Some years set the stage for changes to come and some years feature a series of whirlwind life changes.

2011 is an example of the latter, it was a year of major life events — I graduated, moved back to Florida, bought a house, and started a PhD program!

Since I’m finally settled down for a while, I plan on 2012 being all about self-improvement.

In 2012 I will:

  • Continue to work strength training. Ideally, I want to strength train at least twice a week. (Fitness)
  • Resume running and racing more regularly. I will run another marathon, but since the two I have in mind — Disney and 26.2 are early in the year, I will use 2012 to get back into shape and register for the races, but they will actually happen in 2013. (Fitness)
  • Finally get some answers about my fatigue and tiredness. Enough is enough and I demand some resolution this year. (Health)
  • Continue to improve my diet and watch what I am eating. I am not setting a specific weight loss goal, I just want to be healthy. (Diet)
  • Be fearless. I am going to put myself out there more. Meet new people, go on dates, maybe even give my number to random eligible bachelors, and live life to the fullest. (Social)
  • Stop procrastinating. Improve my time management skills. Hopefully an answer to my sleep issues will make this goal fall into place. (School)
  • Communicate more frequently. Blog more. Write more postcards. Send more e-mail. Check in on long distance friends. (Social)
  • Finally get that tattoo I’ve been wanting! (Fun)

I really enjoy looking back on the past year to see how far I’ve come and set new goals for the upcoming year. While I didn’t quite fulfill my established goals for 2011, I think that I more than accomplished the unspoken goals I had in mind for myself.

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I did try some new foods, but perhaps not 11. I didn’t meet my weight loss goals because my weight fluctuated up and down, but I did decide to refocus myself on being healthy and stop focusing on the numbers. I did save money for my move, but not the set $50 each month. I tried acupuncture and Chinese herbs, but after the move I failed to find a new practitioner. I struggled to maintain a regular exercise routine all year long and will continue to work on this goal in 2012. As for the reading, who knows. I read a lot both for school and pleasure.

Regardless, I accomplished my main goals, which included my thesis, moving, and taking the next step in my career path, and that is the most important thing to keep in mind.

I spent the beginning of 2011 writing my thesis, applying to PhD programs, and finishing up my Masters.

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By April 15th I had been offered and accepted admission into a PhD program and knew where I was going to be living come August.

I graduated with my Masters on June 11th.

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I packed up my life and shoved it all in a U-Box.

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Then my dad, Charlie and myself headed back across on the country on June 21st.

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Once back in Florida, my first stop was a trip to my new house!

Buying a house was definitely not on my radar at the start of 2011, but it made a lot of sense to buy instead of rent for the duration of the program, so 2011 was the year that I became a homeowner.

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I spent the summer fixing up the house, along with lots of help from both my parents!

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Summer 2011 also included lots of time hanging out and catching up with Hilary! One of the biggest perks of being back in Florida is being able to see Hilary on a regular basis again.

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During the summer, I also turned 26 and celebrated the end of Harry Potter with my friends and sister in Tallahassee.

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On a sad note, just before I left for school, our family lost Pixy due to an unfortunate accident on my part.

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August marked the start of fall semester and beginning of my PhD program. Five years in the works, I was following my dreams.

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I’ve spent most of the past few months reading, reading, and writing.

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With regular breaks for home football games, friends, and fun!

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And a quick trip to Orlando to be a bridesmaid for one of my high school friends.

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It’s been a good year!

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I sure hope that 2012 continues on this upward trend and I’m excited to find out what’s in store.

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