It’s Friday night. December 30. A candle is lit next to me and I just finished cleaning our kitchen about 5 minutes ago. Zach is sleeping on the couch, a little under the weather and I am deciding whether or not to pop my champagne as I sit back and write this blog post. I do this every year. I sit back and I attempt to put an entire year into a couple of paragraphs and share the good and the lessons learned.
But this year, 2016, I am trying to think if there is a way that it could have been better than it was. I can confidently say this was the best year of my life.
Sure, previous years are filled with beautiful memories. But I don’t think I’ve had a year where everything was completely perfect beyond all measures. The memories are a large part of it– but I think my constant decision to MAKE this the best year of my life was the icing on the cake.
I came into this year with a lot on the line and some of the most important moments of my life right around the corner. I had insanely big goals for my life beginning January 1 and I can honestly say that I have accomplished a good majority of them. Were things tough at times? Did I encounter difficulties along the way? Absolutely. But I always worked through them and honestly, I always came out stronger in the end.
Let me attempt to share some of my most beautiful memories with you. The most important and my FAVORITES– revolving around my wedding day.
- I quit my full-time job on January 8 and entered the world of entrepreneurship. I realized it was up to me to live the life I wanted to live and being stuck in a job I hated was doing nothing but holding me back. So even when the numbers and warnings said I shouldn’t– I DID.
- Zach and I were able to go on an all-inclusive Royal Caribbean cruise courtesy of my company in March.
- Visitors always coming to Knoxville to see us. My mom, sisters, dad, Zach’s mom. The door was always open.
- I surprised Zach and took him to Louisville to watch KU play in the Elite 8– unfortunately they lost, but great memories!
- I had an incredible bridal shower thrown by my sisters & mom in April that was full of so much love and friendship.
- Zach went to Vegas for his bachelor party and had a BLAST. Krista came to Knoxville while he was away and I got to have my first Dollywood experience!
- My bachelorette party was INSANE. We went to Ocean City Maryland and all of my bridesmaids made it except one. It was such a great weekend being away with friends and we have memories and experiences– we probably can’t talk about with anyone else 😉 But that I will NEVER forget.
- I turned 26! WOW, I feel old 😉
- My wedding day.
Oh my gosh. I feel like I should say- the entire wedding weekend. This was the BEST DAY of my life. I still get emotional when I try to put into words what that entire day was like. Every single part of it was just incredible. It’s amazing because we spent an entire year planning and in no time, the day was there. You truly realize how loved you are by so many people that day. Everyone loves you, is fussing over you, wants to help you look and feel your best. And you? You’re just waiting to see each other. What a whirlwind that day was. I’ll never forget touching his hand behind that wall. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I walked down the aisle to him. I’ll never forget the people who flew from ALL OVER the country to be there with us. I’ll never forget how freaking FUN our bridal party was. I’ll never forget the reception hall, the cookies, the cake, the dancing, all of it– its clear as day in my mind. And yes, to answer your question- I am still working on a blog post from that day. But wow. What an incredible day in our lives. Officially Mrs. Smith and that’s pretty incredible.
- OMG THE HONEYMOON. We went to Mexico two days after the wedding for 8 days. We had SO much fun! (As you can probably see in the video posted below with the monkey HAHA!) From the best guac ever to catamaran rides to just lounging by the pool, it was so nice to be away and celebrate our new marriage with each other.
- Summit 2016 was a blast. It was so great being with my team, seeing them experience it for the first time and allowing my mind to stretch even farther and dream bigger.
- We moved to Charlotte from Knoxville– and live in a beautiful downtown apartment. We have fallen in love with the city and consider it home.
- Steelers destroyed the Chiefs at Heinz Field– but for the third year in a row, we got to see it live. Sorry babe.
- Our first married Thanksgiving together in Kansas City.
- We purchased a new Jeep Cherokee!
- We had a CRAZY Christmas LOL. Pittsburgh to Kansas City back to Pittsburgh on Christmas Day. It was a lot but we are so grateful to have able to be with both of our families for the holiday.
- Incredible business accomplishments.
These are so near and dear to my heart because I entered this year with such a rocky business. I lost my entire team due to my own selfishness, not understanding how to lead, and falling victim to the game of comparison. I made a promise to myself and God this year that I was going to change. I was going to become the BEST version of myself possible and be 100% selfless. I wanted to use my freedom to SERVE OTHERS and not myself. So, to recap this year in my business.
- Team Simply BeYOUtiful went from a very weak Diamond team to a 5 Star ELITE, 7 Star Combined team in 12 months.
- My first business center is 5 Star, my second is 2 Star, and third is Diamond.
- I surpassed my corporate salary by $5000.
- My wedding was paid for in cash.
- All but three coaches on my team are 2016 coaches and on track to becoming Star Diamond, ELITE coaches themselves in 2017.
- Our team is ending the year in the top 200 out of 450K coaches.
- I earned the April 2017 trip for Zach and I to Punta Cana- all expenses paid.
- I’ve helped a coach of mine advance to Star Diamond.
- Earned a trip to the New Leader Conference in LA after my team achieved 2 Star.
- I helped more than 200 people get started on a Health & Fitness Journey in 2016.
- I qualified for TWO Diamond Retreats. One in Top Sail Island, the second in Amelia Island. Two incredible experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.
THESE. And I know I am probably forgetting some. But THESE are the memories I couldn’t trade for the world. This year was filled with so much love and happiness and HONESTLY- no kidding- I feel like I am leaving it better than when I came into it. I am such a different person all around. My love for my others, my passion for serving others, and my willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve what I want out of life.
This year, I worked my ass off. I led without intention and for the first time in a LONG time– I believed in myself. I pray you don’t view this as– she did it, she is all happy and life is crazy awesome for her. I pray that this makes you realize you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. I was recently asked what all of these achievements truly meant to me– and it’s this. That I’m no longer fearful of my goals. When I want something bad enough, I will find a way to make it happen. I hope this makes you realize you can do the same.
2017 is going to have its work cut out for it, because this year will be VERY hard to beat. But as I said, I am ready for whatever life is planning to throw at me.
Happy New Year!