Monday, January 05, 2015

How 2014 Changed My Life

Looking back on 2014, I can sum it up in one word: LEARNING.

If you want to know what I mean by that, keep on reading! But if you're like, "Yawn, boooooring..." then just go away. IDON'TNEEDYOURNEGATIVITY!


I learned SO much this year. It was probably one of the most profound and memorable years of my life, to date.

No, I didn't go skydiving or rocky mountain climbing, or 2.7 seconds on a bull named...okay, you get the picture...I am not going to continue to steal Tim's song. But what I did do was more meaningful and eye-opening than getting any sort of adrenaline rush by crossing off multiple items on my bucket list. I learned a lot about what didn't work...and a lot about what did.

Here's my top three lessons:

1) Life doesn't just "happen" to me. I'm not a victim of events. Instead, what I learned is that I can create my own life. I can choose to be positive. I can choose to be calm. That doesn't mean I always am positive or calm. But I am learning to make that choice more often and more seamlessly.

2) Organization HELPS. Both planning out my week ahead of time and planning out my day first thing in the morning have made an enormous difference in my stress level. I am a huge stress-phobe. As soon as I begin to get stressed, I immediately back off. But especially with three kids and being a business owner, there is much to get done! Stress isn't completely avoidable, but thankfully, I can dramatically reduce the amount in my life by being proactive. Being organized, planning ahead, and having a to-do list always helps!

A lifesaver for me this year was the Family Planner from Plum Paper Design. Go check it out!

Now, if you're like me a few years ago, you'll be like, "Whatever...I don't need no fancy planner!" And you might not. But looking back to when I had those same thoughts, I was kidding myself. Just be honest with yourself. Get whatever works for you. I know some people who get along just fine with a notebook! My mom used a large wall calendar while we were all growing up. There are a lot of options, so pick one and stick with it for a while. But if something isn't working, change it!

3) Unplugging is not just a fad; it is a necessity. Okay, in case any of you didn't know, I absolutely love social media. I love that I can keep up with my family and friends in such an easy way. I love finding old friends, popping in to say "Hello" or "I love this picture of you!" But after giving up my smart phone in April and stepping away from a few of my random social media accounts, I noticed I had a lot more time to focus on what mattered. I realized I was spending so much of my precious time for nothing. 2015 will bring a much more "extreme" take on this, which I'll write about another day! (Be on the lookout for that soon - woohoo!)

What were your top lessons from 2014? 
I would love to hear about them!
Comment to tell me. 

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