As the year comes to an end, people naturally think back and reflect over the last year.
For me, 2015 was not exactly kind. Without the support from my fiance, my family, and my friends, I’d be in a very different place right now.
My lack of employment, lack of funds, and lack of confidence left me longing for something better. I spent too much of my time waiting, wishing, wanting… and incidentally, reading a lot of “self-help”, motivational and inspirational articles.
Some of these articles appeared exactly when I needed them, and said exactly what I needed them to say. Others sort of lingered in the back of my mind, only to pop-up when the time was right. Either way, their words stuck with me.
So in my reflecting on 2015, I thought the best way to wrap up the year on my blog would be to share with you 10 posts that changed my life this year.
I hope they can change your life, too!
Money Propeller – Make Your Year Remarkable
I’ve written before about how Kathleen (of Frugal Portland, For Profit Blogging and Stacking Benjamins) and Anne (of Unique Gifter and Money Propeller) hold a spot close in my blogging heart, so it’s not really surprising that I start off with a post from them.
This year, Kathleen launched her creation The Remarkable Year, a calendar/planner/goal-tracker, or a “place to hold your thoughts, dreams, and accomplishments that will help you realize just how much you can do in one remarkable year.” I instantly fell in love with the idea, and got myself a copy. I don’t want to 2016 to be another crappy year – I want it to be remarkable! I believe this will help get me there.
Vanessa’s Money – No One Is Looking at You
Speaking of goals, I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I’m a wannabe runner. Each spring, I tell myself that this is the year that I’m going to be able to run 5k by the end of the summer, but each year I fail. A part of that comes from being self-conscious over how out of shape I’ve become.
In her post, Vanessa (who has really been there for me this year!) says it best: “If you’re afraid to go out and run or try a new project but are afraid that people are looking at you, stop! Stop worrying about other people and stop caring what they may or may not be looking at or thinking of. No one’s looking at you.”
My Alternate Life – We Are What We Repeatedly Do
In her post, Jordann confesses some of the bad habits that she has that don’t align with the vision she has for herself. And in doing so, she reminded me that besides the whole being a runner-who-never-runs thing, I too am moving farther away from the person I want to be.
“We are what we do. So what do you do? What habits do you have right now that don’t reflect how you see yourself?” And more importantly, what are you going to do to change it?
Blonde on a Budget – It Costs Nothing to Be a Better Person
Cait had some real gems this year, which made it hard to pick my favourite. Although following along with her year-long shopping ban was pretty amazing, it was her reminder that “you cannot do better or feel better or become a better person without first being better to yourself” that really stuck with me.
And guess what? Being more positive, or patient, or pushing yourself to achieve your goals – they all cost nothing.
Shannon McNay – Stop Judging Yourself Based on Everyone Else’s Goals
This guest post on Blonde on a Budget by Shannon (who I know better from Ready for Zero) was the perfect follow-up I needed to Cait’s shopping ban. You see, I was extremely jealous of Cait because she chose not to shop for a year, whereas I’ve simply been too broke to shop for nearly 2 years now.
Shannon’s post, however, put my reaction into a much healthier and more positive perspective. “Watching other people take steps towards positive change has a way of making us think that we should too. But it is possible to learn instead of judge.”
My Pennies, My Thoughts – Don’t Get Offended By People’s Money Choices, They Aren’t Personal
On a similar note, Janine (who has also been there for me a lot!) learned while planning her wedding that you can’t be offended by how others choose to spend (or in this case, not spend) their money.
“While it’s hard to not take other people’s money choices personally, I find I have to remind myself that in the end, whether I think they are right or wrong, it has absolutely nothing to do with me…”
The Shop My Closet Project – Learning to Let That Stuff Go
I’ve been following Michelle’s blog for years now, but I haven’t really interacted with her much. This year, she reached out to me with a simple “just checking in” email at a critical time for me. I don’t think she knows how big of an impact that simple gesture had on me. There was no way I could compile this list without including her!
She too wrote several memorable posts this year, but I honestly felt like this one was specifically written for me. “Stop being a victim… And take control of your situation as much as you possibly can.” Yes! “Because if YOU don’t believe it’s possible to have what you dream for yourself, than how will the Universe manifest it for you?”
Frugal Farm Wife – How To Be Happy – Even When You’re Dirt Poor
I’m not “dirt poor”, but I’ve never had less money and more debt then I do now. Although we cut back our spending with each new financial challenge, like Elise I often wondered “How many more notches can the belt be tightened before it breaks?“
It’s hard to stay positive when your bank accounts are in the negative. “Poor me. Why me? I hate this. I can’t live like this. I don’t want this.” That was me. That probably still is me. But at least I’m now conscious that my poor attitude is a factor in why I’m poor. And I can choose to be happy instead.
Unsettle is a website and community that could potentially change your life. Seriously. With her website, Sarah is on a mission “To help you stop settling for ‘okay’ lives and careers, and start acting on your ideas.“
I would consider myself to be a settler, unfortunately. I have ideas and aspirations, but I don’t act on them. Actually, that’s not true. I suffer from information overload, or what Sarah calls “researchitis“. I think I’m being productive by spending hours reading and researching, but nope – “Information overload is the enemy of productivity. It feels productive because you’re ‘learning’, but in reality you’re wasting time.”
That’s where this post and guide comes in. It will help you “just say no to information overload” and overcome any analysis paralysis that has left you paralyzed.
Kali Halwk – How to Start Before You’re Ready
Kali Halwk has become my go-to when I need to find motivation. She wrote numerous posts this year that appeared exactly when I needed them, and said exactly what I needed them to say. This one was my favourite. I’ll let it speak for itself.
“The world turns forward; time marches on. Why not march boldy forward with it? The answers you think you need now exist in a place you can reach only by continuing down the path that you make second by second via the decisions you make and the actions you take.“
I know that with these words, the right attitude, and the continued support of my family and my friends (online and offline) I
can will change my life, and make 2016 a much better year.
YOUR TURN: What (or who) changed your life this year?
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