25 Lessons to Bring Into 2019

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language / And next year’s words await another voice.” ― T.S. Eliot

Christina & Co. Cake
Christina & Co.

The holidays have kept me busy the last few weeks, which is why there has been less time spent on my blog. Rather than focusing on writing these last couple of weeks, I’ve been putting my health first. Though it has been quite difficult to stay on the straight and narrow with food choices during this time of year, I’ve gotten back into lifting weights. The fact that I’ve been making progress—slowly but steadily—is keeping me positive for the New Year. After turning 25 this month (didn’t my cake turn out amazing?!), I decided to make a list of 25 lessons I learned and things I want to do differently in 2019. Here’s what I’m taking into the New Year: 

  1. Focusing on my health is a priority. It’s not just about cardio and weights. It’s about nourishing my body and making smarter choices about what I put into it. (That includes positive thoughts!)
  2. Socializing is a must. 2018 was a good year of hanging out with friends, family, and throwing parties. I celebrated my graduation and my birthday with great people, but my boyfriend and I also made it a point to hangout with our friends more. Next year will be no different. Let’s start planning some get togethers!
  3. Stop letting toxic people take control. Life is too short to let people who don’t deserve to be in your life hold the reigns of your feelings and future.
  4. Doing more of the things I love is required for a good balance of happiness and fun. I really enjoy knitting, and I want to learn how to make a blanket and different types of scarves. Those knitting needles will be making an appearance soon!
  5. It’s okay to take a break from something you love as long as you go back to it. I always tell myself to write more, but I’ve really let it slip this year. Outside of my blog, I want to start working on my novel again…the original story I wanted to write, that is…because that was the one I enjoyed.
  6. Dedicate more time to meditation. Mental health is so important but it gets easy to neglect. I did more yoga/meditation this year than I’ve ever done in my life, but I still need to improve upon how often I do it.
  7. Get back into learning something new. A year or two ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to code. And, even if I couldn’t code an entire website by myself, I at least wanted to learn the basics. Cory recommended some online courses, but I’ve since let them go unfinished. Time to start those up again to sharpen a different side of my brain.
  8. Pacing myself is the only way I can accomplish my goals. I couldn’t possibly set out to do everything on this list in 2019, especially since I haven’t even made it halfway to #25 yet. My goal is to start doing some of these things/learning from these lessons and get into the habit of incorporating them into my routine.
  9. Sticking to a routine is healthy when it isn’t completely routine. Some have argued that routine is the enemy of time. I think it has a time and a place, but I want to focus on creating healthy habits that turn into something I regularly do. They won’t be completely routine though because they won’t always occur on the same day at the same time.
  10. Getting up early sets the tone for the day. I’ve hit the “snooze” button one too many times the last few months of this year. Speaking of habits…this is one of my bad ones, and I want to resolve to reverse it.
  11. Along with waking up early, making the bed and starting the day off with a healthy breakfast allows you to accomplish two goals before leaving the house. I want to start doing these again, especially because they get me in the goal-accomplishing mood.
  12. Dancing boosts my mood. I remember when I lived at home, I would lock my bedroom door, put on my favorite music, and dance (like no one was watching, of course). I didn’t care how stupid I looked because I physically felt awesome and it made me happy. Living with my boyfriend, I can’t exactly lock myself in our bedroom, but I think I might need to have my own dance party in our office from time to time. (Sorry, Cory. I don’t think I could ever bear to show you my moves 🙊).
  13. Money management is an important skill to have regardless of age. Luckily, my professional work experience set me up for success here. I used to write personal finance blogs advising consumers and businesses how they could avoid debt or find solutions on how to keep their finances under control while they were in it. I have so many tips up my sleeve from years of research and learning from my own spending habits. Keeping this front of mind is key as I grow older and gain more financial responsibility.
  14. Learning how to ride a bike is not impossible. For those of you who didn’t know…yeah, I never learned how to ride a bike. I went to my dad as a kid, told him to take off my training wheels because I decided—on a whim—that I was ready, and flew down the driveway in our backyard. Ever since then, I was afraid to hop back on. Cory is convinced he is going to teach me, but a part of me also needs to work on believing I can do it. And get a little more balanced.
