That’s a Wrap, 2015!

Unexpected snowstorm in Denver in mid-December.
Unexpected snowstorm in Denver in mid-December.

Over the course of this month, I’ve enjoyed reflecting back on all that has happened this year, and how far I have actually really come along this year (it’s really mind-boggling to me how much GOOD has happened this year). In case you missed my entries from the month:

  1. Part 1 of 4: Financial Peace University & Turning 30
  2. Part 2 of 4: Hashtagitude + Working With My Coach, Kelly Lynn Adams
  3. Part 3 of 4: Better Health & Crochet
  4. Part 4 of 4: Speaking Engagements & Vacation in NYC

So, now what? What are my goals, my “resolutions”, my plans for 2016?

I feel like it’s been a few years since I’ve seriously thought about resolutions around the New Year: for 2015, I just made a list of things I planned on doing rather than saying they were even goals or resolutions. For 2016, I am doing the same, and focusing on broader topics rather than “Do x 10 times”:

  • Better time management and “work-life balance” – I definitely know that I suffer from being a workaholic and being my own worst enemy/toughest boss I’ve ever had. I want to be better about really taking time off for myself and to spend more quality time with Ryan. In fact, this past week I have taken time off since I worked a bit much around Christmas! My youngest nephew kept asking me, “Why are you STILL working?” Yikes!
  • More time with more quality people, both online and offline – Negativity wears anyone down, and I know especially for myself, I get weighed down when I’m around super negative people, whether in-person or even through social media. Yes, we all have our challenging moments, our moments of sadness: not saying I want to be around sunshine-y people 24/7 either! I just don’t want to feel like I am constantly picking others up.
  • Saying “NO” just a little more – Related to my first point above, I need to not spread myself thin so much! Have to focus on taking care of myself and my time better.

The clock will strike midnight soon in NYC, but I’ll be up for another couple of hours to ring in 2016 in Denver with Ryan. Here’s to another amazing year!

Highlights of 2015, Part 4 of 4: Speaking Engagements & Vacation in NYC

For the month of December, I’ll be posting weekly about a couple highlights from this year; granted, these highlights may very well leave out what happens this month, but we shall see what happens! ;) Also, I couldn’t decide on only four highlights, so each post I will highlight two moments/topics from the year. Enjoy!

 


More Speaking Opportunities

Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!
Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!

This year, I definitely got out of my shell more by engaging in more speaking opportunities around town: I spoke for the third time at Ignite Denver for its 20th show and also polished my Leads Group 7 presentations to make them more educational for my fellow members. I also had a blast speaking at SheSays Denver for their second SheShares event of the year: honestly, I’m still on a high from that event, even though that occurred in mid-July!

 

Some Much Needed Vacation…

Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.
Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.

I really enjoyed taking a week off in June to explore New York City with Ryan: first vacation together in almost a year (and the vacation we took in 2014 wasn’t completely relaxing either). We walked all over Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and rode the subway around as we explored the many attractions around the Big Apple. I love visiting New York City, but I am very happy living in Denver!

Highlights of 2015, Part 3 of 4: Better Health & Crochet

For the month of December, I’ll be posting weekly about a couple highlights from this year; granted, these highlights may very well leave out what happens this month, but we shall see what happens! ;) Also, I couldn’t decide on only four highlights, so each post I will highlight two moments/topics from the year. Enjoy!


 

Working Out & Eating Better = Healthier Helene!

Pretty nice medals from Rock n Roll!
Pretty nice medals from Rock n Roll!

I’m glad I made the decision in late 2014 to get back on the health & fitness bandwagon: for a few years there, I let myself slide backwards and undo the years of health & fitness I had accomplished in my early twenties. This year, I have made strides to get myself back into shape: it definitely helped that Ryan and I started off 2015 by participating in the Daniel Fast with our church. Since the fast, we have made a point to eat better together and also commit to working out together on a regular basis. As I had mentioned before, we ran our first 5K together back in October and hope to run more in 2016.

Overall, since November 2014, I have lost twenty-five pounds in a much healthier fashion than in my twenties. The road to better health is ongoing, and I intend to lose more weight in the coming year. Obviously, I will continue my healthier habits into the new year….Ryan and I do need more exercise ideas, though.

Crocheting Up A Storm

My current project: a Christmas gift for a family member (hmmmm to whom??!)
My current project: a Christmas gift for a family member (hmmmm to whom??!)

I am also most happy that this year was the year for me to FINALLY progress in my crocheting/yarn craft hobbies! I started off the year attending a Nerdy 30s Ladies of Denver Metro Crafting/Knitting/Coffee meetup (in fact, I just RSVPed for the same meetup event happening at the beginning of this coming January, too!) and have been crocheting pretty regularly since then. Granted, over the past 11ish months, I have also learned A LOT about the whole world of yarn crafts: gauge, different stitches, the size of the crochet hook, yarn weight, yarn material, etc. When I had first learned how to crochet, I thought much of what I listed above didn’t matter much, but this year I have learned that they DO matter….quite a bit! I’ve made hats too big because of the wrong sized hook or the wrong type of stitch…luckily, these were all learning lessons for myself!

