I didn’t plan to write about my year in review. I guess I don’t think much of New Years.

People on Facebook post “new year, new me!” I think these posts are ridiculous. Why should the new year change who you are?

Many people don’t keep their new year’s resolutions. Isn’t this enough to show a different year doesn’t change who people are?

Despite this, I’m going to write about my year in review. I had an amazing 2015. The purpose of this post is for me to express my gratitude to the past year, and touch on what I hope to accomplish going forward.

“We Should Go to Europe!”

In early April, my girlfriend asked me if I would like to go to Europe with her in the summer. Travelling Europe was a dream of hers. She would be getting her Bachelor’s in May, and the upcoming summer would be the perfect time to travel.

I’d never been out of the country before. I was hesitant. I read news stories about horrific things that happen to tourists.

You know the stories – terrorist attacks and random acts of violence.

Prior to the trip, I did my research. I read about people who got pickpocketed or scammed.

I read horror stories about people getting caught in the airport or losing their luggage.

Oh yeah, my other concern had to do with the 10 hour flight from the U.S. to Europe.

I knew flying is safer than driving. But I still had thoughts of the Malaysian airline plan that randomly went missing.

Despite these (completely irrational) fears I couldn’t say no. These worries weren’t going to prevent me from taking the trip of a lifetime.

“I can’t wait to go!” I said to my girlfriend with slight hesitation.

I’m Grateful I Had This Opportunity

I’m grateful I could take a month off from work and travel. This isn’t a privilege that many people get to have, and I had it.

In July, my girlfriend and I traveled throughout Spain by car for two weeks. Afterwards we hopped on a plane to Amsterdam, Netherlands for a few days. Then we took a train to Cologne, Germany for a couple of days. Then a short bus trip to Brussels, Belgium. And finally one last flight back to Spain to visit my girlfriend’s family for a week.

A Wonderful Learning Experience

I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to observe different cultures and the different ways of life.

I was exposed to the Spanish culture of taking afternoon siestas and lunches being the biggest meal of the day.

I saw a more laid back, slower pace of life in these countries. Contrast this with America, where everything is quick, full-throttle all of the time. The slower pace of life was a nice change.

I’m grateful that I got to see many beautiful landmarks. I saw countless Cathedrals throughout Spain, including those in Avila, Seville, and Barcelona.

I also got to see breathtaking museums in Amsterdam and Cologne. Museums which chronicled the rise and fall of Nazi Germany in World War II. Others that exposed me to the art of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

I’m grateful because I found a greater appreciation for the world.

I appreciate the other cultures that share the world.

I appreciate how far we have come as a civilization.

What Else am I Grateful for in 2015?

Going to Europe was the trip I will never forget. But it’s not the only thing that I’m grateful for in 2015.

I’ve learned to become more present. I’ve learned to live in the current moment.

In years past I would fret about the future or the past instead of enjoying the present.

As a result, my mind focused on those things that I cannot control right now.

I’ve learned to live in the present and savor each and every day that I have.

You Know How You Savor a Good Meal?

You smell the food prior to eating. You chew the food slower, and try to identify its many flavors. You strive to make every bite count.

This is my new approach to life. I try to savor every moment that I have. I don’t rush to get things done.

I’m more present. I live in the current moment. I work daily to become more aware of where I am and what I am doing.

As a result, I’m more in touch with myself. I better recognize how I really feel.

If you read my last post, I don’t worry about the past or the future any more. Life’s too short to worry about those things. Time is just an illusion. All we have is the moment that is given to us right now.

I’m extremely happy with 2015.

Most people are ready to turn the calendar over to the next year. They hope for a better year. This year I don’t feel that way. I’ve grown a lot as a person. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

Moving On to 2016

I’m not asking much more from 2016 than I got from 2015. But, if I had to list out some goals, here they are:

1. Continue to learn every day.

Learning keeps you young. It makes you grow.

Not only that, but growing and learning helps you identify opportunities.

I also talked about this in my last post. I strive to make every moment a learning and growing opportunity.

2. I want to help others more.

It’s easy to focus on what I want.

In 2016 I strive to help others out more.

I think I do a decent job of this, but I would like to improve going forward. And I want to help others continue grow and learn as well.

That’s why I enjoy blogging so much. If only one person learns something new from what I write, then I have accomplished my goal as a writer.

3. Create an ecommerce business that will allow me to quit my job.

This last goal is one that I’ve been working at for a couple of years now.

I want to make money selling products online. This goal is completely unrelated to this blog. I have no intention of making money from this blog.

But I do have plans to grow my ecommerce business online. My goal is to generate enough income that will allow me to quit my job and focus on this business full time.

If this doesn’t work out, will 2016 be a bust? Of course not!

I had a goal of generating income from eBooks in 2015, and I failed miserably. And here I am, calling 2015 one of my best years ever.

These are my goals. But they’re not really goals as much as they are reminders. Reminders of who I am and who I would like to become.

What about you?

What is one thing you are grateful for in 2015? And what is one goal you would like to accomplish in 2016? Let me know with a comment below!

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37 thoughts on “I Wasn’t Going to Do This

  1. “I had a goal of generating income from eBooks in 2015, and I failed miserably. And here I am, calling 2015 one of my best years ever.” I love that sentence. Isn’t it interesting how things work out! Good luck!

