2019 in review

2019, you were quite the year! I started off the year with a 2019 resolutions blog post. Twelve months later I am looking back at how this year turned out. Read on to find out what happened with the blog, travel, fitness, creativity, books, other projects and my job hunt.

Blog

I’m glad to say I kept up with writing blog posts and more or less managed to write a post every two weeks. I’ve been covering topics that really interest me: travel, fitness, creativity, books and a few miscellaneous topics. I prepared my posts in advance and then usually published them during the weekend. In the week or two weeks following publication I then promoted the blog post on Twitter and Instagram.

In my 2019 resolutions post I talked about potentially setting up a Facebook channel, as well as getting a paid version of WordPress. I’ve done neither in 2019. I didn’t feel the need to set up a Facebook page, as it is yet another channel to manage. Regarding the paid version of WordPress I mostly wanted it to categorise my posts and create pages. After a bit of research I found how to do that in the free version, so no need to spend money on an upgrade (for now).

The blog has been going alright, getting a bit of traction. Mostly it is just an enjoyable project for me to work on. I’d like to keep going this way and use it mainly as my personal creative outlet. However, if you have any questions you’d like to see answered on this blog I’d be happy to consider it. So if you have any ideas, feel free to get in touch.

 

Travel

My goal was to travel regularly this year and I did! I also said I wanted to travel more sustainably and made a conscious effort to do so.

Destination When Mode of transport
Birmingham (UK) January Train
Cracow (Poland) February Plane
Madrid (Spain) March Plane
Delft (The Netherlands) June Train
Pisa (Italy) July Plane
Durham & Newcastle (UK) August Train (+car)
Georgia September Plane
Hannover (Germany) October Train
Prague (Czechia) November Plane
Bonn (Germany) November Bus
Amsterdam (The Netherlands) December Bus
Manchester (UK) December Plane

 

So that’s 12 trips – one a month! I didn’t quite realise how many there were until I started counting! I only flew for half of them (which was my goal) and for the bus journeys I paid extra to offset the CO2 produced. I can do better of course, but glad with this first result.

 

Fitness

My other half turned 30 this year and had so far completed 9 Tough Mudders. So as a present I gathered a group of friends and seasoned Tough Mudders to join him for his 10th challenge.

I did a lot of training for it, though not as much as the first time round. It was exhausting and painful (I had bruises for weeks!) but a great achievement with a lovely bunch of people. Not sure I’ll do it again, but very proud of my new headband.

 

Creativity

It was quite a good year for my creative side I must say. I’ve loved writing and letters for as long as I can remember. Last April I upped the ante on my handlettering skills and took part in the #100daychallenge. For 100 days straight I drew/handlettered different words, trying out lots of fonts and styles. Not easy, but I really enjoyed it and I’m already thinking about what to do for next year’s challenge.

A highlight this year was me taking part in Visuality’s Flipchart Ninja training. It was an investment in my own creativity and I haven’t regretted it for a second – the only regret being perhaps that I’d like to do more sketchnotes! I learned a lot at the training and became more confident about my own skills.

To find a bit more mental balance during these long, dark days I started a daily tracker. This way I can track the things that I enjoy and are important to me. Later on I added a simple log for every day, and we’ll see how it develops further.

 

Books

Every year I set myself a Goodreads challenge and this year was no different. My goal for 2019 was to read 24 books. As I’m writing this I’m working my way through book number 23, so fingers crossed. Halfway through the year I did a first review of the books I’ve read in 2019, and I still owe you the second one which you can expect in January 2020. The best book I’ve read this year will be in the second review, so keep an eye out for it!

 

More

Sometimes I just get really interested or passionate about a topic and then I end up writing a blog post about it. Two specific topics I wrote about this year were newsletters & podcasts. I highlighted my favourite ones and the reasons why.

Personal

One personal goal I did set for myself in 2019 was to find a more permanent job, ideally in communications. I’m happy to tell you I succeeded in that! I found a job in April doing comms for a non-profit organisation that stimulates and informs young people and youth workers about international opportunities. I believe in its cause and am learning a lot, especially as I’m working as a Communications Officer in Dutch for the first time! The colleagues are lovely and I completed the launch of a new website and the publication of a magazine, so pretty chuffed to start the holidays with those kind of results.

Have you looked back on 2019? What were your achievements? What did you learn?

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