Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2019 New Year’s Goals - What I Accomplished

For 2019 I chose the word DONE.  For the last 7 or 8 years I’ve lived in a constant state of feeling behind and always feeling like I’m scrambling to catch up.  We’ve lived in our house for 10 years now and there were still rooms that hadn’t been completely decorated and organized and my Master To-Do list was out of control.  When things are in disarray, my mind is in disarray, and I have a really hard time letting myself relax and be truly present when I know that there are so many things that need my attention.  Since I’m now working from home and I’m no longer chained to a desk at a corporate job for 40 hours a week, I have more time to get things done, so I thought it was the perfect word for 2019.

I accomplished so much last year – I kicked the clutter in our home, I assessed every single area of our home and decided what was and wasn’t working, and then I fixed whatever wasn’t working by redecorating, reorganizing, and setting everything up for maximum functionality and aesthetic.  We checked some major things off of our Master To-Do List as well as loads of smaller things, too.  I’ll be discussing all of those things in the “Home” section below so continue reading.

All that said, while getting things done in 2019 did feel good, it also left me feeling a little burned out and empty.  But I kept my eye on the prize and pushed through to meet my goals, and I’m praying that having most things in order now is going to set me up for a beautiful, more meaningful 2020.  More rest, less work. 

Let’s see how I did on the goals…


Y  Get quiet time back on track.  I really let this go for the first few months of the year until I found out that anxiety was the culprit of my unraveling health.  After discovering this, I immediately turned back to my daily organized quiet time (instead of just praying at meals and random other times) and I have felt so much better ever since. 

N  Be positive, worry less, complain less.  This was the biggest fail of the year.  I’ve said a hundred times here on the blog how awful our 2019 was, and I think it may have been one of my worst years yet for all of these things.   

Y  Let kindness be my king.  I did work really hard at this last year and I think I did a good job with this.  2019 taught me that we never know what someone is going through behind the scenes, so we should always be kind to others.  You just never know when you could turn someone’s day around by being kind.  Even if they weren’t kind to you.

Y  Continue working at my relationships and forming new ones.  2019 also taught me that life is short and we need to hold our loved ones close.  Last year really tested us as a family, but I think we came out stronger because of it.  While this wasn’t my primary focus of 2019, I think I did a good job maintaining relationships and even making a few new ones.

Y  Get caught up so I can just maintain.  While I’m not 100% caught up (I mean, will anybody really ever be?!), I feel like I cleared SO MUCH STUFF off of my plate last year, and I really do feel like I’m mostly in maintenance mode.  More on that below.


Y  Continue chugging water, working out, and eating less sugar.  I did very well with this last year.  I met my water goal countless times last year, and on the days I didn’t meet it, I came really close.  I also worked out at least two times most of the year, only falling off the wagon the last month due to sickness and the busyness of the holidays.  I also kept my sugar intake in check.  I no longer eat a treat every day after lunch.  I kicked that bad habit to the curb!

Y  Eat an apple most days.  I ate loads and loads of apples last year and I did exceptionally well at this goal.

Y  Start moisturizing my neck and chest every day.  I made it a habit and now I do it every single morning when I moisturize my face.  If only I had started this years ago.

Y  Start using essential oils.  Yessss and OH MY GOODNESS are they every single bit as good as everyone said!!!!  I use oils every single day multiple times per day and they have been life changing in some aspects.  I’m planning on doing a post sometime to talk about how I use them every day.  There are hundreds, probably thousands of uses for them and they are just wonderful. 

Y  Get my health in order so I can visit doctors a WHOLE lot less in 2020.  Y’all, my gosh, I lived at the doctor in 2019.  I’m embarrassed to say that with all of my health issues last year I had already met my deductible by March and then I met my out-of-pocket max for the whole year by, like, June.  It was ridiculous.  I had that emergency room visit (when I thought I was having a heart attack) where they did every test known to man on me – MRIs, CT scans, echocardiograms, ultrasounds, everything – so that’s where most of the money went.  In addition to that, I was already seeing an allergist for my allergies and asthma, a GI doctor for what I thought was reflux, an ENT for my tinnitus, a physical therapist for my never-ending back/pelvic pain, a pain specialist also for the back/pelvic pain, a dental specialist for my TMJ issues, and then I had to throw a cardiologist into the mix after the heart scare.  And that was all in addition to the regular maintenance doctors for check-ups – OBGYN, dentist, eye doctor.  See?  Ridiculous.  My ultimate goal was to tackle and kick everything to the curb that was ailing me so I could quit most doctors once and for all.  I most definitely accomplished this…