  15. Reading can happen in my spare time. When I get home from work and I’ve finished all my other tasks, I don’t have to sit in front of the TV or drain the battery on my phone. I have the liberty to read whatever it is I want. I need to start doing that again, as I want to reread some stuff in our bookshelf and buy some new novels.
  16. Staying active is a crucial part of being healthy. I work in an office, which means I sit all day long minus the occasional walk to a meeting or the restroom. Sure, I’ve been working out, but I want to spend less time sitting. I’ve already started going on my 10-minute walks at work when it’s time for a break from the computer screen.
  17. Portion control is necessary even though I never learned it as a kid. It’s one of those things I found out later in life when I got into working out and eating healthy. I’ve always struggled with portions because I grew up in an Italian family where food was always the focus. They didn’t know any better either. I want to pay more attention to what I eat and how much I eat along with how it makes me feel. Remembering that can prevent overeating or eating the wrong things.
  18. Opening an Etsy shop is not off the list of possibilities. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, and though I don’t really know what that looks like right now, I just know I want it. I’ve considered selling some of my knitted items, but I haven’t fully figured it out yet. I want to start thinking about what I can do to accomplish this goal.
  19. My blog will always be a priority even if I skip a week or two. It’s the one thing that has always been here for me. I always come back to it because it benefits me in a positive way. Even though it’s #19 on this list, it’s #1 in my heart and head.
  20. Beyond my blog, creating a greater presence for it on social media is another priority. I’ve been waiting on getting a computer that can handle more robust applications like Photoshop, so I can design some collateral and take it off on social media. I want to share it with more people along with some daily positive inspiration.
  21. My faith still exists even though I don’t go to church. Growing up Catholic, I held onto a lot of guilt because that was my experience with the religion. If you didn’t go to church, then you were sinning, or you were “bad,” or you were [insert any other guilt-ridden fact here]. My relationship with God is just that: mine. No one else’s. What I believe and how I celebrate those things are my own traditions and rituals. I don’t need anyone else to convince me of the “right way” to experience religion. Again, it’s about focusing more on myself and forgetting about other people’s opinions that don’t add value to my life.
  22. Growing pains are real and they have the potential to get harder to deal with as time goes on. I feel them all the time, and I have an existential crisis on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. That’s just the nature of the world we live in, but I want to get better at dealing with the growing pains and focus on the things I can control.
  23. Life isn’t just about work; it’s about play too. Work hard, play hard, right? I was fortunate enough to find a career at a company where work-life balance is a top priority. For me though, a lot of my work doesn’t feel like work because I actually enjoy doing it. I do want to remind myself from time to time that I get to play too. Sometimes you get lost in the shuffle and go into “work mode.” I want to become more aware of when to flip the switch to “play.”
  24. Are we already at #24? I can’t believe I’ve typed out that many lessons already! I guess I’ve learned more than I thought. I figured I would have struggled with this a little more. I suppose that’s a lesson in itself. Giving myself credit for what I can do and accomplish is 100% normal. Never short yourself change. We deserve recognition.
  25. Saving the best for last…relationships are hard work but incredibly rewarding. Cory, this one is for you. I think we have something so special that doesn’t feel like “work.” It feels so much like the “reward” part even when have our moments or struggles. Everyday you continue to amaze me and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us. Relationships also have to do with friendships and family. I’ve found myself putting too much effort into some relationships where I don’t ever get the reward feeling because it’s all work. It becomes impossible to make plans or the relationship becomes too draining. One of my old coworkers said she metaphorically “cleans out her wine cellar at the end of each year.” If the “wine bottle” is draining her glass and not filling it, then it [the friendship/relationship] gets removed from the cellar. I want to “clean out my wine cellar” this year and really focus on the relationships that make me a better person rather than the ones that take more out of me. Sometimes, we let the guilt eat away at us, but self-care is incredibly important. Cheers to good friends!

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2019 is filled with all you’re looking for and more.

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