2017 is just one day from being over. It’s been quite the year for me. So many great things have happened this year, along with some not so great things. I wanted to write this post not just as a way to summarize my year, but also reflect on what I’ve accomplished.
Sometimes it’s hard to see what you’ve done and feel like you’ve accomplished anything. I’m one of those people who always feels like what I do is not enough and that I could have done more with my time. However, I want to change that mindset and make myself realize that 2017 was a year full of not only work accomplishments but also life accomplishments. The world has become an interesting place politically…to say the least, but that doesn’t mean I cannot celebrate the good things that have happened in 2017.
This year was an amazing year at work. I do occasionally feel stuck, but it’s nothing like when I worked retail. I feel somewhat emotionally satisfied with my work, but that is another topic for a different day. Today is the day I talk about what I’ve accomplished at work, not what I could be doing.
A lot happened this year, at the time of me writing this I wasn’t even sure if I did that much at work this year. However, after I wrote down a list of all I had done, I realized I do more than I think. This year I received a raise that switched me into another tax bracket. I’m no longer in the second lowest tax bracket, which is a cool accomplishment. It barely pushed me into the bracket, but I’m there. Hopefully, in the next year or two, I can earn what I believe I should be earning.
Along with my raise, I also received a promotion. I am no longer a data coordinator but a business intelligence specialist. Which is a fancy name for doing the same thing at the moment, at least until we train a new person to take over some of my work duties. I’ve been with the company a little under 2 years and getting a promotion this soon is a big deal.
Getting a raise and a promotion are major accomplishments, but I also have smaller accomplishments that I am very proud of this year. At my company, I created a training curriculum for my co-workers. The goal of creating this curriculum was to make my co-workers more comfortable with a new reporting software we had implemented towards the end of 2016. While my teammate and I had given short group training sessions, I thought creating a self-paced training curriculum would be the best way for people to learn. It allowed us to see who was interested in learning and who was not. It’s given me confidence in my skills and any idea I may have regarding work.
I had also been given multiple complex tasks to complete throughout the year that I finished and felt proud about. I created a custom application using angular and command line code. It was a challenge that I gladly accepted and I finished it with pride. Throughout the year I also was given the responsibility of doing major data clean up on sensitive data. 2017 has been an amazing year at work and I hope to do even more amazing things in 2018.
Though my raise hit towards the end of the year, I accomplished quite a few things financially as well. 2017 was the year of budgeting because I needed to save as much money for my Japan trip later on in the year. So at the start of 2017, I found a paycheck estimator that calculated taxes and other deductions. With that I laid out all of 2017, I created a spreadsheet that had all of my bills, their amounts, and when they were due. With this, I was able to see what needed to be paid and how much money I would have leftover. This allowed me to put money away each paycheck without worrying about having enough to get groceries. I was able to save a good amount of money with my little spreadsheet and I am going to use the same technique in 2018 to pay off at least 3 of my credit card bills.
While on the topic of credit card bills, like any millennial, I’m in debt. It’s a fact of life for most millennials. However, for me, I’m in a ton of credit card debt instead of student loan debt. I’ve made a plan using the same technique I used to pay for Japan, and with this plan, I hope to pay off as many credit cards as possible. 2017 was the year of saving, 2018 is the year of digging myself out of debt. I already started paying off credit cards towards the end of this year, which brings me to my accomplishment, I’ve paid off two of my credit cards this year and I’m so happy. The fact that I do not need to make payments to these credit cards every month allows me to pay towards other cards.
Accomplishing great things in my work and financial life are great, but I don’t want to forget about all of my personal accomplishments as well. This year I did more things for myself and others than I have in a long time. I honestly feel like that’s why this year has been great, I’ve taken time for myself and given myself to others.
My work offers many different volunteering opportunities throughout the year and this year I decided to participate in them. The CEO of my company invited me to come with him to an event that deals with helping kids learn how to read and read well. There is a large number of students who do not comprehend what they are reading and end up leaving school illiterate. This has been linked to children committing crimes and ending up in jail or prison. Which creates a whole different issue. I never knew about this and it opened my eyes. I was able to network with people and talk. It was an experience I’ll always remember. I also helped with United Way this year and a group in my town that helps with volunteer efforts to help kids with their education. Each event I went to made me realize that helping people is something I would love to do with my life. I just need to find my path.
This year I spent more time with family and friends. I’m an introvert, which means I love my alone time, but sometimes I do need to interact with people. I went to multiple game nights with friends, went fishing with my parents and was all around more social. This not only made me feel good, but it’s also allowed to me learn how to balance my alone time and spending time with people. I’ve also made the most of my alone time instead of just staring at the ceiling for hours on end, which honestly is a great way to spend my alone time, just not that productive. I love to read but life had gotten in the way of doing that. This year I made it a goal to finish a book a month, and I’m happy to say I’ve done that. Reading gives me inspiration and I’m so happy I’ve found the time to do that.
I’ve learned so much about myself this year, it has really been a year of growth. I’ve become more confident not just in myself, but in anything I do. From writing to my work, I’ve just felt more comfortable in what I do. That is an amazing feeling. This year I started this blog and wrote more than I have in years. Writing has been something that I’ve always loved to do and having my blog as a platform has really helped me realize how far I want to go with this. Of course, I need practice, and I will more than likely take a writing course or two, but writing has been such a great way to me deal with stress. It’s become my positive coping mechanism when it comes to stress and life in general. I was feeling so overwhelmed at the beginning of 2017, but writing has helped me overcome that feeling. I’ll get to where I need to be, it will just take time.
This year wasn’t just full of accomplishing things, it was also full of interesting life events. After over 20 years of dreaming about going to Japan. I finally did it! It was everything I wanted and more. I will get to writing about my experience and uploading pictures, I promise. It’s one of the first things I’m going to write in 2018. While in Japan a couple of things happened. I turned 24 in Japan, it was my first birthday where I didn’t celebrate it with my parents and though it was bittersweet it was an amazing birthday. Also while in Japan, my boyfriend of almost 7 years proposed to me! He did it in a beautiful way and I’m so excited to become his wife. We have set a wedding date of March 16th, 2019. Which will be our 8 year dating anniversary and the start of our lives together.
My best friend who I call my sister, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I have never been more in love. She is perfect. I’ve also seen my best friend go through hell and back this year, she’s so strong and I’m unbelievably lucky to have her in my life.
Well, that was my 2017, how was yours? Was it full of accomplishments or not so much? Even if you don’t feel like you accomplished something I promise you, you did. You made it through another year, and I believe that is the biggest accomplishment of all. I’m so happy you made it! Great job! If you did have a great year, let me know in the comments! I’d love to read how other peoples 2017 went!
Thank you as always for reading! It’s great to be back!