Reviewing 2015 and focusing on my successes

Reviewing 2015 and focusing on my successes

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Looking back at 2015, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to embrace the seasons—the seasons of my life as well as the literal seasons of the year.

It took me three years of tracking my reading goals to see that my years follow a very specific pattern that includes lots of goal setting, personal growth, and reading in the early part of the year. That all tapers off as we head into the warmer “fun” months of late spring and summer and doesn’t pick back up again until the cooler days of fall.

In the past, I’ve beaten myself up for losing steam on my “resolutions” when the warm weather hits, but last year I learned to embrace it and soak in the present with confidence that I’d get back on track in the fall…and I did.

I’m not sure if it’s actually the temperature that affects me or if it’s the length of daylight each day and the opportunities to live in the moment during the summer (with more play date invitations, more trips, etc.), but this year I saw it so very clearly.

Of course, any goal will take longer to achieve when I’m skipping 3-4 months of progress (or at least progressing slower during that time), but I think I’m okay with that!

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With a difficult pregnancy in the early part of the year (and the middle and the end, if I’m honest), I also learned to embrace the seasons of life. Our house grew cluttered and disorganized in the first trimester, and I simply held on to the promise that morning sickness wasn’t going to last forever.

Now, as I sit typing this post on my phone with a sleeping two-month-old in my arms, I’m again reminded that it’s just a season. For good or for bad, the cuddles and demands of infanthood won’t last forever.

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In other ways, 2015 felt like the year that we finally became adults {never mind that it was also the year I turned 33…I’m a late bloomer!}.

We got vision insurance and orthodontic consultations and signed up for air filter delivery to replace them regularly. (Hint: Get a free set of air filters through my referral link!)

We found a better balance for saying yes to playdates and activities and learned how to fit in a bajillion appointments (see vision insurance and orthodontics plus prenatal checks, well visits and a few specialist appointments!).

I finally started having regular devotions and Bible study, thanks to overcoming my “every day or bust” approach. I completed several If:Equip studies (even if it was sometimes weeks or even months after the study officially ended) and discovered the beauty of using Bible study tools on my phone while nursing or rocking a baby (as much as I prefer pen and paper and my well-worn Bible).

I finally figured out a budgeting system that works (after a couple of years of tweaking my homemade spreadsheet), and although we’d been struggling to organize and stay on top of our Samaritan Ministries paperwork when juggling several medical needs at once, I feel like I finally conquered that as well.

With the addition of spiral notebooks and morning time, I’m feeling good about our homeschool habits {although we’re struggling a bit to get back into the swing of things with a baby in the house after several months of “school lite”} and I think I may have finally found a balance between trying to do all the things and making sure we’re getting the things done we need to.

And through it all, I’ve made time to shut my computer and doodle, color, read or listen to audiobooks. I’ve given up all but a couple favorite TV shows, and I happily head to our bedroom in the evenings for a little downtime before bed.

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Just to be clear—I’m a fan of celebrating the wins, but I don’t mean to imply I’m doing anything perfectly. I still snap at my family more than I’d like. I struggle with limiting my sugar intake. I have ZERO desire to exercise. And on and on and on.

When I share my goals for 2016 next week, I’ll share more about the areas where I’m struggling and the changes I’d like to see in the coming year. But I’m proud of the progress I made last year, and as I reflect on 2015, I’d rather focus on those—and the motivation it gives me to continue to add to the list—than on the areas where I struggled or failed!

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What were your biggest wins and successes in 2015?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My biggest challenge was the same as my biggest success. I finally said an obedient yes to God and left my full time dream job to stay home and pursue my other full time dream – to be a wife and a writer. Saying goodbye to the first job I ever loved and that I ever excelled in was so difficult, but the peace in my heart and the calm in our lives that followed that step of obedience was completely worth it.

  2. Ha. I have ZERO desire to exercise, too. Ever! My biggest challenges and successes came in adjusting to life as a sahm and balancing it with new part-time at home work opportunities, so I can continue staying home with my children. Isn’t it funny that although we’re both grown-ups at 33, our lives look so wonderfully different…and yet the same? We’re continually learning to live life one day at a time, by God’s wonderful grace!

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