or trusted my own heart and that “blah” feeling was the result. I was living my life as a series of reactions to the events and people around me and was constantly just searching for protection from discomfort. Coming to this realization was very freeing in many ways. I realized that there were things that were within my control that I could work on in order to start moving in a direction that I could be happy and fulfilled. Although I wouldn’t say that my life has gotten easier as a result of this new outlook, I can say for sure that I have more frequently felt at peace, in control, sure of myself, and more present than I have in a very long time.
2020 and Beyond
My biggest goal for 2020 is to live much more intentionally as a whole. I want to find a balance where I can feel in control of the things that are within my power to control while letting go of those things outside of my control. I want to seek wholeness and fulfillment in my personal life, work life, and relationships. In order to achieve this I’ve been thinking a lot about routine and processes that I can build into my life that, when followed with discipline, would lead to more intentionality and happiness. The goal of these processes is multi-tiered:
- Limit non-essential decisions (a daily exercise routine, eating the same things for breakfast and lunch, etc.)
- Cultivate focus (When I sit down to do any type of work, I want to get more done in less time)
- Allow more time for leisure (creating focus should allow me to get more done which will lead to more time for relationships, hobbies, etc.)
- Cultivate retrospection and growth and allow for evolution as things in my life change.
- Get things out of my head so that I can slow down and be more present at all times.
- Find balance between mind, body, and spirit.
- Asking “Why?” more frequently