Looking Back at 26

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, February 06, 2019
Tomorrow is my 27th birthday! It's crazy how fast this last year has gone by. Last year, when I celebrated year 26, I created a list of things I wanted to complete during the year. Looking back at that list, I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to, but still had an amazing year. Below is my recap of my 26 Things to Do at 26.

26 Things to Do at 26: The Results

1. LIVE LIFE WITH INTENTION. Between being dedicated to my job, relationships, and faith, I feel like I succeeded in doing life with intention. It wasn't always easy, but I certainly tried to follow through with things with purpose and strength.

2. TAKE CARE OF MY BODY BY BECOMING HEALTHIER, BOTH IN FITNESS AND NUTRITION. I started working out through different avenues, all because I signed up for a Tough Mudder. I completed three 5Ks (Shake It Up, Fox Trot, and Hot Chocolate), started going to Pure Barre, and of course, finished the Tough Mudder.

3. CUT BACK ON MY STARBUCKS INTAKE. I ended up increasing my Starbucks intake, starting every morning with my latte and bagel.

4. START GOING TO BED EARLIER. I actually went to bed later, but started my day a little later, as well.

5. MOVE INTO MY OWN PLACE. I moved in with two amazing girls in Chicago!

6. CLEAN OUT, DONATE, ORGANIZE, ETC. ALL OF MY THINGS. Prior to moving, I went through a lot of possessions, minimizing what I needed to move.

7. LISTEN TO MY CHRISTIAN MUSIC PLAYLIST ON THE WAY TO WORK (AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK). It was a wonderful way to start my day, connecting with God during my commute.

8. COMMIT TO GOING TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY THAT I'M IN TOWN. Once I moved, this became a lot easier to complete. Currently loving Soul City, my new church.

9. READ A NEW BOOK EVERY MONTH. I read not one book the entire year. (I am joining a book club this month though, so hopefully I can fix that this year!)

10. CONSISTENTLY USE MY PLANNER. Yes! For 2018 I used my Rifle Paper Co planner; for 2019 I've switched to Fringe.

11. SECURE A FULL-TIME JOB WITH BENEFITS. I landed a job with the company I've wanted to work for since I was 14.

12. CONTINUE TO INVEST IN MY CAREER, CONSTANTLY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN. Through different development programs at work, I've been able to expand my knowledge and grow my opportunities.

13. LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST. This year, I bought stock in my company, but to be honest, that's the extent of my knowledge.

14. MAKE AN EFFORT TO CONNECT WITH FRIENDS WHO LIVE BOTH NEAR AND FAR. I was able to see friends from all over the country through the year. It was amazing!

15. ATTEND A MINIMUM OF 5 CONCERTS. I attended three concerts (Ed Sheeran, Rascal Flatts with Dan + Shay, and Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town) and one three-day music festival (Country Lake Shake).

16. TRAVEL TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. I traveled to two different countries throughout the year: Mexico and Canada.

17. TAKE A WEEKEND TRIP TO A NEW STATE AT LEAST TWICE. I was able to go out of state a fair bit this year, between work trips and weekends away with friends. I visited California, New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina. This is definitely something I want to continue to do throughout the years.

18. GO ON VACATION WITH MY FAMILY. Our goal this year was to travel somewhere abroad as a family, but when Kenneth found out he was accepted in the Charleston Fire Department, our family trip abroad turned into a road trip to South Carolina.

19. GO SOMEWHERE NEW IN MY CITY ONCE A MONTH. I tried to visit somewhere new within Chicago as often as I could. Countless weekends were spent at new restaurants, bars, and pop-ups.

20. EXPLORE A NEW CITY ONCE A MONTH. Through my work and personal travel, I was able to explore a lot of new cities, including Knoxville, TN; Mill Valley, CA; Manzanita, OR; Grand Rapids, MI; Lake Geneva, WI; Vancouver, WA; and Lexington, KY.

21. CONTINUE TO BUILD LAVENDER ELIZABETH BY POSTING AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK. My original goal was to blog between 6-8 times per month and I was able to do that (minus a busy November). I'm looking forward to continuing this trend throughout 2019.

22. COLLABORATE WITH OTHER BLOGGERS. Unfortunately, this isn't something I did. I'm still trying to figure out how to join the blogging community by connecting with others within in.

23. ATTEND A BLOGGING CONFERENCE. I didn't attend one during Year 26, but I did purchase a ticket to the Bloom Bash Workshop in Texas for November 2019!

24. LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY USE MY CAMERA. I've been working to use my camera more often, gaining more confidence in the different settings. I would still like to take a class to learn all the intricacies of my camera to create the best photos possible.

25. GET UPDATED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS TAKEN. Sadly, I didn't do this, however, fully plan on getting photos taken in the next year (hopefully in the Spring or Fall)!

26. EMBRACE BEING 26. I feel like I did this. I'm fully prepared to turn 27 tomorrow and I think that means I did 26 right.

Looking forward to my 27th year already!
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