Today is a very special post! I cannot really believe it. It has been one year since I have started blogging and publishing my thoughts for the world to see here on Defeating Normal! What an interesting ride it has been!

Over the past year, I have learned so much. I have learned all kinds of things about blogging, finance and personal development, but most of all, I have learned the most about myself. Which I suppose is the point of it all. Each of us are on our own unique journey through personal development. We all learn and interact in the world in so very different ways.

This journey that I began a year ago has transformed me into a different person. I am much more focused on my life and on my future. Before starting my blog, I felt like I was stuck. I felt like I was in a dead end career without any impact on the world around me. I felt as if outside of family and friends, I was just a face in the crowd. When I started blogging, my intention was to document my findings and thoughts on things related to personal finance and development. I had the intention to research financial topics, post about what I have found and use these posts as a method to hold myself accountable. If these posts could help someone else out along the way, that would be amazing, but it was mostly for my own accountability.

A part of me is surprised that I was able to keep this up for a year. In the past, I have struggled with personal commitments. I would like to do X, Y and Z, but would fall short of crossing those items off my list. Starting a blog and keeping up with it on a weekly basis has been something incredible. It has been something that I have found that I truly enjoy. I feel as if I have a contribution of sort, albeit very small. But that is ok.

There are so many things I have learned over the past year. First, I have learned a great deal about finance and the journey to financial freedom. Although I always knew that many people are fighting their way toward being debt-free and financially independent, I never knew just how many people are out there that are just like me. I have connected with other personal finance bloggers from all walks of life. Reading stories, discovering their journey and seeing what they have made themselves into has been so inspiring.

I have also learned so much more about personal development. I can honestly say that because of the books, posts and comments I have read, my view of the world has changed. I see now just how many people are more like me than I ever knew before. I have also come to realize just how lucky I am to be where I am today. There are so many people that are facing the struggles I have faced myself in the past, and even with more intensity. Sometimes I wonder how many people get by. It makes me truly see what I have and how grateful I am.

In this regard, I see that it is my duty to help in any way I can. Sure, I have my own struggles. They are certainly different from a year ago when I started this blog. Through these struggles, it is important that I still look at the world around me and extend a helping hand wherever and whenever I can. This is the way that we all truly succeed, by engaging with other and lifting each other up.

Another thing I have learned over these past 12 months is consistency. Posting each week has allowed me to get into a rhythm of writing and expressing my ideas. It has caused me to truly think about and focus on what is going on with my life rather than just going through the motions that many of us go through each day.

Just start. When I first had the idea of starting to write about my financial life, I was worried. Do I really want my thoughts and my take on personal finance out there for everyone to see? I was very nervous at first, but now I see it all in a different light. The way I look at it now is that I am not only posting my story for the world to see, but I am also posting my story and thoughts to a community of people who are there to help rather than judge. The community I have found has been nothing less than amazing. I have support and motivation from a place that I never thought would be possible before.

After being here for a full year, I am really glad that I stuck with it. Sure there are difficult times and there are times when I just felt like calling it quits, but I hung in there. Hearing the amazing stories of others has led me to want to continue on. Perhaps one day my story will help someone else who is in a place where I was, to carry on too. If I can achieve something like that, if I could help just one person that would then mean it was all worth it.

I could have not done this without the support of many people. First and foremost, my incredible wife Cryssie who has been my rock. Second, my family who supports me in all I do. Lastly (but not least), my readers who support me through this endeavor. It has been a truly incredible year and I am very much looking toward the future.

To wrap up, here are my favorite posts from my first year of blogging:

Thanks for all of your support! And if you have not already, please continue to support me by following me on Facebook and Twitter @defeatingnormal.

  • What has been your favorite post?
  • Do you have any post topics you would like to hear about?

I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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