Twenty Eighteen, Twenty Nineteen

January 8, 2019

As the year again comes to a close and that arbitrary line is drawn for a new beginning, I want to look back at the past year and then (mostly) ahead at the new year.

Now’s the time to reflect on what was good and make some assertions on the year to come.

Fair warning: this could get lengthy. Thanks to those who read the whole thing, but I also get it if you don’t 🙂

A Look Behind

The past year held a few notable events, some of which I might write about later, some that I won’t.


While we were able to travel some – and one of those being the furthest distance yet – most of our trips were within a couple of hours. Nothing wrong with that, but I do have an itch to travel a bit more outside of our 1-hour radius (more on that later….).

Here are a few (if not all) of the places we traveled in 2018:

  • California
    • Yosemite State Park
    • San Francisco
    • Santa Monica (mostly the pier)
    • Anaheim (both Disneyland parks)
  • St. Petersburg (Frontend Design Conference)
  • Silver Springs/Mount Dora
  • Tampa/Clearwater
  • Cocoa Beach/Melbourne
  • Camping at Fort Wilderness (Disney World)
  • North Carolina/Georgia
    • Washington, NC
    • Amicalola Falls (Amicalola State Park)
    • Atlanta, GA

Notable Dates

This year also marked a few birthdays and anniversaries… (okay, every year does, but here were this year’s):

  • 10-year Thrive anniversary
  • Circus Donut party at home for Becca’s 5th birthday
  • Lego Friends pool party at the Oviedo Aquatic Center for Bethany’s 8th birthday, find more about the pool pumps used for this here.
  • Lisa and I both turned 34
  • We also celebrated our 11-year wedding anniversary!


Because these don’t fit in a category of their own, here are a few things that also happened this year.

Etsy Shop (Four Bees) – The start of the Four Bees Etsy shop came in March. While not a complete failure, most of the sales for this “Adventure travel”-themed shop came from Porg-themed clothing/accessories. As the year closes and 2019 begins, this shop will likely just fizzle out since I’m not renewing the item listings.

Grace Oviedo photography – While I’m far from being a professional photographer, I’ve taken on a couple of free gigs to get used to taking photos for anyone other than myself. We’ll see if I choose to pursue photography further or not, but it’s been a fun challenge.

Recreated FlipQuiz on WordPress – From the ground up, FlipQuiz was completely redesigned and redeveloped on WordPress. This has definitely led to a little bit of confusion from users of FlipQuiz Classic (the Drupal site), but it’s a work in progress. Still a lot more work needs to be done to make it what it needs to be, but it’s a step in the right direction.

A Look Ahead

Enough looking at the past. Let’s look forward.

The overall theme that I’ve adopted for this year is “Clean Up.” That means a lot of things, but mostly it means that I want to focus on tidying up the personal practices and professional processes I’ve adopted. It means that I want to fix my personal finances. It means I want to remove distractions, make better food choices, intentionally spend time reading the bible and praying, and prioritize my time.

In 2019, I want to focus on developing sustainable good habits that I can carry forward into the coming years.

For better or worse, I want to do some things more and some things less. Here are just a few of each.


  • More authenticity – I want to make sure that I’m being me more. That’s a bit convoluted, but I just want to make sure that I’m not putting on a show for anyone that doesn’t accurately portray who I am.
  • More intentional “faith time” – I don’t spend a lot of time talking about my faith outside of my small group Bible study. Nor do I prioritize reading the Bible or prayer time. I want to fix this.
  • More sleep – Going to be late is – and always has been – my calling card. I’m never ready for the day to end because there’s always more to do – even if that “more” is just consuming some more YouTube videos. More sleep = happier and healthier lifestyle.
  • Better eating – Like above, I need to build habits that improve the quality of my life. This is an important one (that I’ve started by giving up soda – like, for good.)
  • More exercise (get bike) – Bike’s cost money (who knew?), so I haven’t gotten to this one yet, but I need to find a steady form of exercise that I don’t hate.
  • Travel more – As you can see from the above “Looking Back” section, it’s not that I didn’t travel at all this year. And it doesn’t even need to be far, but I want to intentionally seek out some new places I’ve never been – maybe just within a 2-3 hour driving window.
  • More meetups/wordcamps/community – I went to a few of these last year, but was so busy and so tired when not working on necessities that I didn’t attend nearly as many meetups or camps as I would have liked to. (Last year, my goal was to attend WordCamps Jacksonville and Miami…. I attended neither.)
  • More photography in my general area – I think I take Oviedo/Winter Springs for granted when it comes to photography, but there is plenty to shoot here. I just need to get out more….


Just as important as the things I want to more of are the things I want to do less of. There’s a bit of overlap in theory from above, but here ya go.

  • Less worrying about what people think – This stems from wanting to be more authentic. I just want to spend less time worrying about if someone is going to still like me if I do X (within reason).
  • Less stuff (more minimalism) – I almost wanted to make this year’s theme “Simplify”, but I had other intentions. Nevertheless, I need to simplify in terms of how much stuff I have.
  • Fewer notifications/distractions – This relates more directly to the digital world than anything else, but I just want to be more focused on the things that matter. More focus means fewer distractions.
  • Wiser spending – Less spending on the things that don’t matter, so I can spend more on the things or, more importantly, the people that do matter.

There you go. This article is long enough and I’m already publishing it on January 8th because I had too much to write. Hopefully I can stick to these and build some solid, sustainable, good habits that I can carry forward.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wanna chat about this article or any others? Feel free to DM me or mention me on Twitter @marcusdburnette to start a conversation!

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