2018 was a year of growth, pain, and evolution for me. I learned a lot of tough lessons the hard way, but it made me a better person. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I choose to look on the bright side of things.
My patience and determination were definitely tested as I hit new lows. I learned a lot about myself; about my strength.
I made a lot of tough decisions regarding my relationships and the people I surrounded myself with.
But most importantly, I’ve grown.
I looked for the upside to every negative and pushed myself to keep going at my lowest points.
This is a brief summary of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 2018.
What I’ve Learned
Toxic Relationships/People are a Silent Killer
I wrote a like a million posts on toxic relationships, not to be redundant but to make a point – toxic relationships will break you if you let it.
Being the sensitive empath that I am, not only am I affected by my own personal matters, but I’m also affected by other people’s energy.
I had ‘friends’ who discouraged me from doing things I wanted to do because they thought I was doing too much. I also had people in my life who were very negative about everything and just drained me sometimes. And then there were the people who just dealt with things immaturely and created unnecessary hostility which affected my energy.
Now I can’t place all the blame on these people because in some cases I allowed it – and therefore gave them permission to drain me in the ways they did. But the point is that I don’t allow it anymore, and my life became better as a result.
Ask for what you want, but BE SPECIFIC
No, that’s not what I meant – I just thought that tweet was funny.
Moving along, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you have to be specific when setting your goals.
For the goals I haven’t accomplished yet, there was one defining factor; I didn’t know how. I made broad goals and didn’t break them down into ways I could accomplish them so I would get confused and overwhelmed while trying to achieve them.
Sometimes, “no time” isn’t the real problem
I procrastinated A LOT when it came to certain things. In time, I realized that it wasn’t procrastination from being lazy, but rather from being disinterested. I was taking on a lot of work for the wrong reasons, and I had no interest or passion in what I was doing to it was actually draining me.
At one point I had no choice but to make drastic changes in my life and drop everything I wasn’t passionate about. In doing so I had a lot more time to explore what I actually enjoy, which led to blogging.
I also had more time to be more productive and do things that strengthened my mind and made me a better person overall – like reading personal development books, research on healthy eating, and more.
If you don’t choose, life will choose for you.
My procrastination led to delays in making important decisions, which forced me to settle for whatever I got.
I have no regrets about anything because it was a learning lesson, but it was a hard lesson to learn. When you put things off or don’t actively decide what you want, you’ll have no choice but to accept whatever life throws at you – and that itself is a decision; a decision to accept less.
When I couldn’t decide if I wanted to move off campus or stay in student housing, the choice was made for me. I missed the early registration deadline and didn’t get to live with my friends. Instead, I got a room last minute and ended up having roommate conflicts this semester.
How I’ve Grown
I’ll be the first to admit that I was not the best at communicating – and I’m still working on it.
I’m an introvert that internalizes everything and sometimes expect people to either read my mind or just know that they did something wrong. And when that doesn’t happen I shut down and distance myself.
I don’t think I deserve a Nobel prize for communication just yet but I’ve made some major improvements this year.
I learned to say what’s on my mind rather than shutting down immediately. And most importantly, I learned to communicate despite whether or not I thought the person would be receptive to what I was saying.
That bit is important because before, I thought if someone doesn’t/wouldn’t care about what they’ve done then there would be no point in saying anything. However, it’s not about them; it’s about me.
I communicate not only to have better relationships but to get things off my chest so that I feel better after that release, even if the problem doesn’t get solved.
I must say, it’s much better than arguing with someone in my head and then realizing that I’m the only one suffering here.
The mind is what the mind is fed
It’s amazing how strong your mind becomes when it’s filled with positivity and cleansed of doubt, frustration, and negativity from external sources.
When I started reading books on personal development and financial literacy, I started thinking differently. I applied what I learned in my life and became a much more positive person.
Believe it or not, no matter what hardships come my way, I’m always grateful for the lesson I’m being taught. Instead of getting angry and upset, I’m thankful.
Now, in no way am I implying that I’m a robot and I don’t have feelings. I definitely allow myself to feel however I feel in a situation, for as long as I think I need to feel. But in the end, instead of being bitter, I try to find the lesson in the situation.
Moving Forward: Goals for 2019
Be Specific & Be Intentional
Instead of setting vague goals, I’m going to get very specific with what I want and I’m going to create a plan to achieve my goals.
I traveled 9 times this year but they were all domestic (within the US) with the exception of St. Lucia. Since I’m from St. Lucia I don’t really count that because it’s not somewhere I haven’t been before. This year, my goal is to travel to at least 5 different countries that I have never been to before. I’m not exactly sure where yet, but when I decide on it, I’m going to act on it.
Eat Healthier – Become Pescatarian
I’ve been dragging my feet with this for a minute now but I’m over my ‘ish. I’ve always talked about eating healthier and I’ve made progress cutting red meat and other foods out of my diet but now I have a specific goal to work toward, which is pescatarianism. I thought about going vegan but right now I don’t think I can give up seafood.
That’s it. I’m not making an excessive list of things just to feel like I have a lot to work toward. I’m sure I’ll create specific goals in the year (especially to grow my blog) but these are the main lifestyle changes I want to implement.
What are some of your goals for 2019?
Not sure where to start with your goal setting for the New Year? Start here: