There's a quote that says, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." That is exactly what 2013 did for me.
2. Strength in Soda - Anyone who knows me well, knows that soda is my weakness. In 2013 soda became my strength in that I cut down on it significantly, especially late in the year. I proved to myself just how strong I can be in resisting the sugary stuff. I went on a few long streaks of days and months without it. Yes, it was challenging, but it all goes back to that quote. The challenge changed me. The more I resisted it, the less I wanted it. I did not eliminate it completely from my diet, as I did cut loose sometimes, but soda is not nearly a part of my life as much as it used to be. I'm confident in 2014 I will continue cutting down on it.
3. Zumba - There is a hall close to where I live that offers Zumba classes. I have been seeing the sign for it for quite a while and every time I drove by it I was itching to give it a try. Despite the fact that I walk with crutches and I have no rhythm I decided to give it a try. After all, the ad said "anyone" can do it. My original intention was to try it for 8 weeks and then stop. I was going to do it simply so that I can say I did it. I have found it to be a very positive experience. My instructor works with me to come up with routines that I can do sitting or standing and my classmates are also very encouraging. I don't feel inferior to them at all. We all just have fun working out. After the 8 weeks was up, I reached my weight goal that I had been working on for a long time and my blood sugar improved. My HDL also improved. With all of these positive changes taking place how could I give it up? I'm hooked on Zumba and I have no plans to stop. Yoga also continues to be a big part of my life. Both give me opportunities for different kinds of exercises that have resulted in positive changes.
4. Etsy - I'm always looking for ways to grow my business. This year in StringtownBeads I started offering international shipping and I got my first international sale. I also added different kinds of beaded creations to my stock. This year I started selling Islamic prayer beads and also stretchy medical bracelet attachments. I plan to add many more of those to my shop in 2014.
5. Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida - Talk about growth! Last year was the first time I participated in the Walk-N-Roll. At that time we were a tiny team of six people who barely raised $100. This year Stringtown Striders grew to 20 members and together we raised almost $2000! I am looking forward to another successful Walk-N-Roll next year!
StringtownBeads in memory of Stephanie one year after her passing. In 2012 I started my new and improved blog, and in 2013 I created my first YouTube video. It's a tribute to my once in a lifetime best friend forever. I have made it my annual goal to bring something to life on July 25th each year in my best friend's memory. Doing this not only honors her memory, but it challenges me to learn something new every year. I'm not sure what that will be in 2014, but the ideas are brewing in my head even as I type this!
2013 was definitely challenging and life-changing. I look forward to more growth and positive change in 2014!