Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

The New Year and the new decade are now well under way! I like to start each year with a few posts that are focused on what I want to create for myself over the course of the upcoming twelve months. I started a bit early this time when I introduced my 2020 theme, “enough,” on the final day of 2019. Today, I’d like to share a helpful practice that I started last year but didn’t write about on the blog. I decided to share it this year because you might also want to give it a try, plus the accountability of writing about it on the blog may help me to be more successful.

Happiness writer and podcaster Gretchen Rubin and her sister/podcast cohost Elizabeth Craft come up with a series of goals each year, the number of which corresponds with the current year. Last year, it was “19 for 2019,” and this year, it’s “20 for 2020.” The goals can be big or small and can be related to any area of life: health, relationships, work, creativity, home, finances, etc. Some people have opted to incorporate the number 20 into the items on their lists, such as doing 20 things for themselves and 20 things for other people, doing 20 things that include the number 20, or working on a challenging item for 20 minutes per day.

20 for 2020 list

I created a list of 20 goals that I would like to accomplish this year. 

You can see Gretchen’s and Elizabeth’s lists, as well as some additional suggestions for creating your own list, on the show notes page for their January 8th podcast, when their “20 for 2020” lists were revealed. For the first time since starting this yearly exercise, Gretchen opted to divide her list into categories, while Elizabeth simply listed out her items in no particular order. If you want to find out why they chose the items on their lists, I recommend that you listen to the podcast (episode #255, around 49 minutes long).

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Happy New Year! I hope that 2020 is off to a great start for all of you. Before I dive into new posts and topics for this year, I’d like to take some time to reflect upon what happened with Full Life Reflections in 2019. I think it’s beneficial to periodically take a step back to celebrate our accomplishments and progress, and the beginning of a new year can be a perfect time to do that. I’ve done this type of retrospective for each year of my blogging journey since 2013 (except for 2017, when I was mostly inactive) and I’ve found it to be a valuable exercise, so here goes…

best of 2019

During 2019, I published 22 essays on this blog, which was quite a bit less than the previous year (I published 33 essays in 2018) and not nearly as much as I ultimately wanted. However, given the fact that it was a challenging year for me in many respects, I’m glad that I was still able to post about twice per month on average. As was the case for 2018, my posts were on a variety of topics, including life balance, freedom (my 2019 theme), peace, happiness, and wardrobe management. Today, I’ll share the most popular posts from 2019, as well as my personal favorites. I’ll also highlight the outgoing links that were clicked on most often by visitors to the blog.

This retrospective post will give new readers of Full Life Reflections a chance to check out some highlights from 2019, while longtime readers will have an opportunity to revisit posts they either missed the first time around or would like to explore again. As a reminder, you can browse all of my essays by topic via the “Browse by Category” links on the sidebar of the site, and a full article listing is available in the Article Archive.

In case you want to check out my previous “best of” collections, here are the links:

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We’re down to the wire with the end of the year – and the end of the decade! In my last post, I reflected upon my theme for 2019, “freedom,” and how it has impacted my life for the positive. Back in October, I also shared some thoughts about the decade drawing to a close, specifically around what I don’t want to carry forward with me into 2020 and beyond.  Now, in my final post of 2019, I will reveal what I have chosen as my word/theme for the coming year and why I have made that selection.

My 2020 Word/Theme

As you may have guessed from the title of today’s post, my 2020 word is “enough.” I actually can’t take full credit for my selecting this word, as it was first chosen by a friend of mine. This friend has similar challenges to me related to overshopping and insecurities about her appearance and her life choices. In an email she sent to me about a month ago, she told me that her 2020 word would be “enough” because she wanted to reinforce that she has enough and she is enough. Upon reading the email, I immediately knew that “enough” was also the right word to guide me in the coming year.

Included below are some of the ways (more to come in future posts…) in which I would like the theme of “enough” to impact my life over the next twelve months.

My 2020 theme - enough

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If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I make a habit of selecting a one-word theme each year. This theme serves as sort of an over-arching beacon for my goals, activities, and introspection for that given year. Some examples of themes that I have chosen during the past decade include simplicity, joy, deliberate, balance, peace, and essential. I have found that each theme tends to lead into the following one such that it’s not difficult at all to decide how I want to focus the coming year.

My theme for 2019 has been “freedom.” This theme was introduced in January, and I also wrapped up my 2018 theme (essential) in the same post. Over the course of this year, I’ve written about my freedom theme in multiple posts, including an update at the halfway point in June and some thoughts about how technology impacts our freedom. I’ve given a great deal of thought this year to the role of freedom in my life. I’ve made some changes that have helped me to feel freer, but there is still a lot of work to be done in this arena. However, as the year is drawing to a close, it’s time for me to reflect on where I am with freedom today and how I’d like to continue to transform in the coming year and beyond.

Wrapping up my freedom theme

I focused on “freedom” throughout 2019 and have made some positive changes in my life. 

What’s Changed Since My June Update

When I did my June freedom update, I shared a list of ways in which I had already embraced freedom more fully this year. I also listed a number of other shifts that I wanted to experience related to freedom before the year is over. I have made progress in a few of these areas, but I continue to feel challenged by others. Because I like to acknowledge the positive steps I’ve taken, I will start there.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not happy with how infrequently I have been posting on this blog in recent months. I’ve wracked my brain for a long time to try to figure out what has stood in my way of blogging more regularly. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about. After all, I have written numerous articles on various topics since I started Full Life Reflections, including intentional living, relationships, technology, self-esteem, and wardrobe management. I thought that maybe I was just experiencing writer’s block, but I recently came to understand that my issue runs a lot deeper than that.

In today’s post, I share the two primary reasons why I haven’t been blogging very often. I then delve deeper into one of those reasons, as it has also been standing in the way of my living a more fulfilling life. I suspect that many of you may also struggle with the same issue, so perhaps we can help each other to make some headway in pushing past it. Most of us connected with each other because we struggled on some level with shopping too much, having too many clothes in our closets, or not being happy with the way we dress (or perhaps a combination of all of these things!). But while such clothing challenges can be difficult and need to be addressed, they often serve to mask or distract us from deeper life concerns. It can be a lot easier to focus on what’s wrong with our closets instead of what’s missing from our lives. I have done just that for many years, but I don’t want to do it anymore, which is a big reason why I started this blog back in January 2018.

Blogging frustration

I’ve been frustrated about my not blogging, but now I better understand why…

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