Since we are now in the new year, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on the year behind me. 2014 was an incredible year for me, complete with a lot of soul-searching and traveling. I thought the best way for me to recap the year was to look back on the goals I made for myself at the beginning of 2014 so here we go:
14 Goals for 2014 (and how they really went)
- Be a better listener. 2013, and the beginning of 2014, were really about working on myself and finding my happiness. Though that is a lifelong journey, I finally felt like I was at the point where I could focus a little less on myself and more on others. Hopefully my friends felt like I was a better listener and friend this year because I certainly tried to be.
- Visit at least 3 new countries I’ve never been to. This is not a goal that is always tangible (and my parents thought this was a stupid goal) but by setting it, I wanted to give myself an extra kick to explore as much as possible! 2014 was a year of travel for me! Between spring break with my friends, family vacations (for the first time in FOREVER), and studying abroad, I returned to Peru and Spain AND was able to visit not three but EIGHT new countries: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Germany, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Greece, and Italy. I am so thankful to have crossed so many sights off my bucket list and to see parts of the world I had always dreamed of!
- Do yoga everyday. I tried really hard in the first month or so to stick with this goal (as we all do with resolutions) before realizing that it wasn’t a tangible goal to set for myself because I know I won’t wake up earlier to get in a bit of yoga or be able to get to classes on a regular basis with my schedule. I have been doing some stretching an breathing exercises when needed instead.
- Make a conscious effort to be more timely. I think this one is going to be a goal for the rest of my life. I don’t know what it is but I take forever getting ready, suck at waking up in the morning, and am just naturally late for absolutely everything. It’s something I am seriously working on. Living in Madrid for a semester was rough on this goal because “Spain time” means people take their time and nobody arrives early, so I fit in quite well there. However, not living on a campus and having to actually wake up, get ready, and walk to school (even though it was only 5 minutes away) was good for me! So we’ll call this one a work in progress.
- Read more books, more often. I’ve read SO many books this year, which has been awesome. Not counting all the kids books I read while nannying and tutoring this summer, I’ve probably read around 40 books just for fun. I had forgotten how much I love reading, and how much more enjoyable it can be than tv. Ever since I got a Kindle last year, it’s been so much more simple and accessible for me to read a bunch of books. I love it when I’m in bed at school and don’t want to disturb my roommates with lights on and the turning of pages. When I was abroad the wifi in my apartment was sort of crappy so instead of falling into college kid habits and binge-watching Netflix all day, I read tons of new books. It was also a great thing to have on planes an on the metro!
- Improve my guitar playing by playing every day. For the first half of the year, I was so good about playing all the time! It was such a blast to jam out with my roommate who also plays, and it was one of my main ways to combat stress. Once the summer came around, though, I had no time after work. Though I brought my guitar with me abroad, I didn’t play as much as I wanted because I feel like I’m at a standstill. Luckily, I’m taking lessons again this coming semester. YAY!
- Go to sleep earlier. LOL what in the world was I thinking when I made this goal? I was in MADRID, where the nightlife is absolutely insane and you go home from a club at 6:30AM when the metro reopens. Because of the time difference (and because I’m a night owl/love a good mid-day siesta) I stayed up until 3 or 4 am every night. I don’t regret any of it; I had an absolute blast! Maybe 2015 will bring more sleep?
- Whip my ass into shape before Spain. This one didn’t totally happen the way that I wanted it to. My sophomore year in college I spent one semester being really sick and unable to work out, but got back into it by my spring semester. Summer killed me, though, because I had a hard time balancing working full-time as a camp counselor, tutoring, nannying, working out, and trying to have a social life. My idea was to save as much money as possible for Spain so, unfortunately, fitness sometimes took a backseat. The plan is to change that!
- Continue my journey to a healthier, more whole vegan lifestyle. This is another one of those lifelong journey things but I definitely thought more consciously this year. Though I was only able to maintain a vegetarian diet while abroad in order to not be world’s biggest hassle, I have been more conscious about not only what I put into my body, but the products I use. I’ve been making transitions to cruelty-free products and taking a real look into what’s in my home.
- Improve my Spanish. This was a definite success! My trips to Peru the past few years were just a warm up for four months of living in a Spanish-speaking country. Between living with a host family, teaching English, traveling, meeting new people from all over the world, volunteering at an after school program, and attending classes in Spanish I have improved my Spanish skills tremendously! I’m so proud of my progress and can’t wait to continue on my journey to becoming 100% bilingual!
- Move up a level in pole. Anyone who knows me knows that I am all about trying new things. I’m the type of person that decides not to play basketball in college and then instead joins the hockey team after never having played in my life. Following suit, I started going to a pole fitness studio near my house 2 summers ago and have loved every second! (Contrary to popular belief, pole fitness is an incredible workout about strength and balance and does not have to have anything to do with being a stripper! This took about a year to explain to my parents) My goal was to move up a level which has been difficult since I’m unable to go to the studio for months at a time when I’m at school 2 hours away. Luckily I moved up from the second to third level after only a few weeks this summer! Then when I was in Madrid, I continued at a pole studio there as well!
- Use time more productively. I think this one was about getting schoolwork done, etc but that’s really all a blur. I’m sure I procrastinated a bunch so this really could be a good goal moving forward but I got it done, right?
- Run at least 2 half marathons. Unfortunately, my health at the beginning of the year (while getting over months of tonsillitis, strep throat, and a tonsillectomy), my busy schedule this summer, and the fact that I spent the last four months of the year in Europe meant that I didn’t plan well enough. BUT on the freezing cold 1st of March, I confidently ran my second ten-miler! With the support of my friends, I excitedly finished and even went to the school dance we had that night… Needless to say, I was sore the next day. I finished my second half marathon when I came home from school in June. My mom was at the finish line cheering me on (and I think crying which was surprisingly adorable) and it was just an incredible day! I plan to come back full force in 2015- once I can get over how damn cold New England is in the winter- and run even more!
- Don’t be afraid to fall in love- with someone, someplace, life. It may sound super corny, but this was a really important goal for me this year. I spent a while avoiding attachments to new people at all costs while I was trying to get my act together a bit. I knew I needed to get back to my normal self and be more open to new people and experiences. In April I met my boyfriend who makes me feel like the most extraordinary person on the planet and have been head over heels ever since (sorry not sorry for the sappiness)! I’ve made decisions that will make me happy and gone on solo adventures. I’m finally in the right major and for the first time I know with complete confidence what I want to do with my life! I went abroad for a semester and fell even more in love with traveling, and then came home to the most incredible friends and family. This year I have had so many unforgettable experiences and can say for certain that I did fall in love with my life. When I went back to my high school to talk to Spanish classes about studying abroad, I visited some of my former teachers for what was really the first time since I graduated three years ago. The one thing that really stuck with me is that every single one of them commented on how happy I seem. And it got me thinking how true it is; I am so, so happy.