Y  Get back/pelvic pain under control.  I did it, y’all.  I got the SI joint/piriformis muscle injections and continued working diligently with my physical therapist for the first few months of 2019 and I am so thrilled to tell y’all that the injections in combination with the PT worked and I have officially been released from the pain doctor and the physical therapist!!!!  I’m so happy I could just cry.  EIGHT YEARS.  Eight years, y’all.  That is how long I’ve been seeing pain doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and so many other specialists for my pain.  Eight years of my life.  And all it took was finding the right physical therapist to figure out what was wrong and point me in the right direction.  I feel like she was an angel sent straight from God and I’m so thankful to have found her.  Now I just have to pray that these injections cured the problem and aren’t just masking it.  It’s been one year since I had them and I’m still going strong.  I still have some pain here and there but it’s completely livable and manageable and I’m so grateful to be free of chronic pain and all of these doctors that helped me manage it.  I’m also happy to not be spending a bajillion dollars on pain management every year!  The moral of this story is that if you are suffering in any way, DO NOT GIVE UP.  Keep trying doctor after doctor… all it takes is finding the right one!

Y  Get allergies/asthma under control.  I just recently had a new allergy test done and my doctor said that my allergy shots are working and he thinks I’ll be able to stop them in April!!!!  I’ve already come off of two of my meds and my doc thinks that I’ll be able to stop taking one more of them in a few months.  That will just leave me with one that will probably always be necessary for my asthma.  This all means that after April no more going to the allergist twice a month!  I’ll only need to go twice a year for maintenance for my asthma!

Y  Get reflux under control.  Well, I found out that what I’ve been experiencing for the last year or so is anxiety, not reflux.  My anxiety presents as shortness of breath, feeling of strangulation, coughing, feeling like I have a lump in my throat, going hoarse, pressure in my ears, dizziness, and tightness in my neck and chest.  I had all kinds of tests run last year to rule out reflux and several other things and everything came back showing that I’m perfectly healthy.  My ENT doctor finally told me back in October that every single symptom + the fact that there’s nothing medically wrong with me points to the fact that it’s likely anxiety.  He told me his wife struggles with it and she has similar symptoms to what I experience.  He strongly advised me to start treating my anxiety, and I’ll be damned if all of these symptoms didn’t improve when I did.  My GI doctor agreed with my ENT doctor and he released me as well.  No more GI doc and no more reflux med!

Y  Get rosacea under control.  I never got around to seeing a medical doctor for this, mostly because I didn’t want to add more prescription drugs to my list, so instead, I started treating it with essential oils.  The oils haven’t eliminated it completely, but they have made a huge difference in my skin.  I have way fewer outbreaks now so I’m giving myself a yes for this one even though I haven’t eliminated it altogether.

Y  Get TMJ under control.  I have been seeing a specialist for this for the last year and he made a new bite guard for me to wear at night that properly aligns my bite.  Prior to this, I had been wearing a different bite guard at night to protect my teeth from all of my clenching and grinding and it completely wrecked my bite which was causing my jaw to swell and be super sore all the time.  This new bite guard corrected my bite immediately and has helped tremendously with the pain I was having.  The doc also tried several methods to make me stop clenching my teeth in the middle of the night, but nothing has been 100% effective.  However, I have found that rubbing lavender oil on my jaw helps more than anything else so I’m sticking with it.  In the beginning I was seeing this dentist every few weeks, but in the coming year, I’ll only have to see him every six months or so for maintenance on the bite guard.  Woo hoo!

Y  Get ringing in ears under control.  I’ve had a ringing in my ears 24/7 for the last 15 months and, unfortunately, nobody can figure out what’s causing it.  I’ve had hearing tests and Eustachian tube testing and all kinds of other things and there’s nothing obvious that’s causing it.  Unfortunately my ENT released me for this issue because there’s nothing more he can do.  He said sometimes people have tinnitus and there’s nothing that can be done about it so I guess I’m just going to have to live with it.  Since I gave it my all and tried everything to get it under control, I’m giving myself a yes for this even though it didn’t resolve.  In fact, he said I may have it for the rest of my life.  Sigh.


Y  Continue working on kindness and good manners.  Yes, this is always at the forefront of daily life and in daily conversations and our kiddos seems to be taking it to heart most of the time. 

N  Make a chore chart and implement a new allowance system.  Never took the time to do this one.

