Is it just me or did 2018 go super fast? All in all, it’s been a very good year for me – possibly the best one I can ever remember.

In 2018 I ran, a lot. I graduated in 2011, and I can easily say that I ran more in 2018 than I have since high school. This year I competed in four officially timed 5ks. According to my FitBit, I averaged around 33 miles a week of activity, with some of my best weeks nearing 50 miles. Some days I walked, and some days I ran, but I always made sure I did something. I think what impressed me the most in 2018, is the few times I ran 9 miles without stopping. It made me realize that maybe running a half marathon isn’t as impossible as it seems.

Along with that, 2018 was the year of hiking for me. The two trips I took in November with Caesar are among my all-time favorite memories. In 2019, I’d love to make those trips more often. Caesar and I walked a lot of places this year. We did the reservoirs and bike path more times than I can remember, we went to Decatur quite often, we saw parts of Fort Wayne’s trials, and of course, we tackled Hocking Hills and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In the process, Caesar and I both lost a few pounds and gained an even stronger bond.

In 2018 I decided on a whim after reading a book that I wanted to see the west coast. I wanted to visit Portland, Oregon. I turned 26 2,000 miles away. I took my first airplane ride, saw the ocean for the first time, rented my first car, saw Seattle, and missed Ohio.

Speaking of books, in 2018 while working and going to school full-time I read 42 books, 10 shy of my goal of 52, but still a remarkable number. I started the year off with J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and ended it with Douglas Adams’ “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.”

This year I’ve learned more about myself than any other year. I tried a lot of new things, went on new adventures, and learned to be totally happy doing my own thing. I never used to enjoy being alone and keeping myself company, but in the past year or so, I’ve learned to really love being in the moment and enjoying the quietness that comes from being by myself.

This is the time of year where people make a lot of promises to themselves, many of which they won’t keep, mostly because they are too extravagant or unrealistic. For 2019, all I want for myself is to just do better. Maybe in 2019 I average 34 miles a week or read 43 books for the year. The important thing is that I’m improving.

I don’t have any crazy goals to lose 6o pounds or to get rich. If I do, that’s cool, but if I don’t, that’s fine too as long as I’m happy with myself and am always trying to do better.

My hope for 2019 for all of you is that you find happiness – that you’re happy with yourself and the actions you chose, and that you constantly continue to improve, even if it’s just little by little. Remember: the important thing is that you’re moving in the right direction. Have a happy New Year!