Another year is coming to an end.

In retrospect, this was a great year for me. One of the best years of my life.

Interestingly, what made it great wasn’t any materialistic gain. Unfortunately, so many people reduce happiness to success, and success to money.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to say that money doesn’t matter. We all need money to buy food and pay our bills. But there is more to life than money. Not everything can be bought.

One of those things is peace. This year was very peaceful and, trust me, that is something I needed so much! Past 5 years have been pretty crazy and stressful, so I intentionally slowed things down a bit.

I started meditating this year. Meditation made my life much better. It helped me be more relaxed, less impulsive, more focused, and more loving and compassionate towards myself and others.

I started exercising again. Exercise makes me healthier, happier, stronger and helps me sleep better.

I ate almost no sweets this year. :) I slipped a few times, but I’m completely okay with eating some every few months. I’m also happy that those small slips didn’t escalate into me eating a jar of nutella a day! :)

I had absolutely no alcohol this year. Not one drop. And honestly, I don’t miss it one bit.

This may sound counterintuitive, but establishing good habits and exercising self-control actually increased my sense of freedom. True freedom is more than just feeling free financially - part of it is being able to free yourself from your own negative impulses as well.

I learned a lot this year. I read about interesting things every day and I also took a few online courses. I’m so grateful to be able to go online and learn about anything I want.

Last but not least, I’m so proud of myself starting a Meetup group about leadership in Ann Arbor. We just got our 100th member! How awesome is that?

I truly hope your year was at least as good as mine, and may the next one be even better! Happy New Year!