Y  Teach them how to be responsible with money.  We did take them to open savings accounts, so I’m calling this one a success.  We’re also working to further educate them about spending/saving/giving so they’ll hopefully learn to be responsible with money.

N  Teach Jacob to ride a bike without training wheels.  We honestly rarely worked at this.  The summer was boiling hot and extra long so nobody wanted to be outside riding bikes.  Then once it turned cool we had baseball a billion nights a week and had no time.  Then the time changed and it started getting dark at 6, so yeah, we only worked at this a little bit, but he never learned to ride without training wheels.

Y  Teach Olivia how to ride a bike with training wheels.  Olivia got a bike and learned to ride it with training wheels in the short amount of time we spent at it, so we did get this accomplished.

Y  Perfect my French braiding for Olivia.  I can whip up a French braid with a quickness now.  It may not be the best one you’ve ever seen, but since I finally taught myself how to do one and I can do it quickly, I’m getting a yes for this one.

Y  Plan our Disney Trip for Spring Break 2020.  Yessss and it’s almost here, y’all!

Y  Explore new places and try new things as a family.  This was definitely a success!  We explored some new places in our state like The Little Grand Canyon, we we went to new parks and new shops and tried new restaurants in our city, we had a Christmasy weekend getaway in Atlanta to take the kids to The Nutcracker for the first time ever, and we explored new places on our mountain trip. 


Y  Clean out everything, simplify, get rid of clutter, and continue to buy less.  I cleaned out the whole house again in 2019 and it was so much quicker after my massive clean out of 2018.

Y  Sell old stuff.  I got all of the big things sold/donated and I got tons of old clothes listed and sold on Poshmark.  There is still more stuff to list and sell, but I’m giving myself a yes for this one since I already sold so much.

Y  Get kitchen cabinets painted.  This was my favorite thing that we did the entire year last year.  It was money well spent and I’m just kicking myself for not installing white cabinets all those years ago when we built the house.  It completely transformed our entire first floor!

Y  Get entertainment center painted.  Same for this one!  I love our house more than I ever have!

N  Get the coffee table and side table painted.  My original intention was to tackle these myself, but stripping and staining is something I’ve never done before.  I’m thinking I’m going to have to outsource these, and since that costs money, I never got around to it.

N  Repaint the living room, kitchen, foyer, and staircase.  After spending so much money on the cabinets and entertainment center I thought it’d be crazy to spend more money to do this.  And we have a few walls that are nearly 20 feet tall so we’ll have to outsource it.  It’s not something that I want to try to do myself.

Y  Get master bedroom updated and exactly how I like it.  I finally tossed our old bedding (it was so outdated and just plain ugly) and refreshed it with new bedding, courtesy of Sam’s Club.  I also changed out a few decorations, rearranged a couple of wall hangings, added new lamps (because ours were super cheap old ones from when we first got married), added new throw pillows and a couple of throw blankets, brought another faux tree up from the dining room to balance out the other one that was already in there, and B bought a new TV for our bedroom.  Ours was so small that it was hard to see from bed, so now we have a nice, large one that we can actually see.  Now maybe we’ll actually watch TV in there.  Ha!  The only thing I didn’t get to in our bedroom was finding something to hang over our bed.  I know what I want, but I’m having trouble finding it.  I’m considering making one myself, but I’m not sure that’s going to go well.  Haha.

Y  Turn Olivia’s room into a big girl room.  B changed her toddler bed into a full size big girl bed, we moved the furniture around, bought new bedding a couple of new decorative items, and she officially has her big girl room.  It’s gorgeous.  You can see the post here.  

Y Cut Master To-Do List down by 50%.  Ok ya’ll, this was the part of my 2019 goals where I spent the majority of my focus all year.  Just as a refresher, I keep lots of different lists – things I do daily, weekly, monthly, and annually, and then I keep a list for all of the random other things that I want to do eventually that don’t fit into one of those categories.  This is my Master To-Do List and I have this list divided into sections.  Since many of the tasks on the list are house tasks, my sections consist of one section for each room in the house, plus an outdoors section, a blog section, a miscellaneous section, and a few others.  I keep this list in an Excel spreadsheet and at the beginning of 2019 it had 472 lines.  My goal was to cut the list down by 50% and guess whaa-aat?  I did it!!  244 lines were checked off in 2019 leaving 228.  There were big tasks on the list such as getting our kitchen cabinets painted all the way down to small tasks such as changing out photos in certain frames in the house.  I documented the details of this progress in my monthly goals posts and you can see them below if you’re interested.

