Reflecting On 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

When 2016 started, I was seeing several posts about picking a Word For The Year. It seemed like a nice sentiment, wrapping all of your hopes and goals and resolutions into a single word to focus on. I never posted mine on here, but I wrote it down for myself: embrace.

I wanted to embrace life, the good and the bad. To find the silver lining. To make the most of an unfortunate situation. I feel that I've done that. Some of the evidence is even in my blog archive itself: I embraced who I am even if it's a little different than other 20-somethings, did a 24-hour adventure race in Chicagotook a trip to Denver, stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a book tour solotried new things creatively, did what I could to make life a little easier and to make every day a good one. I feel it in my insides, that mentally I am in a good place.

Now, I wanted to take some time to look back on the year – on my growth, what I've been writing, what I've been reading, and how this blog has developed and progressed.


2016 was the first year in which I actually took my resolutions seriously. I decided on four, put them on the record, and consciously made an effort to keep them.

Be more of a morning person

I still wouldn't call myself a Morning Person (I doubt I ever will), but I'm certainly more of one. Nowadays I don't like to sleep past 10 a.m. on the weekends, when that used to be the earliest I'd get up. As for the weekdays, though I still don't particularly enjoy waking up early, I've at least established a routine that makes the pre-sunrise hours more tolerable.

Read more

CHECK! I am now always in the midst of a book. Once I finish one, I start a new one the next day. And not only do I read more, but I feel like I read faster now.

Document more positive things

Writing will always be an outlet for me to dispel some form of negativity. Still, I do think that I've successfully kept a good focus on the positive parts. I've made a point of reminding myself of all the things to be happy about. I've started keeping Done lists to feel more accomplished. I do my best to stay optimistic and grateful.

Make things happen

My final resolution was more broad, simply to go after anything else that I wanted to achieve. For instance, I ended up creating a YouTube channel, and I finally nailed crow-to-plank.

Favorite Posts

Of the 69 posts that I've put up so far this year, here are a few that I'm particularly proud of:

Blog Growth

2016 was my first full year running this blog. Maybe it hasn't grown as much as others, maybe my audience isn't as large as other year-and-a-half-old blogs, but I'm happy with it. This year I added an anonymous contact form, created a reading index, and set up a Facebook page and new email address. I made new header and sign-off images (that are my actual handwriting). I've shared personal stories, opened up about some struggles, and interviewed others about their own personal journeys. The fact that I've regularly kept up with this site for 18 months now is something I would consider an accomplishment in itself. And I can't wait to keep going.

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