2018 was a pretty good year, we decided to buy and move into our first remodel house with some additional remodel we had to do while living in it. We went to our month long trip to Europe, had our Serbian wedding. I decided to become a more serious blogger. We lost two members of the family – Rosie in January and Porthos in November. We will forever hold them close to our hearts. We added three new little members of the family Marie, Maggie, and Sinbad. I wanted to sum up 2018 and share with you a few things that I’ve learned and my resolutions for 1019. So, let’s dive in.
Reflecting on 2018
Laugh it off. Find joy in everyday life not just every once in the while. Look for the positive side of everything happening to you. I know this is very challenging especially in those hard times when everything seems it’s falling apart. This is a constant challenge for me to practice in my own life. I tend to be very hard on myself. I set high expectations for myself, and when I fail, I can become very upset with myself. Setting high expectations and failing is part of the normal human experience. Strength and growth come from TRYing again, and again, and again until you succeed. The most important think is learning from each failure and applying the lessons learned to your next efforts. So yes, that’s why I say, laugh it off, make a joke about it and try it again.
“To make a mistake is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity”.
– William Arthur Ward
If you are not growing, you are stagnating. If you are not improving/moving forward, you are moving backwards. I know this sound harsh and strong, but it’s the truth and there is no other way of saying it. If you do a bit of research, you will find out that most people after they graduate college, don’t read a single book, don’t take courses to learn something new, or engage in critical thinking to stretch their mind. I know it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone but trust me it’s a very good feeling after you’ve done it. This don’t mean you have pursue a PhD, jump out of a helicopter, or climb a Mont Everest. It could simply be learning another language, reading a book on personal growth, or start a cooking course. Choose to always work to improve yourself and expand your horizons. Never stop learning. Remember, people that constantly complain, blame, and refuse to take responsibility for their lives do not have a growth mindset. It’s always better to play in the game of life than to sit on the sidelines.
“I always encourage people to get out there, travel the world, see new things, experience new people, experience new food, experience new culture. What happens is that helps you to grow and be your best self”.
“Kindliness is not an act, it’s a lifestyle”- Unknown. I somewhere read, “It costs $0.00 to be a nice person”. I can’t agree more. There is no such a thing as a small act of kindness. I can’t tell you how much it makes my day when I experience an act of kindliness from someone or even more when I do something nice to other people. It just fills my heart with joy. So, let someone cut in front of you if you see they are in hurry. Buy a random person a coffee behind you. Send a thank you card. Also, don’t allow another’s discourtesy to upset you. It has nothing to do with you – only with their relationship with themselves. It is important to know when someone is taking advantage of you. Know when to say no or it’s enough. There is nothing wrong with saying no. Sometimes being tough is the greatest kindness you can give.
“Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused”
– Tommy Lee Jones
Keep your standards high. And Settle for More. The only difference between people you consider more or less successful in any area of their lives is that the ones more successful keep themselves accountable on higher goals and choose to settle for more rather than less. Life is truly too short to settle for unworthy friends, small goals, or unproductive relationships. Aim for the best. Be grateful and appreciative what you have and everything you achieved and use your grace and successes to aim for bigger goals and accomplishments in any area of your life.
“We only get what we believe that we deserve. Raise the bar, raise your standards and you will receive a better outcome.”
– Joel Brown
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
– Norman Vincent Peale
Forgive. This is defiantly easy to say and hard to do. Trust me. I am still working on it! I’ve defiantly come a long way this year, but I still have a long way to go. Letting time pass helps. I used to be a person that struggled to forgive, especially people that hurt me in whom invested so much of myself. The truth is most people that hurt us never really mean to hurts us. Most people are so focused on their own problems and things going on in their life that they simply are unaware they’ve done something to hurt someone else. With this understanding, let it go and try your best to forgive them. In the end it’s for your own benefit. Forgive and let it go, it will be liberating and bring you peace and happiness.
