2018 in Review


I’ve neglected to post on this blog the whole year, but it would be strange if I didn’t post an annual review! Hard to believe I’ve been doing this for nearly the whole decade! And after doing this throughout my 20s, I’m writing this blog post as a now 30 something! You can check out my previous annual reviews here:  2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

How did with my 2018 goals?

Keep running and lifting

  • I only did one race this year, and it wasn’t even a half marathon! As a result, I didn’t set a new PR. Additionally, while I have consistently gone to the gym throughout the year (yay!) I haven’t increased my weights all that much. Perhaps I need to switch it up this year with classes?

Running the 2018 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Run!

Keep cooking

  • This one surprised me. While I did continue to cook throughout the year instead of eating out, I didn’t really expand my repertoire of dishes to make…thanks Trader Joes!

Keep saving and investing

  • This one was a bit tough considering I was saving so much for grad school while paying down more student loans. I managed to contribute about ~$5k to retirement this year, but didn’t add to my emergency fund or set up a 529 plan.

Keep improving my Mandarin Chinese

  • Surprisingly, I did have a tutor (briefly) for the school year in the months leading up to grad school.

Get my Private Pilot’s License

  • I completely failed on this one. I didn’t even schedule a call with flight instructor to do a demo flight. This is still something I want to do, but not quite sure when it’ll happen. Now that I’m not doing grad school, hopefully I can get to this goal.

2018 Areas of Focus:


  • By far the big thing this year was my decision on doing a career change from marketing to international affairs, and the possibility of starting grad school. I finally applied, was accepted and started grad school at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Between juggling school and work full-time, quickly realized that while I LOVE learning about other cultures, international affairs as a career was no longer for me. So happy that I went through the process. I can finally move on with my life!
  • Switched jobs again from marketing analytics back to marketing automation. Realized that I (1) still prefer being on the execution rather than strategy side of marketing, (2) I operate better working in smaller rather than larger organizations, and that (3) it’s better to work for a company as a full time employee rather than as a contractor.

Getting an award for my efforts at my day job!


  • Continued to grow in my relationships, both with myself, my significant other and friends.
  • So happy that things are going well on this front! 

Friends visiting my apartment for my 30th Birthday Hangout/BBQ!


  • Managed to maintain my weight throughout the year, as well as continued to workout and cook my own food several times a week!

Meal prepping for the next few days! Shrimp and spinach linguine


  • Visited four new countries and crossed a few places off my bucket list: Ankor Wat/Cambodia, Brussels/Belgium, Paris/France, Monaco.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat!

Sunrise at Angkor Wat!


  • Paid off two additional student loans (roughly ~$7k) and have just one loan remaining!
  • Paid in cash my first semester of grad school (roughly ~$13k)
  • Didn’t get to saving more as a result of my focus on education expenses this year.

2019 Goals

After having done these year-end reviews for now 8 years, I’m realizing that most of my goals are pretty much the same as they are every year. Perhaps this means I need to think bigger and outside the box. In order of priority, here are my goals for 2019:

  • Finances: Pay off my car ($6.8k remaining) and Penn student loans ($4.2k remaining)
  • Traveling: Visit at least 3 new countries this year, go to someplace new in the U.S.
  • Career: Get certification in either Salesforce/Pardot/Marketo (tools I use for my day job)
  • Health: Gym at least 4x/week; PR my half marathon time.

That’s it for now, let’s see how this new (and final year of the decade) plays out!