End of the Year Review: 2019

At the beginning of 2019, I chose one word to focus on and grow in throughout the year. I used to choose three words, but this past year I narrowed it down to one. I enjoyed having a single, overarching intention that guided me through my year. Before I recap, a few highlights from 2019:

  • Reconnected with old friends
  • Formed new friendships
  • Saw lots of views on local hikes (and even up to Maine!)
  • Started rock climbing
  • Got to visit Florida and Disney twice
  • Tried mountain biking for the first time
  • Toured the White House
  • Saw Hamilton
  • Went to my first Eagles game
  • Bought a house

Watching the timeline photos from a year ago pop up often reminded me how different my life was than in 2018. I knew moving back to the states was going to hold lots of adjustment and challenges. So I chose my intention for the year with that in mind.

My word for 2019 was CULTIVATE.

I wanted to intentionally choose what I was cultivating in my life. I believe that the small actions you do everyday shape who you are and the quality of your character. What choices do you make when you don’t want to? When no one is looking? That would benefit your health? Or the community?

By cultivating small actions, I wanted to create life change.

2019 held many challenges. Adjusting back to American life was hard. Living with roommates was hard. Starting a new job and realizing it wasn’t a great fit was hard. I had health issues and injuries that I’m still working through.

But those challenges provided opportunities to grow in grace, kindness, contentment, faith, balance, awareness, understanding. I often failed. But I am learning to be more gentle with myself and to take smaller steps — it’s okay if the step forward isn’t a big one. It’s still a step forward.

One of my favorite quotes used to be: Live less out of habit and more out of intent.

But I’ve learned that it’s more important to be intentional about your habits. Chose to take small daily steps toward becoming the person you want to be.


What about you? How have you grown over the past year?


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