December 2019 (results will be posted this Friday)


Y  Blog smarter, not harder.  I did move to 3-4 posts per week most weeks instead of 5 every single week.

Y  Blog ahead.  I did this quite a bit, especially for summer break and Christmas break and it was so much less stressful.  Now to implement it year-round.

N  Enroll in two blogging courses that I’ve had my eye on for years.  NO.  Never took the time to do it.

Y  Collaborate with more brands than ever this year.  I had more collabs last year than in previous years.

Y  Increase monthly income and make this my most lucrative year on the blog yet (without compromising my content and the real reason why I blog – to preserve memories).  I had my highest grossing year on the blog so far without compromising my content for memories.  As a matter of fact, I doubled my income from the previous year.  Thank you, Mediavine!!!!

N  Start planning for a blog revamp (including media kit and email signature), and a possible switch to Wordpress.  This terrifies me and I never looked into it.  I had enough anxiety in 2019 already.  Haha.

N  Continue updating old posts (SEO, watermarking pictures, creating Pinterest worthy images).  While I did tweak a few old posts, I really didn’t devote as much time to this as I had wanted, so I’m giving myself a no.

N  Instagram – increase following to 10k.  I’m sitting at almost 9K so I’m close, but not quite there.  I feel like I could have done this if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to get stressed out with Instagram like so many other people have.

Y  Instagram – continue using stories a lot and share even more about decluttering/organizing/planning.  I shared lots of organizing and decluttering stuff on there last year, although I fizzled out in the last part of the year.

Y  Instagram – find my “groove” with my picture feed.  I’m all about light, bright, colorful photos!  I post what I like and I think my feed is nice, and the best part is that I don’t feel like I’ve fallen into the trappings of the Instagram influencer “overly curated feed” junk.  I don’t get super excited about overly-curated feeds.  It’s just not me.  Real life > Instagram life.

Y  Pinterest – increase following to 5k.  I exceeded this by a mile without even actively doing anything and I’m now sitting at 5.8K!

Y  Pinterest – keep monthly viewers over at least 1 million.  I did dip slightly below 1 million for a couple of months during the dreaded summer slump, but I’ve been sitting around 1.8 million the other 10 months of the year!

N  Pinterest – pin content more frequently.  I would say I pinned about the same amount as I always do. 

N  Facebook – increase following to 500.  I just can’t break the Facebook code, y’all.  I just don’t love it for blogging.

Y  Facebook – start utilizing it more and posting about stuff other than just blog posts.  I did start posting funny memes and articles that I found interesting and I feel like my FB followers enjoy those kinds of posts the most. 

N  Twitter – increase following to 1k (why do I keep putting this on here when I hate Twitter so much?!  Haha.)  I barely opened Twitter the whole year and I honestly have no regrets.  Haha.  You will not be seeing Twitter in my goals for 2020.  And probably not for 2021 or 2022 either.  #ByeFelicia


37 items accomplished
12 items not accomplished

Not too bad, right?!  Especially since one of those goals meant crossing off 244 tasks!  I worked my hiney off, y’all, and I’m hoping it was worth it.

Stay tuned because my 2020 goals + word of the year will be up tomorrow!  Spoiler alert, they’re drastically different from my goals and word of 2019!

If you want to see goals recaps from previous years check out the posts below!


  1. You did awesome with your goals last year - especially with everything you had going on. Can't wait to read about what is in store for 2020 tomorrow!

  2. Wow you did great, especially with the health goals! Hopefully 2020 will be way better for you!

  3. Wow that was a list an a half! Your list of things you did gives me anxiety...where to start! Good for you for getting all of your medical things crossed off, that is HUGE! Congrats on making double your income, amazing what hard work does! Can't wait to see what 2020 has in store for you!

  4. WOW you did great with your 2019 goals!! Can't wait to see what you hope to accomplish in 2020!

  5. Way to go with those goals...you got it DONE! Michael has tinitis and can't do much about it. It frustrates him sometimes.

  6. I adore how goal-oriented you are! Great job with all you have accomplished! I love reading about your style, organization and family. Your blogging goals always make me perk up! Keep on keeping on!!! I can't wait to see what 2020 brings!

  7. Great job this year! I am so glad you got a lot of your health issues squared away.

  8. I think the word for 2020 needs to be something about "rest"!.. What a busy and productive year!

  9. I hopped over through your comment on someone else's blog! You rocked out 2019. So much accomplished. I'm a huge goal person so I love it.


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