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It’s that time of year again when I pause to reflect back on my journey over the previous twelve months…and ask myself “how did I do?”

What progress did I make toward my goals? What worked well? What could I have done differently? And what changes do I need to make as I turn the corner into 2019?

My word for 2018 was LOVE. To love God, my family, my friends, my neighbor, and my craft. All year long, I can recall times I was intentional to lean in, listen, and learn how to love others in the way they needed. To be fully present in the moment. To give the benefit of the doubt. To forgive faults and encourage growth. To sacrifice my own comforts and time and priorities on behalf of others. And in the middle of it all, still love myself.

If I can honestly say I learned to love well, then I consider 2018 a success.

But what about all those other goals and measurements of success? How did I do with those? In past years, I’ve sub-divided my life into the areas of faith, family, fiction, friends, fitness, and finance, I want to discover the Type Of Person Who Gets Payday Loans

Three of those categories (faith, family, friends) were easily included under the umbrella of LOVE so I’ve already been evaluating those areas and praying about changes and growth for next year.

Fitness is another way to measure loving myself…and overindulging in chocolate, fast food, and coffee to the neglect of exercise and vegetables isn’t love at all. And there definitely times for “tough love” and the knowledge I need to work on better habits in this area.

Financially, it’s a matter of loving my future self and putting those needs above my temporary current pleasure. I can see how frugality at the beginning of the year to build up our emergency fund carried us through the summer and into the fall when changes with our insurance company, my husband’s coaching job, and bald tires on three vehicles required tough choices. Yet, as the end of the year drew near, those habits are paying off again with a debt-free Christmas and a debt-free college graduation on the horizon for our oldest son.

That brings me to my favorite topic of the year: Fiction! Back in February, I took the bold step to quit my day job doing legal research for an industrial hygiene company and go full-time into writing instead. I was living my dream! I then spent more time over the summer dreaming about future book ideas and developing a business plan.

Then fall rolled around with an amazing opportunity to be an editor for a small Christian press and I found myself getting paid for mentoring other authors…while earning extra income to invest in editors for my own books. I have found my sweet spot when it comes to analyzing stories and brainstorming ways to make them better!

But speaking of those personal books, I released two titles in 2018: Focus On Love and A Picture Perfect Christmas. I also put one book under contract (Sing a New Song) and wrote another book (Stepping into the Light) that will release next week and begin a new series. And in the process, I went from being traditionally published to being a hybrid author with a mixture of publishing processes in my toolbelt.

All that to say, that in 2018 I got to do a whole lot of what I LOVE while learning to more deeply love the people in my life. How did I do? Quite well as a matter of fact.

What about you? What goals had you set for the past year? How did you do? What would you change going forward into the new year?

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