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That’s A Wrap on 2021

Hey there hi there! As 2021 comes to a close, I’m starting to think a lot about what I want 2022 to look like. I don’t like committing to resolutions each year, but I do want to work towards a few things, and, yes, complete a couple challenges 🙂 

One BIG thing I want to get back to is the 52 Hike Challenge. I completed it in 2018, and it changed me in so many ways for the better! After listening to all the true crime podcasts I have hesitations about getting out there on my own as often, but I do want to get out there. And I’m going to bring Denny along with me! As well as all the friends I can get. Spending time outside does wonders for my mental and physical health, and I need to get back to that. Covid took all of that away from me. I will be re-posting a post I created about a year ago that goes into more detail about the hike challenge!

Last spring Denny and I acquired a really rundown camper with the intention of gutting it and fixing it up ourselves. Well, time and our wallets got away from us, and we haven’t gotten much (anything) done. Its been sitting in a storage slot in Illinois. Now that we’re living together and now that I’m making more money, we’re thinking about saving up for something already in good shape that we can start using as soon as we get it. 

Another thing at the top of the goal list is to find my love for my overall health and fitness, and to create a routine around moving my body and eating intuitively. I understand that putting myself under a lot of pressure around this leads to binging and falling way off track so I’ve been spending time playing around with when in the day I get the most out of a workout, how I can plan and prep for a successful week with nutrition, and how I can do this while still knowing that life happens and it won’t be perfect all the time. I have to give myself the grace to not be perfect all the time, but also know that resting and enjoying life is not “getting off track.” Its being human! I have no desires to be a body builder or train like one. I want to be strong, healthy, active, and sure a bit toned. That doesn’t mean I need to stick to a strict diet and workout for hours each day. 

Using a planner and/or journaling has always been something that has helped me in life, but hasn’t been something that I’ve been able to stick with. Somehow, someway, I start off strong each year, and by the ned of summer my planner is blank. I would like to change this. Its going to be tough, because I work in a virtual space, which means things change often, and everything is saved online. But I know for my mind I need it on paper. So while it might not be my work schedule each week, I want to keep up with what’s going on in my life, keep track of these goals, and keep all my memories in one place. For the last few years I’ve used a Passion Planner, and I already have mine for 2022! This time I went for the spiral bound planner in the hopes of it not taking up so much space on my desk. 🙂 

I want to have a reading challenge. This year I thought about the reading height challenge – which is reading your height in books stacked up. I can do that, and I’m on track, but I’m thinking of a shift. I have Audible again, and that makes it hard to measure the books. I also REALLY want to read ALL of Stephen King’s books! I know there’s no way to do that in one year, but its a life goal that I’m starting now. I’ve already read 3 or 4, and the next book up is The Shining!

We’re almost there – two things left! 

Next up is learning more about money and to create a savings plan! For the first time EVER I’m able to tuck money away into my savings account without having to dip into it between paydays. Right now, my goal is to have 6 months of salary saved up as my emergency fund, and more saved up for future plans (camper, house, a pet, etc). I just started doing this this month (December 2021) so its going to take a while to build up, but just getting started and seeing it build and grow interest is THE BEST! When it comes to savings for a two-person household, I have no clue. Do we keep our savings separate, or do we dump it all into one savings to build up that much more interest? Then there’s investing, and putting this money towards something. I have zero idea of where to even get started there! 

And lastly – traveling! Of course US travel – I want to get back out there and see some great things, but also INTERNATIONAL travel! Even if its Mexico or Canada! A friend of Denny’s is getting married in Mexico in July so that could fulfill that part of the travel goal, but we’re still not sure if we’re going to go. We don’t even have our passports! I have everything printed out. We just have to send it all in, and I want to sign up for TSA pre-check. The list goes on and on. 

To wrap up, a lot of things in my life have changed/are changing for the better, and its lighting all these fires inside me again that were put out the last couple years. The weights lifted from my mental stress are making room for so many great things, and in some ways its a bit overwhelming! I took a leap into the unknown, and I wish I had done it a long time ago. Granted, this was the perfect opportunity at the right time, but dang. I wish it had come earlier! All I can do is reflect and learn from my experiences, and keep moving forward and doing awesome things with awesome people. 

So as 2021 comes to a close, I’m looking back on how grateful I am to all of the people who were there for me. I didn’t realize just how much COVID and my previous circumstances had weighed on me until I took the leap to something new. These last couple months of the year have been the most exciting and productive months I’ve had in a long time (except for Disney World last July), and I can only imagine that this is the baseline for what 2022 will feel like! How frickin’ crazy is that?! 

Happy holidays to all – and I’ll see you in 2022!

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I have another thing to add 🙂 Its been about a week since I wrote this post out, and I want to add this in. I’m thinking about the Hike Challenge, and creative ways to document it. The last time I did it, I recorded a few seconds of looking down at my feet on the trails for each hike (check it out here on Youtube!), and I’d like to do something like that again. My plan right now is to record clips on each hike and post on social media (Instagram, TikTok, Youtube), but I’d like a certain shot in each one that can be compiled at the end. So that’s on my mind. This is also a part of working on my video skills! I have Skillshare, and I’m really enjoying learning more about film and storytelling and its all really exciting!

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