This year was WONDERFUL, and chock full of learning experiences. Here’s a little rundown of what I learned this year.

1) Beware of sleek CEO’s that might promise you the moon and stars. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

2) Jobwise, take some time to find out what you REALLY enjoy doing. Find that workplace that feels like home when you walk in the door. After all, you’ll practically end up spending more time with your co-workers than your spouse.

3) Limitations are only in your mind. Forget about them. Make a plan and go for it. I went from “running hater” to having the most incredible Disneyland Half-Marathon experience of my life. I went from walking the dog once a day as my only form of exercise to my first 5K, first half-marathon, first sprint triathlon and even a “Dirty 6 Mud Run” obstacle course race.

4) Listen to what your body is telling you. I split my peroneal brevis tendon in my ankle this past August. I ignored it and kept going, even ran the half-marathon with the split tendon. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret running that half. However, I should have listened to my body immediately afterward and not signed up for more races and harder training, thinking that tendon injury would heal itself.

5) Face your fears head-on. In January of 2011, I flew my solo in our hot air balloon for the first time. I was nervous and a little scared. I didn’t sleep much the night before. But I was ready, and I had a beautiful solo flight — another life experience I’ll never forget.

6) Appreciate the people around you. They’re the ones that help you create your life to be what it is, help you reach your goals, and are there to pick you up and take care of you when you fall down (or have ankle surgery). Respect, love, and appreciate your spouse, family and your friends.

There were so many firsts this year in 2011 — I can’t imagine what 2012 has in store for me but I know it’s gonna be great. Better. Faster. Stronger.