Reflecting Back on 2019

In case you haven’t already been told, it’s officially the end of decade!  Where does the time go?  Admittedly, New Years is not my favourite holiday.  It feels like a day of forced fun with high expectations to do something “memorable” and resolutions that are made and kept only till February 1.  I prefer to spend New Years reflecting on the past year and what I’ve learned. Instead of making resolutions, I set some simple intentions for the year.  So, if you’re still reading, here are some of my lessons learned from this past year and some intentions I’m setting for 2020.

Lessons Learned

It’s the end of a decade, not the end of your story.  I don’t know about you guys but all these “end of the decade, make it count” posts are the worst.  Yes, it’s the end of a decade but not the end of the world.  Didn’t finish that project? It’s okay? Didn’t get that promotion? It’s okay. Didn’t buy that house, get that job, marry that person? IT’S OKAY!  How about we take some pressure off ourselves and understand that we still have time.  Your goals and hard work don’t need to change but take this time to think about everything you DID accomplish this year, I promise it will be longer that your list of what you didn’t.

Health is truly wealth.  Half way through this year, I didn’t feel good about myself.  I looked at photographs and didn’t feel like me.  Being active has always been important to me but with the lifestyle I lead as a part time food blogger and full time lover of food, I get lazy and de-prioritize going to the gym.  I wanted to get to a point where working out wasn’t something I had to do but something I wanted to do.  I wanted to focus on being strong, not skinny and focus on the long game of building good habits that will take me into the next few decades of my life.  I needed a change in mindset, to not look at the gym as work but as something fun.  It has made all the difference in my energy, my outlook, my mental and physical health, and yes my waistline.  And finally, I actually look forward to working out!

Invest in those who invest in you.  Ever find yourself being the one who’s always reaching out, always making the plans, always creating space and time for people? I sure do.  I’ve learned that sometimes you have to distance yourself or even let go from people who don’t make you a priority or don’t truly invest in your relationship.  Relationships no matter what their nature, friendship or romantic, require work from both sides and no one should ever feel like they are being taken for granted or made to feel insignificant.  The older I get the more I realize that finding people who celebrate your wins, show up, make time for you and support you is invaluable.  And what I’ve also learned is that it’s not always the people who you’ve known the longest who measure up.

Craft your own life instead of imitating someone else’s.  In the age of social media and over sharing, we are constantly bombarded with the highlight reel of people’s lives.  Do I love seeing what my friends and community are up to? Of course.  Do I compare my life and my choices to theirs? No.  This past year I’ve stopped playing the comparison game or the “keeping up with the ‘so-and-so'” game.  My life and journey is mine and mine alone.  The choices I make, the energy I spend, the things I do all contribute to the life I am making for myself.  I am absolutely inspired by those around me but if I make decisions based on what someone else is doing, how am being genuine and real and fair to myself?  Authenticity is a word that is easily thrown around but not an easy one to live up to.

Gratitude.  This one ties in nicely with the lesson above.  I’ve learned to be more grateful this past year. Grateful for my progress, grateful for the setbacks and failures and grateful for the little things that I often take for granted.  Being grateful allows me to take a step back and appreciate everything I have now instead of constantly chasing after the next, bigger, better, shinier thing.  Yes I still have goals and milestones I want to reach but I don’t feel the pressure when I’m able to remember how lucky and fortunate I am in the present.

Be Selfish.  I’m getting better at this one.  I can confidently say I don’t suffer from FOMO.  When I say no to something it’s because I know exactly what I’m missing out on and I’m okay with that.  Being able to say no (without reason or without justifying it) has been the greatest thing I’ve learned and am still learning to do.  I only have so many hours in the day and so much energy to spend so choosing how, where and with who I spend that time on has become very important.  There is power and freedom in saying no.

Be Kind.  Easy to say, harder to do.  Being kind for me isn’t about being nice, but being able to change your perspective and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  Everyone is struggling with something and I try to sympathize with that.  Simple gestures like opening doors, holding elevators, offering help, checking in and kind words from others have completely turned my day and mood around.  I try to pay that forward in some way or another every day.  Compliment someone, tip generously, ask your people genuinely how they are doing, write a thank you note, buy a coffee for a stranger, give to those less fortunate, offer your seat on transit, say please, smile at a stranger.  The little things go a long way.

Intentions for 2020

And now for my intentions for 2020.  I won’t go into detail about these because they are meant to be simple and left to be discovered.  As the year unfolds I hope to be able to define them more but allow space for each intention to grow and breathe.

Allow space for spontaneity.

Get a little uncomfortable.

Be around people and do things that bring joy.

Travel more.

Be more environmentally and socially conscious.

Thank you all for reading and being a small part of my journey, I wish you all nothing but love, light and joy for this new decade.

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