2018 Reflections & 2019 Resolutions

Flatlay featuring 2019 Rifle Paper Co. Maps of the World desktop calendar, bullet journal, Indigo notepad, Dior Addict Lip Glow, air plants

Happy new year, dear readers! True to form, we spent the night at home with a homemade roast chicken dinner and Netflix just like we did last year. The evening was pretty consistent with our entire holiday vacation vibe—low-key, nothing urgent to do, plenty of rest. And boy, did we need the rest.

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa with her husband at a wedding in 2018

Looking back at 2018

My biggest challenges last year were related to my health and how I felt about it. Dealing with my worsening endometriosis, and the challenges it posed to us starting a family, had made me emotionally brittle. I finally hit a low point in November and decided to book a counseling appointment to help me work through my feelings. Admitting I needed help and I wasn't about to white-knuckle myself out of this emotional spiral was the best thing I could've done. I've been going for the last two months so far and it's helped me so much with processing my feelings around my endo and reproductive challenges. Throughout all of this, Hubs was my rock and I was constantly amazed and grateful at the unconditional support and love he offered. Marriage is "for better or for worse" and he definitely saw me through the latter this year.

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa in Ballard, Seattle

That's not to say 2018 was all bad. It was a year of major professional milestones: attending my first out-of-town professional conference in Portland, launching a new all-in-one self-help centre at work (I learned so much about Salesforce, article management, and search engine functionality), coaching new writers, completing online courses to sharpen my skills.

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa with her husband in Toronto's Distillery district

Travel-wise, things were quiet, but we did go to Toronto for the Taylor Swift concert. That was a fun trip—good food, seeing the sights, spending time with friends.

Vancouver beauty bloggers Maddy Loves and Solo Lisa at Bar Method

Health-wise, for 2018 I had a whole slew of goals I wanted to accomplish and I'm happy to say I made progress with each of them. One highlight was the Bar Method Fitness Challenge, during which I completed 36 classes in 90 days. This was my first Fitness Challenge and I loved the mood and fitness boost I experienced. Definitely doing it again this year!

Budget Bytes chicken noodle soup

2018 was also the year that (drumroll, please!) we FINALLY achieved our goal of cooking at home regularly. Initially I'd set the easy goal of meal-prepping 3 nights' worth of dinners each week, but this goal's scope expanded as our confidence in the kitchen and our recipe repertoire grew. By year's end, we were packing lunch 3+ times a week and eating dinner at home 5+ times a week. This development has been positive for our waistlines, our digestion, and our bank accounts. Not only were we eating more whole foods, we were controlling our intake of not-so-good stuff and we were saving money for more important things. What's more, Hubs's health improved in a way we didn't anticipate: His recent blood work showed he was firmly in the normal range, compared to previous blood work which indicated he was borderline pre-diabetic. The fact that his family medical history has a predisposition for diabetes, and he was able to reverse this trend in less than a year with a few simple dietary changes, makes us bigger believers than ever in the power of food to change our health for the better.

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa wears a J. Crew sweater blazer, buffalo plaid flannel shirt, Madewell grey tee, Karen Walker sunnies, black skinny jeans with ripped knees, Chanel 2.55 bag, and white slip-on Vans

Looking ahead to 2019

Each year I like to decide on a mantra or a few guiding words and intentions for mapping out goals. Last year's was "Be still," and in many ways 2018 was a year of settling in, continuing and deepening goals I'd been working towards for the last few years. But there's the comfort and benefit of a good routine and there's falling into a rut, and lately I definitely feel like the latter is happening. That's why 2019's guiding words will be WELLNESS, ADVENTURE and FUN.

For WELLNESS, I'm going to:

  • Put my devices away by 10pm and be in bed by 11pm, even if it's just to read. I started November with this intention and it sort of slid off the rails with the holiday season.
  • Similarly, I slid off the rails with my eating during the holiday season and consumed a lot more red meat, alcohol, added sugar and fried food than I'm used to; I definitely started feeling the effects after a month of this eating. It's time to clean up my eating habits again, especially since I know these are inflammation triggers that make my endo worse.
  • Do more self-massage, foam-rolling, epsom salt bubble baths, and stretching between barre classes.
  • Try different workouts. As much as I love barre, I'd like to work a couple of spin classes into the mix for the cardio benefits, and I might be ready to try my first ever kickboxing class at Hubs's gym.
  • Continue counselling and not let my endo get me down.
  • Do the Bar Method Fitness Challenge again.

For ADVENTURE and FUN, it all comes down to traveling more! We booked flights to Paris for early spring and we're talking about another trip this fall (destination TBD).

Blog-wise, I have some fun content planned for this month, very beauty- and lifestyle-heavy and focusing a lot on natural beauty and affordable drugstore beauty finds. As I get older, I do find my interests shifting toward more skincare than makeup, and the mix of content here will likely reflect this going forward.

Wishing you a great 2019!

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