2019 in the Rearview Mirror

Why does it always feel like 2019 has lasted forever and yet that the end of the year has come in the blink of an eye at the same time?

This year, we’re not just waving 2019 goodbye, we are also saying farewell to the end of the decade. As I reflect on my life, sooo much has happened for me; beyond my wildest dreams.

So with 2019 in the rearview mirror, I thought it was the perfect time to do a little reflection of what’s gone and some projection for the next decade!

Decade in Review

Here are some of the most notable pop-culture moments from the past decade:

2010 — the first iPad was released and skinny jeans were the IT item of the year

2011 — Prince William and Kate got married and “planking” became the latest viral trend

2012 — “Gangnam Style” became the most-watched music video ever and everyone thought the world was going to end

2013 — Big statement sunglasses became super popular and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines was released

2014 — In support of ALS, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral

2015 — Pope Francis visited the US and “athleisure” became the newest and hottest trend

2016 — Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar and Pokémon Go took the world by storm

2017 — The fashion world traded chokers for statement earrings (the bigger, the better!)

2018 — Another Royal wedding! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married and the infamous Banksy painting self-destructed

2019 — Animal print and jumpsuits remained all the rage

But while it’s fun to reflect on the highlights of pop culture, it’s even more important to think about where you are today, how far you’ve come in the past year (or decade), and what you want your life to look like in the future.

I urge you to do two things: to leave what’s passed in the rearview mirror while also make plans for what’s ahead.

Let it Be

Just like the famous Beatles song, sometimes you just have to let it be. Our culture is often fixated on self-improvement, and the many ways that we have failed or come up short. While it can be a worthwhile exercise to acknowledge those failures once in awhile, don’t dwell on it. Make a plan for how you will avoid similar blunders in the future and accept that we all make mistakes.

Of course it’s easy to focus on the negatives and let them linger in your mind. But what’s in the past has already happened, and no matter what it was, it has shaped you and brought you to this moment. Without going through hardship, you would not be the person you are at present. It’s much more beneficial to learn how to let it all go. Don’t be overly critical because it’s really not productive — instead, see your strong suits and remind yourself of all of the ‘wins’ you’ve experienced.

When you switch your mindset to only focus on the positives, you are setting yourself up for success. Positivity breeds favorable results. Write down your biggest accomplishments — what was your mindset like? Did you get a good night’s sleep? What did you eat? Who were you surrounded by?

These questions are important in understanding the full picture, and can really help your narrow down the environment that constitutes your most successful self.

Look Ahead

Now, to the fun part! With the new decade on the horizon, my hope for you is that you plan out your wildest dreams. There is no time like the present, and you have the power to make it happen.

That business you’ve always wanted to start? The 15 pounds you’ve been meaning to lose? The promise you’ve made to yourself to get on top of clutter? Do it. However, saying that you’re going to “lose weight” or “get better sleep” is not a real goal. They can be your end goal, but it doesn’t really break down how you plan on reaching the finish line.

SMART goals have become a buzz term lately, but they really work. Set goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely — meaning that those lofty aspirations are still good, but you have to outline how you plan to get there. For example, if it is your goal to lose 15 pounds, set a timeline and benchmarks for how many pounds you plan to lose on a weekly basis.

When setting goals, using the SMART method will help to set you up for success. If you’re looking to achieve that dream life, break it down into smaller goals. For example, if you want to start your own business, you should likely create a website/social media, find some kind of mentor, and have an idea of how you plan to market it (to name a few). But thinking big picture can feel very daunting, which is why it’s helpful to break it down into steps.

Deal with your ambitions one step at a time. So, start out with creating a website, and make it your goal to have X amount of blog posts and content in one month’s time. Then, set a goal for your social media and slowly work up from there. Think of goals like building blocks — knock out the easier ones first so that you gain the confidence to work up to the big ones.

sAlso, newsflash! Your goal can be to do less. Maybe for you taking some things off your plate and learning how to relax feels just as radical as starting a business or losing 20 pounds. Whatever your goals are, know that you are in control of your destiny.

Make 2020 your year to focus on YOU — your ambition, self-worth, and growth.

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