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  2. This was my first full year of retirement at age 56. I learned over my 20 years in practice listening to patients and learning from their words and experiences how to prepare for a meaningful enjoyable retirement. I am grateful to all my patients, for they have taught me more about life and health than my years of study to become a doctor.

    I wish you great success in your pursuits in the coming years. Living your life in the present (with an awareness about future needs) is a practical approach that will add much joy to your life.

    Have a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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    1. Congrats on the retirement Jonathan!

      That’s awesome that you’ve taken what you’ve learned from you patients and are now applying it to your retirement!

      Thanks for the comment. Have a Healthy and Happy New Year as well!

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  3. “You smell the food prior to eating. You chew the food slower, and try to identify its many flavors. You strive to make every bite count.
    This is my new approach to life. I try to savor every moment that I have. I don’t rush to get things done.”
    Lately, my senses have heighten, so when I read that excerpt from your post above, it made my heart smile! So, if you don’t mind of course, I would like to “DITTO” that and say, “Cheers to savoring every single bite, one-by-one, of what 2016 has to offer.” –W38

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    1. Isn’t it great when your senses are heightened just by becoming more aware?

      “Cheers to savoring every single bite, one-by-one, of what 2016 has to offer.” I love this! Wishing you a great New Years!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree life is not about the end goals, it’s about the present moments and how we choose to spend them and perceive them. You have a wonderful talent for writing, I really enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such a great post! I know this resolution mania well, and it used to drive me crazy until I found gratitude and being present one year. I think it happened when my kids were born and I was trying to multitask the crap out of everything, I learned to slow down and be in the moment. Now instead of all these top ten or twenty goals for the year I narrowed stuff down to a couple of themes, stuff that helps keep me in the good-times-noodle-salad moments. For an unplanned post, this one is pretty awesome. Thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods.

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    1. That sounds very similar to my experience this past year! I know what you mean about trying to do too much and multitask.

      I also like what you say about having themes instead of ten or twenty goals. I think that’s extremely important.

      Thanks for the comment and have a Happy New Years!

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  6. Excellent post because it was not boastful, just real. I felt hesitant about overseas travel but i went and my trips are extremely pleasant memories I cherish now. Having goals or a vision helps us to plan steps to success. A good friend of mine says “we don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan”.
    You are a very good writer, don’t lose your vision. Enjoy your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do my best to keep it real, haha.

      Maybe it’s natural to be hesitant when we first start travelling because everything is so unknown.

      Thank you for the kind words. I wish you a very Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One good book I am reading right now is “The Power of Now” by Eckhardt Tolle. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t read it yet!

      Another thing that has helped me become more present is implementing meditation in my life. It’s not always easy, but completely worth it.

      Thanks for the comment! Have a great New Years!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Savouring what your are engaged in.
    Taking the time to appreciate.
    Having goals but not expecting immediate rewards.
    This post shows 2015 was a good year.
    Your trip showed you more than the TV news.
    With your outlook you will have a wonderful 2016.
    May the force be with you. _/\_

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to say I was inspired by your resolution to overcome your fears, and to go travelling anyway. I think that pushing out of our comfort zones is one of the best ways to grow, both spiritually and emotionally. I hope I can do the same this coming year.

    Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Justin I found you because you clicked like on one of my posts. Thank you. I like your thinking – yes, no resolutions for 2016. We all know just how long they last. But I like your list of practices and goals for this year. And congratulations on taking that step into the unknown – I can see how peased you are that you did that with your trip to Europe. Enjoy 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved reading your post (very easy to follow as it was so clearly organized!) Bravo to you for having reflected on what you have learned. My goal for this year is to live. Last year it was to survive. There is a huge difference between the two — And living is actually more challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing such a great post. I absolutely love your writing style.

    The best thing in 2015 = the love of my husband and family

    What I want to achieve in 2015 = lots of things. But I want to focus on mindfulness.

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    1. Thank you so much Lexa, I really appreciate it!

      It sounds like 2015 was a pretty good year for you.

      I think mindfulness is a great goal for 2016. It really will change your life. I wish you the best of luck!

      Like

  12. Uhh? Ummm… I didn’t like 2015. For 2016? I dunno… The silly thing just started… I suppose I’d like to achieve the 20 minute mile! All the best to you for the new year. I got it! I’d like to see the world!

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  13. Good job. Your conclusions within your past couple of articles make clear your newly discovered realization of importance with making the most of what you have to work with currently. Be sure to balance yourself with plenty of appreciation for todays place in which you reside and in conjunction to also continue the quest toward improvement for tomorrow. It is obvious that you do not possess the internal passion toward your current career, but it is also very important to not condemn yourself for past choices. That was then, this is now and we only make our decisions with the information we have at any specific point in time. I agree….you are more mature now than even just a year ago and you understand the value of your changing perspectives. Your concern for others’ wellbeing is an inherent trait that all humans have, however, it is extremely sad that many among us seem to ignore this built-in characteristic, (which is the only means by which anyone could intentionally abuse another). You are definitely one to look up to as an example of genuine kindness and integrity. You will achieve you goals of a career that better suits you and it is only the timing that is left to be determined. I have a past article of my own which bares the title: “The generation of positive change”.
    You are a prime example of what I was referring to in that writing.
    Joe

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