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#GetGutsy – How 2013 Changed My Life

To say 2013 was a big year for me would be a little understatement, I think.

2013 was a Life-changing year. (Yep… that sounds about right!)

See our pretty house? We'll get to that later....

So, here I am – a 24-year-old homeowner.

Buying a house was by far my biggest accomplishment this year, and definitely one to be proud of! My boyfriend and I looked at over 30 houses, had to switch realtors at one point, and have continued to overcome challenges from the day we placed the offer, through settlement and even now with the renovations we are undertaking… but every day we’re one step closer to being in our home sweet home!

In 2013, I also accomplished running my first 5k (thanks to the Couch-to-5k running app). I never thought I could do it, but I did! Now, I can run up to about 5 miles at a time and I’m not done yet… One of my 2014 goals is to run Broad Street (10mi) in May!

My friend Meg and I after the Phillies 5k - fun!

My friend Megen and me after the Phillies 5k – fun!

Also, I lost over 30lbs this year (thanks to WeightWatchers and my new found love for running…and fresh veggies!) Pretty crazy, right? Sure feels like it!

November 2012 (left), November 2013 (right)...coincidentally wearing the same shirt!

November 2012 (left), November 2013 (right)…coincidentally wearing the same shirt!

If it was not for my good friend Jessica and her constant blogging about getting gutsy, setting goals and sharing all of the details, I may have never quantified just how much I accomplished this year. Now it’s here for you to read (and hopefully get inspired by).

For me, “Getting Gutsy” is about more than stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s about making a tough decision and sticking to it, despite all of the challenges and frustrations that might come your way. (Let me tell you about the actual process of buying a house sometime… think it’s pretty simple? Think again.) Personally, it’s more meaningful to me when I stick to my guns on a project – even if it fails – than trying something and then giving up halfway in because it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out.

Don’t get me wrong – trying new things is gutsy – but trying, failing, and then trying again is even more so.

Of course, it’s also about embracing fear and living to tell about it (I mean, me? A runner!? Who was I kidding?). Sometimes the biggest thing that I fear is just how other people will react to what I’m thinking of doing, which can be so discouraging that I end up not even trying.

Well, no more of that!

In 2014, I’m going to be even more daring with my attempts at DIY home renovations and decorating, which will be the main focus of this blog. I’ve been taking tons of photos of everything we’ve done so far and I can’t wait to share it all with you and hear your feedback and ideas!

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and gutsy 2014!

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals. I’m participating in Jessica Lawlor’s #GetGutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details.