Marie Forleo asked herself these questions this year and then challenged her readers to ask these questions too. These are my answers:

Questions 1: What did I do, create or experience this year (2018) that I’m really proud of?

Question 1 was the easiest by far, as my life as changed a lot this year. At the end of 2017, the owners of the company I worked for sold the business. In March of 2018, I was laid off in the first round of layoffs. (By June 80% of the in-house employees were laid off.) During the 7 months that I was unemployed, the hours that I wasn’t looking for a new job were spent planning the direction I wanted to take my art business and in self-improvement. I now have a set of goals for my business and a set for my personal life. I am working towards making my dream of working as a full-time artist (business goal #1). I have lost 17 pounds of the 125lbs that is my weight loss goal in the last 4 months (personal goal #1). I found a new job making more money than I was making before and it is less stressful and more fulfilling. Plus, the self-improvement has help be become a more positive and optimistic person overall. (Another big change is in my relationship with my sister, we hadn’t spoken in 20 years and now we are great friends.) There is still a lot of work to be done on my goals, but I’m reaching for the stars. It takes longer than a year to make it that far.

Question 2: What mistakes did I make that taught me something? What lessons did I learn that I can leverage?

As for my failures, well, there was being laid off, but most of my failures go hand in hand with my goals. The first set of goals that I wrote for myself back in May have been completely scrapped because my mindset was still one of what would make those around me happy, not what would make me happy. Even now, my goals change and grow as I redefine what makes me happy. I still get bouts of depression and anxiety that put me on my butt. Those are going away slowly as I change my diet and attitude. Most of my depression and anxiety have been caused by chronic migraines which the doctor could never find the cause. Part of 2019, is going to be explore how diet, exercise and sleep effect my migraines, thus effect my depression and anxiety. I consider the failure that I have never taken the time to address these issues before, not that I have them. I have suffered in silence, concentrating only on the migraines alone.

Question 3: What am I willing to let go of?

There are several things I am willing to let go of in my life. The two biggest and the two I’m already planning to work on in 2019, are clutter – time and physical clutter – and negative thoughts/attitudes – mine and others. I have no room in my life for nay-sayers and people who are putting me down, myself included. I can build a thriving art business and I can lose the 108 lbs. that I still need to lose. Also, part of my goals is to travel. You can’t travel if you have a lot of “stuff”. The clutter must go. I can’t build my art business if I’m spending all my time playing games and watching TV, so those things must go too. Narrowing my focus onto what is import is the keywords for 2019.

My Focus for 2019:

Business: Building my art business – selling at craft and art shows in my area, learning about marketing for my online store

Personal: Learning better eating habits, walking more often and longer, self-improvement – both in education and attitude

Social: continue to grow my relationship with my sister and her fiancé, make friends offline and online