Lifestyle Thoughts

A Reflection on 2018, Envisioning 2019

With 2018 coming to an end, I want to write this post to reflect on how this year went for me. As some may know from my past posts, the previous year (2017) was a year full of adversity for me, from transferring universities, feeling friendless, and not thriving in any parts of my career and business. Because of this low point, I made the decision last December that 2018 was going to be a brand new experience for me, in that it was ultimately going to be my year. And indeed it has…but now, 2019 is here and it’s another cycle of planning out my life as I approach graduation (honestly I’m screaming in my head as I type this).

For those who have had either a rough time in 2018 or just a year of feeling stagnant, my biggest advice in making the next year the best one, is simply speak it into existence. Say that it will be the best year. And create action steps to make that happen. For example, last year during the last few of weeks of December, I spent time writing in my new planner and notebook on what I was going to get done during the month of January and I prioritized those specific goals. One of them was to partner with a specific retail pro shop for my skating business, in which I did successfully, and this accomplishment set the tone for the rest of my year as I continued to build a strong relationship with the retail shop and ended up doing multiple sales with them throughout 2018. This was a game changer for my business and career.

I also spent the month of January 2018 fixing my daily schedule and morning regime. I started to make a daily habit of waking up by 8AM no matter what I had going on in the day, in comparison to my usual 9-10AM wake-up (for this year, I am working towards 6:30AM). Other things I started to add on to my daily habits was reading at least 30-45 minutes a day, which typically happened either first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening before bed. You gotta remember, that in order to set the tone of your life, it starts with your habits. I set the tone of how 2018 was going to unfold by starting with a change in my daily habits and my weekly routine.

While I often say 2015 and 2016 were the best years of my life, I reflect now on how they were the best because of how much fun I had during my final teenage years. It was during my Senior year of high school and Freshman year of college, in which was just a wild ride with lots of partying and great memories that I still think about to this day. But now, I reflect on 2018 being one of the best years for me in personal development, growth, and fulfillment. I turned 21 this past year, yet barely drank alcohol besides occasional events throughout the months. I found the small passions and things in life that fulfilled me, that brought back my drive and ambition for my ultimate vision. And most importantly, I developed so many new strong relationships with individuals that have impacted me so positively and have shown me compassion, loyalty, and grace throughout the entire year, and for someone who went from having little to no friends one year, to developing amazing fulfilling friendships the following year, it was truly a gift to see the journey of my personal development through it all. (thank you Avery, Harry, Patrick, and more)

2019 will be another big year, as I graduate from Chapman University and make the shift into the “adult” world, although to be really honest, I truly feel as though I adapted to the adult world early on during my Junior year of college. While I am not nervous to be finished with school and figure out what’s next for me, I will surely miss the aspect of being a college student and the unique experience that comes with it. After graduation, I envision myself either staying in Orange County and living on my own (with my cute little pup) for another year or two, or possibly making a change in environment and moving to a new city close by, like San Diego. Fortunately, I have been working various jobs my entire college career, so I will continue to coach figure skating (and hopefully pack on more private lessons) and of course, continue to scale my business Elite Skate Wear, as I am very involved and passionate for the skating sport and community. On the other hand, I will continue writing, blogging, and sharing my active lifestyle on my platforms, but I will also expand and work as a freelance contractor to a digital branding company, or hopefully, continue to work remotely for the company I am currently interning for. Either way, as long as I am fulfilled with my work, lifestyle, and relationships, I know that I will be happy and excited for the new year and future changes.

Cheers to a wonderful year of personal growth. And to everyone reading this, I hope you find what fulfills you and your passions in this upcoming year, or better yet, chase them and start building the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.


Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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