2011 has been an unbelievably great year. We celebrated our one-year anniversary of living in Brooklyn and still love living here. We also got engaged and will be married in Jamaica in 2012. I ran the Chicago Marathon, and while I didn’t have the best time, it was still a great weekend and I’m glad that I had the experience of running it. We went to Iceland and had an amazing time. I started writing this blog, and also became the Brooklyn Running Examiner. I also started writing my other blog, Crazy Book Reviews. I became even more of a crazy cat lady, especially since I picked up and stuck with knitting (including finishing my first afghan).

But, like any other year, there are some things that I learned and will carry with me into 2012. Here are some highlights:

Patience is a virtue. I am working on improving my patience. I, like many other people in the Millennial generation and just in America in general, am used to instant gratification. If there is something that takes time to see the true benefit, I tend to get antsy. But, I am learning that it’s important to be patient and in the grand scheme of things, having to wait a few extra days, weeks or months — sometimes even a few years — isn’t much when you get down to it.

Be true to yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype of things and lose yourself. In today’s world, I think it’s even more important to stay true to who you are. When we first moved to New York, we met a girl that seemed like she had lost herself and her values. She was tied up into how much things costs, who would see her wearing what, etc. My fiance and I promised each other that we wouldn’t become that. And, we haven’t. I feel like we are still the same core people as when we moved here, and I am proud that we haven’t been sucked into the hype that changes so many people.

There is always time. So many times its tempting to say “I don’t have time,” but really, there is always time. I learned this year that by breaking things down into manageable bits, it makes it easier to do it. Before I started marathon training, I took the extra 10-15 minutes I had in the morning to do one cleaning task on my list — cleaning the toilet, dusting the living room, etc. and it made me less stressed out and made it easier to tackle things. I try to do this with everything.

You can break out of a rut. I wrote about a running rut earlier this fall, and I think that no matter where you feel like you’re in a rut, you can get out of it. I feel like a lot of the times, when I make up our two-week menu, I stick with the same recipes because I’m comfortable with them — even though I always see some that are like “yum, that looks good.” But, I made a goal earlier this year to try at least one new recipe a week and it was going really well (the last few weeks I’ve slacked though) and helped me expand my cooking ability. I think this can be transferred into other areas of life. Bored with running? Train for a new race. Bored with reading? Pick a new author or genre. Bored with life? Find a new hobby or try something new.

Be the bigger person. This can often be difficult, especially when you know the other person is wrong. But, it’s important to try to be the bigger person in a situation (except for maybe a weight competition). You never know when what you say or do will come back and bite you and in most cases, this will pass, too. I found that it’s important to pick your battles and refrain from making things personal because most of the time, they aren’t.

I’m excited for the year to come because there are going to be many great changes! Stay tuned for my post about my goals — personal and fitness — for the year.

What are your highlights from 2011? What are some things that you learned? 

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