Relationships take two. I am talking about any relationship such as romantic, friendship, family and the list goes on. Invest in people that invest in you. I know that might sound selfish but hear me out. Friends, family members or boyfriend/girlfriend who only call when they are upset, or when they need a favor just shows that they don’t value you. They simply view us as a type of therapist, a personal assistant, or someone of whom they can constantly take advantage. There is nothing wrong with leaving these people behind. Wish them all the best in their life but you do not have to be part of it as only their emotional buttress. Building a successful and quality relationship always takes two people investing the same amount of energy to it.
“Walk with dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.”
– Wilfred Paterson
Celebrate your personal victories. Celebrate every victory no matter how small. This is more important than you think. Here is a little story. When I came to United States as an exchange student, I understood English very well when someone spoke to me. However, I had trouble speaking it fluently. There were numerous words I found very difficult to pronounce. One word in particular that I really struggled to pronounce was “awesome.” For some reason it was very hard for me to learn how to say it. So, every morning when I was getting ready for school, I would look myself in the mirror and keep repeating awe-some, aaawe-s-o-m-e… It took me about a month before I was able to pronounce it correctly. That was a milestone for me and I felt extremely proud of myself. My success came as a result of practicing every morning for a month. The point is, irrespective of how easy it may appear to others, only you know how hard you worked to achieve something in your life – celebrate your success!
Life is short. Yes, I am pretty sure we are all aware of this especially as we are getting older. We get in the routine of everyday life, work, daily tasks, errands and list goes on … that we forget we are not going to be here for forever! Years could pass by without even truly noticing it. So how many of us are aware of it and truly living our best lives. When I say, “living our best lives”, I don’t mean traveling in private jets and living like there is no tomorrow. I mean finding joy in our everyday life – making a time of the day to do what we love whatever that is. Doing whatever makes your soul happy. Maybe this is just having a cup of your favorite drink at Starbucks, or making time for a new hobby, or experiencing something for the first time. Allocating the time to build strong relationships with our family and friends. This really hit home for me this year. I attended a funeral for a woman who died in her thirties. I barely knew her, so I was able to really look at her life without being overly emotional. I felt so sorry for her kids and family. Also, our trip to Italy, and visiting fascinating museums and places, learning so much history extending back over 2,000 years summed up in a few hours at the museums and other places we visited truly made me realize that our lives are very short. We forget that we might not be here tomorrow. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but the realization is a wakeup call reminding us there are things to do and stuff to see! I saw a movie few years back. I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s about a woman that works in a mattress store. She hits her head accidentally at work and had to go to the hospital for a checkup. The doctor invites her into his office and tells her that he has her results but unfortunately, they discovered that she has inoperable brain cancer, and has just a few months left to live. Little did she know that they accidently mixed up her results and that she didn’t have brain cancer. She was perfectly healthy. She comes back home sad and desperate. She opens her notebook of the dreams/goals she hoped to achieve one day and realizes she hasn’t done anything, and she is about to die. She loved cooking and always dreamed of opening her very own restaurant. She always wanted to approach a guy from work that she really liked, but never did. She never took the trips or did things she always wanted to do. With this realization and the belief, she only had a few months to live she packed her bags, pulled all her money from savings and decided to take the trip of her dreams and do all the things she dreamed of doing. She purchases a first-class ticket because why not? She just has few months left to live. She arrives at her destination and signs herself up for every activity she dreamed of doing one day – skiing, bungee jumping, etc. She makes a reservation at the restaurant of her all-time favorite chief. Meanwhile back home they are trying to find her and tell her that results were mixed up with another patient and that she has no brain cancer. The guy that she really liked sets out to find her. Eventually, he finds her and tells her what happened. Obviously, she is relieved to discover she is going to live but more importantly she is grateful. This experience of living life put everything in perspective for her. She truly understood that life is short, and we might not be here tomorrow. She tells the guy she liked him and guess what; the feeling was mutual, and they end up marrying. She opened her restaurant and began truly living her life. I think we all got the point. Life is short and for God’s Sake do what sets your soul on fire. Don’t drift thru life – live it. I know that this was a movie and that it takes a lot of courage to tell someone we like them because you can be rejected and rejection hurts. Starting your business or doing what you love can be challenging. You might fail and have lots of trials and travails before you succeed. My point is; what is life if we don’t take chances and strive to be the best versions of ourselves?
