19 Things I Learned in 2013

It’s the end of the year. A time to reflect on all 364 days that have led up to this very day.

It’s sad to think about how quickly the years pass as you get older. It forces you to see things through a different lens. To slow down the things you can control.

Life is short and how you spend life’s moments should be intentional and filled with happiness.

Reflecting back I can’t help but visualize an emotional roller coaster

During the first part of the year I was at my lowest. At that moment I knew I had to do something to change. As I sit here today, the last day of 2013, I am at my happiest.

It’s amazing the change that can occur upon committing to a path of intentional self growth. For that I am grateful.

In year’s past I wouldn’t typically spend time reflecting on the previous year. I was never really that in tune with myself. It was as if I was shutting myself out from myself.

I normally just came up with a few generic New Year’s resolutions that I would just push to the side three weeks into the year. For 2014 I am going to take an entirely new approach (more to come on this later), but today, I want to reflect on the things I’ve learned this past year.

Here are 19 things that I learned in 2013:

– I learned not to stress about the things I can’t control

– I learned to reduce or eliminate (especially the negative) head chatter

– I learned to be more present in the moment

– I learned that the in-between moments are what define our lives

– I learned that work is more than chasing a title and a salary

– I learned that the American Dream is an illusion

– I learned that the right relationships fuel my drive and motivation

– I learned to let go

– I learned that in order to change I needed to be selfish

– I learned how to be vulnerable and honest with myself; and with others

– I learned to be more grateful for the things I take for granted

– I learned that I enjoy writing; providing an outlet and dumping my thoughts onto paper

– I learned how to say no

– I learned how to reflect

– I learned to not worry about the trivial things in life

– I learned that life is short; sometimes way too short

– I learned about perspective and seeing things through a different lens

– I learned how to be grateful and appreciate failures; major failures

– I learned how to change and to be intentional about self growth

This year was truly transformational

I am forever grateful for those lowest moments; the failures and the emotional struggles. They opened my eyes to see that I needed to change; they allowed me to learn all of the above.

It’s in those valleys of tough and uncomfortable moments that we can truly grow. Tweet this

As you head into the new year reflect on all the things you learned in 2013. Pack those realizations and discoveries and venture out on a journey of intentional self growth.

Make it the foundation to a memorable 2014.

Approach 2014 wanting to be a better version of yourself. Commit to an intentional path. Discover the things that make you happy. Reinvent. Grow. The best is yet to come. Tweet this

What’s just one thing you learned about yourself this past year that has allowed you to change or grow?


About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.


  1. Lisha

    Hi Eric, I can relate to a lot of things you said in this post. I completely agree that the American dream is an illusion (made up basically by advertisers) and I also finally realized just recently that in order to change I need to be selfish as well, and that being selfish isn’t really as selfish as it sounds when it comes to improving yourself, lol. We can’t fully help others if we’re not taking care of ourselves. I care about my sanity. I’m also very into the word “No” now and I’m learning to balance life so that leeches don’t suck me dry. I’ve always put others first, but I recently realized that I’m important too 🙂 Take care of yourself Eric 🙂 Happy New Year! May you be abundantly blessed in 2014.


    1. Completely agree with you! Realizing to be selfish was not normal for me either. Like you, I was always putting others first. But, being selfish, in terms of taking care of yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically sets the stage for beautiful things to happen. Thanks for stopping by and for the well wishes. Here’s to a year of continuous self growth. The best is yet to come! Happy New Year Lisha!

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