Reflecting on 2019: Goals, Growth and Gratitude

Has it really been a year already?

It seems that the older I get, the faster time flies by. I’m always looking for ways to live a more mindful and intentional life, so I put aside some time to sit down and review the past year in detail. I’ll be reflecting on my achievements and looking back at the goals I set myself at the start of 2019 – after all, there’s nothing better than starting a new year with a clean slate.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, read on!

What are my main achievements this year?

I got engaged!

I’ve always wanted to get married. I love the idea of sharing a last name with my soulmate and creating our own little family, and this year was a huge step towards that goal.

If you weren’t already aware, Elliott and I recently got engaged! We’re planning to get married in November 2020, so that will be a huge focus next year. I couldn’t be more excited!

I exceeded my savings goal

I had been meaning to start seriously saving for years, but I never made it a priority. So at the start of this year I decided to get serious about money. I set myself a goal to save a set amount by the end of 2019, and I’m so proud to say that I have exceeded my own expectations!

My new financial mindset has made me feel so much more confident in my saving habits, and I’m excited to see how much I can save in 2020.

I visited Italy

A trip to Italy has always been on my bucket list, specifically Rome. I love the history, the architecture and of course the food! So when Elliott and I received an invitation to a wedding in Italy, I was determined to make the most of it. We booked five days in Rome before travelling to the wedding, and we had the best time. You can read all about our trip here!

I visited Japan

I have to admit, I cheated a little on this one – Elliott surprised me with three weeks in Japan as my birthday present! We travelled around the country visiting our favourite spots and discovering new places, and took full advantage of the beautiful autumn leaves.

It was such a wonderful trip, and I know I’ll cherish those memories for the rest of my life.

I visited Scotland

I’m so grateful that I was able to visit Scotland with my parents this year. It’s always nice to catch up with the Scottish side of my family and spend time in one of my favourite cities, Edinburgh. I documented the entire trip in a blog post, so make sure to check it out if you’re interested!

I worked hard in therapy

I didn’t realise just how much work therapy would be. I’m lucky enough to have found a wonderful therapist and together we have worked to improve my mental health throughout the year.

I’ve found a lot of clarity and closure through my therapy sessions, and it’s amazing to look back and see how much I’ve grown. In fact, I’ve made so much progress that I will be cutting down to one session a month next year!

I saw my parents

I can’t really call this an achievement, as I had nothing to do with it! But I’m so thankful that I got to see my parents this year, and spend my milestone 30th birthday with them.

We made some wonderful new memories together and I really enjoyed the time that I spent with them. I think a trip to New Zealand may be in the cards…

I gained a new perspective on social media

This year I came to a realisation about social media that really opened my eyes. I don’t quite feel comfortable enough to document it here, but I will say that it caused me to rethink my entire relationship with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

As a result, I’ll be taking a step back and placing less importance on those platforms next year. I’ve already deactivated my Twitter account and will be deleting my Facebook page at the start of January. I thought I’d feel a little sad about it, but I’m excited and ready for a fresh start away from the majority of social media.

I gained confidence in my work and skills

I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome for most of my adult life, particularly when I became self-employed. I lacked a lot of confidence in my skills and abilities, for no good reason!

I’ve learned that when I incorporate my talents into my work, such as writing and organisation, I feel much more fulfilled and confident. I think the trick is to bring my skills to our business in as many ways as possible, while also being brave enough to step out of my comfort zone and try new things without beating myself up over not being perfect straight away. It feels good to be a little kinder to myself!

I developed a clear vision for what I want in life

This year has been huge in terms of deciding what I want for my future. I now have a clear path and defined goals that I’m working towards, which helps me stay motivated and inspired to achieve them!

Did I achieve my goals this year?

GOAL: Visit a new country

I achieved this goal with my trip to Italy! Exploring a completely new country and culture was so much fun, and I’m feeling inspired to continue my travels in the future.

GOAL: Save a set amount of money by the end of the year

I’m so happy to say that I achieved this goal, and even surpassed it! I’ve always loved spending money, but now I actually prefer seeing that number in my savings account increase. I surprised myself this year and now feel much more confident with my personal finances.

GOAL: Tone up and build some muscle

I have to be honest and say that I don’t think I achieved this goal. My body looks exactly the same as it did one year ago – I mean, at least I haven’t gained weight!

Next year I’ll focus on simple exercises that I actually enjoy, such as walking and swimming. I don’t think I’ll ever be a gym bunny, but I’d like to be as healthy as possible.

GOAL: Embrace my plant-based diet

I also didn’t do as well with this goal as I had hoped. I still eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than the average person, but towards the end of the year I started to become a little lazy with my diet.

I know how much better I feel when I stick to healthy plant-based choices, so I’m now focusing on getting back to basics in order to become the healthiest version of myself.

GOAL: Be able to hold a simple conversation in Japanese

This is another goal that I didn’t achieve. I had planned to hire a Japanese tutor this year, but I didn’t make it a priority and therefore wasn’t able to make time for regular lessons.

However my language skills improved a lot when I visited Japan in November, and I was able to read and understand more than ever before. I still don’t feel confident in holding a simple conversation though, so I can’t say that I achieved this goal. But hey, at least I improved!

GOAL: Be more confident in myself

This goal is a little more difficult to measure, but I’m proud to say that I achieved it. I feel noticeably more confident in my skills and who I am as a person, and I now speak up a lot more when it comes to sharing ideas and opinions. I’m still not as confident as I would like, but I’ve definitely made improvements this year.

GOAL: Spend less time on social media

I still spend way too much time on social media, but I’ve definitely improved my relationship with it this year. I deleted my personal Twitter account, started taking steps to delete my Facebook page and got rid of all social media associated with my website (aside from Pinterest!)

I’ve done a lot of reflecting this year, and I feel much more in control of my social media use. I’m pleased to say that I achieved this goal and I look forward to improving even more next year.

GOAL: Pass my driving test

I didn’t achieve this goal, and I didn’t expect to. I think I wrote it down because it seemed like a tangible objective that I could tick off the list, but I just didn’t feel passionate or excited about it.

I already have my licence in New Zealand, and I don’t have any incentive to drive here in London. The public transport is great and Elliott already has a car – why would I need one too? Getting my licence in the UK is definitely something that I want to do in the future, but it just doesn’t fit into my life right now.

GOAL: Focus on quality, not quantity

This was such a satisfying goal to achieve. I stopped buying cheap clothes and accessories on impulse, and instead focused on high-quality neutral basics like a nice handbag, shoes and jewellery. I made sure to carefully consider my purchases and made sure that every single item was something that I loved and would use frequently.

As a result I feel much more put-together and have actually saved money, despite purchasing more expensive items. This is definitely something that I will continue to focus on throughout the next year.

What are my goals for next year?

There’s nothing I like better than setting goals at the start of a new year. I’ve already created a list, and I’m planning to dedicate an entire blog post to my goals for 2020 and the new decade. Watch this space!

In summary, how did 2019 turn out?

2019 was the best year of my life. I was able to work from home and build a successful business with Elliott, save lots of money, travel to three wonderful countries and get engaged to my soulmate. What more could I ask for?

I’m so grateful for everything that happened to me this year, and incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved. Here’s to an even better 2020!

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2019: Goals, Growth and Gratitude

    1. Thanks so much, Heidi! I can’t wait to see your Japan photos – April is such a beautiful time to visit!

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