“We have to realize that our lives could be gone in a moment. There are no guarantees that we will be here at this time next year. Learn to live each day to the fullest. Don’t complain. Don’t focus on what’s wrong. Be grateful for the opportunity to experience each day.”
“If you look at how long the Earth has been here, we’re living in the blink of an eye. So, whatever it is you want to do, you go out and do it.”
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
9 Resolutions For 2019
Strive for consistency and personal perfection. This is my number one priority in 2019. This is defiantly something with which I struggled. I need to let go of the concept of an ideal perfection. It doesn’t really exist. Consistency in striving to achieve my goals is my personal perfection.
Read More. My first resolution is reading at least 30 to 60 minutes before I go to bed every night. I know this can be tough because it’s the end of the day. I am tired, and I want to watch a TV show, but I also know that this will contribute so much to my personal growth and vocabulary. I would love at the end of 2019 to say that I’ve read approximately 20-26 books.
Reduce processed foods and eat fresher. We try to eat at home as much as possible and I try to cook healthy. But I will not lie, I buy junk food and things that do damage to our heath. In 2019, I want to limit the sugar and processed foods as much as possible and cook with fresh ingredients as much as possible.
Limit social media. When social media is part of your job it’s hard to disconnect and turn it off for a while. As much as I love connecting with everyone, I’ve decided to have my phone in the bathroom at night, so I am not looking at my phone before I go to bed and the first thing when I wake up. This will also help me to get up immediately after I hear the alarm, as I will need to go into the bathroom to turn it off. I can’t just roll over and go back to sleep. Let’s be honest the hardest thing to do in the Moring is actually make your body get up from the bed.
Back to regular daily workouts. 2018 was defiantly my year of slacking from day to day exercises. We traveled a lot for leisure and work and moved to a new house while also fixating it up. We had a lot of things going on at the same time. Being busy is not a good excuse, but sometimes life gets in the way if you are not disciplined – I wasn’t. So, another resolution for 2019 is getting back into the routine of regular exercise and workouts. I plan mix in yoga, lifting weights, and cardio.
Continue to improve and work on my blog. One of my big resolutions for 2019 is to improve my blog by consistently publishing high quality content. I plan to integrate a YouTube channel to my blog as well. Focusing on consistency, quality, realness and let’s not forget the most important thing lots of humor.
Decluttering and organizing. Since we moved to a bigger house this year with so much more storage and overall space, I want to make sure we don’t start collecting unnecessary stuff just because we have space for it. With that being said, I want to make sure we don’t buy “stuff” just because we can. If we do buy, I want to go with quality rather quantity. I plan to declutter things that we don’t use anymore every season and donating it to Goodwill.
Improve my Spanish. When I was a little girl, I watched a lot of Mexican TV Novellas. I know it’s sounds crazy – Mexican Novellas in Serbia! My parents didn’t approve, and I was not allowed to watch them. My parents grounded me if the caught me watching them. But that didn’t stop me since I always found ways to keep up with them. After a while I realized that I understand 80% to 90% of everything they were saying without even looking at subtitles. Even today after many, many years if someone speaks Spanish around me, I can understand pretty much everything. So, this year I want to improve my Spanish to the level of me being able to speak it so by the end of 2019 I can hold a conversation. This is a goal I wanted to achieve for a long time, so I defiantly think the times has come to stop procrastinating and do it.
Keep in touch with family. As I am getting older, I realize the true importance of family. I’ve not called my mom and dad as often as I should, so I defiantly want to change this habit. Especially since I live in the United States, my dad currently lives in Belgium, and my mom and sister in Serbia. Life gets in the way. Day-to-day activates and time zones differences combine interfere and sometimes I go a few weeks before I speak to my parents. In 2019, I want to call them at least once a week to check on them and catch up with things.
I know this post has been very long, but I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading it and following along! I am very grateful for all of you here! Happy 2019! Wishing you the very best!