2016: Looking Back

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” —Hal Borland

Last year on New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post titled “2015: Looking Back” where I reflected on the goals I set at the end of 2014. Now, a year later, I will be doing the same except with the list I created at the end of 2015. When I first wrote the list about a year ago, I added comments and specifics on each goal which you can read here if you’d like. So without further ado, here are the goals I wrote for 2016 and my comments on reaching (or not reaching) them.

[  ] Attend church services in Winona at least three Sundays a month and get more involved with other Christians. I honestly did not even come close to meeting this one. While I do have friends at school that have similar beliefs to me, I didn’t go out of my way to join anything extra or get any more involved. I don’t have consistent transportation, for one, but I’m also a person who really dislikes new social situations. The idea of going to a crowded place with very few, if any, people I know is pretty intimidating, so I generally prefer the social and physical comfort of my own room. I also ended up working most Sunday mornings/afternoons, and on the few Sundays I didn’t, I liked to sleep in. In lieu of physically attending a church service, I usually watched Eagle Brook‘s online service. I attend EBC when I’m home for breaks or random weekends and really love it. While it’s not quite the same as physical fellowship, it’s working for me for the time being, and I’d say it’s certainly better than nothing.

[x] Make the Dean’s List (3.5 GPA) for at least one semester of 2016. I accomplished this goal in the spring! I was just a little bit short of Dean’s List this past semester, but I still did well. I know there was a class I could have done better in had I spent more time and effort on it, but I can’t do anything about it now. All I can do is look forward and try my best this next semester!

[  ] Go to the gym/exercise at least three days a week for at least an hour each time. I did exercise more than in the past, but it was generally very irregular. Some weeks I would go almost every day, and some weeks I would only go once or not at all.Getting the motivation to actually get up, change clothes, and go to the gym is the worst part for me. Once I’m there, I genuinely enjoy it. Some exercise is better than none, of course, but I would love to try to develop a regular schedule instead of just going when I feel like it.

[  ] Go at least one day a week without any junk food and try to eat a fairly balanced diet the other six days of the week. I didn’t follow this specifically, but I do feel like I was generally pretty good with eating fairly balanced. Of course I had off days (or weeks), but in general, I did pretty decent. I feel a lot better physically and mentally when I eat well, so I tend to notice the change if I’ve had too much junk food.

[  ] Make and keep up with a health/wellness diary to hold me more accountable for what I eat and how often I exercise. I did this for part of the year, sometimes with MyFitnessPal and sometimes an actual notebook. My issue with MyFitnessPal is that it tracks mainly calories, and I don’t like to focus just on calories because then other aspects get ignored. Then I tried an actual notebook health diary, and I just flat-out got too lazy to write down everything I ate in a day. And for the period of time where I did actually write what I consumed down, it didn’t really stop me from eating what I wanted to eat. If I wanted half a pizza, I ate half a pizza.

[x] Get a second job for the summer. I did end up doing this one, I got a second job at a SuperAmerica by my house. It’s a decent job and close to home, so it was great for the summer. I worked there some over my winter break this year, too, and it was nice to get a bit of money coming in while I’m home.

[  ] Post on this blog at least once every two weeks, even if it’s really short or about something insignificant. If you couldn’t tell by the giant time gap on the side (which skips from February 2016 to December 2016), I 100% did not achieve this one. I added English Writing as a second major this past semester (which I decided to drop for various reasons), I did quite a bit of writing. Because of that, personal, just-for-fun writing fell to the back burner and I did very little of it beyond what I was required to do for class.

[  ] Read at least one book a month for leisure (books for school-work or classes do not count). I don’t know why I thought I would actually do this, I don’t think I read a single leisure book all year. That makes me sad, actually, because I used to really love reading. But now when I have spare time after class and before work, I want to nap or watch Netflix, not read.

[x] Get another tattoo, but only if it has significant meaning to me and has been well thought out. I got two more tattoos this year, actually, both at the same time because it was less expensive. (Sorry, mom and dad, but I don’t regret them.) I posted them on Instagram right after I got them, you can check out the post if you want to see them or know why I chose to get them. The pictures were taken literally right after the guy finished so the ink wasn’t at all settled into my skin. They could afford to be touched up, but they look cleaner than they do in those pictures.

And that’s it! I didn’t really meet many of them this past year, and I know I could’ve done better; but since I can’t change any of that now, I’m just going to look ahead and focus on making 2017 better than 2016 (which really shouldn’t be that hard, given all the things 2016 threw at humanity). So if any of you are feeling a bit down about 2016—especially if it’s things out of your control—try, with the new year, to focus on what you can control, which is you. Work on making the world even just a little bit better by things you do and say, and others might take your lead. Change isn’t an instant thing that happens overnight—it’s gradual, and it starts with individual people like you and I.



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