Loom-knitting hats is SO easy....even a six-year-old can do it.
Loom-knitting hats is SO easy….even a six-year-old can do it.

I have also spent time learning more about loom knitting, and I do enjoy the round looms nowadays! I unfortunately made the mistake of learning how to loom knit on the long rectangular loom–which I just recently learned is actually harder than the round loom. Still, I love learning about all these different ways to create hats, scarves, etc.

This Christmas, I can confidently say that I am creating pretty much all of my gifts for my family members: several Christmases ago, I attempted this, but ended up with some too-short scarves and a couple of IOUs. Odd, right? But I’ve learned so much since then….and I can’t wait to share these gifts with my family!

This next year, I hope to continue my love of yarn craft hobbies and also make more goodies for my church’s outreach program. Hooray!

Highlights of 2015, Part 2 of 4: Hashtagitude + Working With My Coach, Kelly Lynn Adams

For the month of December, I’ll be posting weekly about a couple highlights from this year; granted, these highlights may very well leave out what happens this month, but we shall see what happens! ;) Also, I couldn’t decide on only four highlights, so each post I will highlight two moments/topics from the year. Enjoy!


 

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It was a long time coming for me to finally launch Hashtagitude (formerly known as Hashtag Hustler): I had known for some time that I enjoyed the world of digital marketing, especially social media. However, in 2013, after I had shut down TAOpivot (my first business), I wasn’t quite ready to launch right away into another passion project. My baked goods business came into play more as an interim business as I mulled over my thoughts on being known as a social media professional.

My friends and colleagues were already touting me as THE person to go to for social media though, and at the end of 2014, I decided to finally go all in with my new business.

So far so good–despite the rebranding halfway through the year, business has been going strong! Not only have I been working with so many more clients (and making more money than in the previous two businesses), I’ve also been networking with other social media professionals, including meeting the hilarious and wise Jay Vigilione, who is my co-host on our awesome podcast, Spotlight: Social Marketing Gone Bad.

Tune into our podcast, "Spotlight: Social Marketing Gone Bad" every week.
Tune into our podcast, “Spotlight: Social Marketing Gone Bad” every week.

I am also indebted to my great business coach, Kelly Lynn Adams, who has helped me out SO much since the rebranding of Hashtagitude. I appreciate all of the guidance Kelly has provided, because I really needed direction from someone at the midpoint of 2015–and I knew I couldn’t do it with free self-help materials anymore.

My amazing business coach, Kelly Lynn Adams!
My amazing business coach, Kelly Lynn Adams!

Kelly Lynn Adams has made the second half of 2015 even more phenomenal than the first half–and the first half was already pretty amazing! I feel very confident that 2016 will bring a lot of stellar moments for Hashtagitude as we continue to grow, and–not to sound like a broken record–I am so thankful that I have had the chance to work with Kelly during these past several months.

 

Highlights of 2015, Part 1 of 4: Financial Peace University & Turning 30

For the month of December, I’ll be posting weekly about a couple highlights from this year; granted, these highlights may very well leave out what happens this month, but we shall see what happens! ;) Also, I couldn’t decide on only four highlights, so each post I will highlight two moments/topics from the year. Enjoy!


 

I certainly didn’t ask for my 30th year to be so monumental despite the fact that yes, I finally left my 20s and was now embarking upon a new-ish adventure into the next decade of my life.

But turning 30 and experiencing all that I have throughout this year has been very pivotal: I felt like I left behind a lot of things that I didn’t need anymore in my 20s. I feel like I finally got myself onto a better path in life.

Balloons from a joint birthday celebration during the day.
Balloons from a joint birthday celebration during the day.

My 30th birthday party was fun: quiet, simple, yet memorable. We bought a platter of sandwiches from Costco and invited a few friends over to celebrate. My birthday has always been a hit-or-miss with the weather: luckily this year the snow didn’t blow in until later in the night.

One way I got myself onto a better path this year was finally taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I had known of his program for several years already, but never bit the bullet earlier on because I “didn’t have time or money”. I began 2015 with the feeling of, “Well, it’s now or never.” Luckily, Ryan attended with me and we were able to share a kit together.

During the nine weeks of class, we learned a lot about how to properly budget, pay down debt, and what kind of myths to steer clear of in the world of personal finances. Thanks to some situations wrapping up earlier this year, I have been lucky to pay down a lot of my debt to where now I can focus on repaying student loans. Every month, I have been keeping track of my budget via Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar budgeting webapp and I have definitely spent a lot less money this whole year. It feels good to know that I am in control of where my money goes!

Smiling because we completed Financial Peace University!
Smiling because we completed Financial Peace University!

I’m thankful for the opportunity to take the Financial Peace University program this year because I felt it really helped with clarifying my finances and my overall goals in life. Maybe one day I will consider teaching the class myself. We’ll see!