The Power Of One Year: How 16 People Turned Their Lives Around In Twelve Months Or Less

When the going gets tough, it’s all too easy to forget how little time it can take for everything to turn around.
johnnycancun
johnnycancun

1. “Eight months ago I quit drinking and smoking weed. I wouldn’t say I was addicted back then but I was really unhealthy and all of my money was going towards booze and drugs. Now I feel amazing – I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m making a serious dent in paying off my student loans. I still go out with my friends but I don’t miss getting blackout. I feel like a totally different person now.”

— Andrea, 24

beetlejuice

2. “At the end of 2013, I’d just gotten dumped and I was a total mess. I spent New Year’s Eve bawling my eyes out in my best friend’s basement. Less than a month later, I met the love of my life. On New Year’s Eve of 2014, he took me out for dinner and proposed to me. It was the happiest day of my life – I know it’s cheesy but it made me realize that everything happened the way it did for a reason. If my ex hadn’t dumped me the year before I never would have gotten together with my fiancée.”

— Alicia, 32

beetlejuice

3. “At the end of 2012 I was working the same office job I’d been working for thirteen years and living a dull, suburban lifestyle with my husband of 20 years. Neither of us were happy and we both knew it… so at the beginning of 2013 we finally decided to get divorced. I went freelance with my work and moved to LA, which is where I’ve always wanted to live. In the span of one year, my life went from a monotonous nightmare to an exciting adventure. I never thought I’d be able to start over at 43 but it’s one of the best decisions I ever made!”

— Sherry, 46

beetlejuice

4. “A year ago I believed I was incapable of having children. Now there’s a beautiful, healthy baby girl sleeping in the room next to me.”

— Lauren, 28

beetlejuice

5. “A year ago I was unemployed and living with my parents, when my Dad announced he was getting stationed upstate and they were going to have to move. So I had eight months to figure out what I was going to do. I got a job at a climbing gym to start saving up for my own place and while I was working there I fell hard for one of the instructors. He asked me to move in with him after only five months and I said yes! Now we live in an amazing apartment and just adopted a kitten together. I’ve never had a relationship move this fast but I’ve also never been happier. A year ago today, I couldn’t have dreamed up the life I have now!”

— Jenny, 25

beetlejuice

6. “It took me until I was twenty-two to finally come out as gay. I’d never dated anyone up to that point but by the end of the year I had my first serious boyfriend. Even though it was a tough year to get through, I was so happy I finally did it. Turning twenty-three, I felt like myself for the first time in my life.”

— Peter, 27

beetlejuice

7. “I’ve always had really bad anxiety but I never really wanted to acknowledge it. In my last year of college, I hit an all-time low. I was getting high literally all of the time to avoid having panic attacks but even that only worked up to a point. I decided I finally needed to get help, so I went to a psychiatrist. I started taking anti-anxiety meds and doing cognitive behavioral therapy. A year later, I feel like a totally different person. I’m even holding down a full-time job now! There’s now way I would have been able to manage that even six months ago.”

— Lily, 23

beetlejuice

8. “It may not seem like the biggest change but in the past year I’ve made a point so spend at least an hour each day outside. I feel so much calmer and happier than I did at this point last year – and I’m sleeping a lot better too! Our bodies really aren’t meant to stay cooped up indoors all day.”

— Dan, 34

beetlejuice

9. “This past year, my Mom got diagnosed with heart disease. Though it’s a terrifying time for the family, it has really forced us to put our differences aside to help her out. There was always tension between myself and my siblings because they’re very religious and I am not. But we have a new appreciation for each other after this past year. No matter what happens next, I know we’ll get through it as a family.”

— Joanne, 31

beetlejuice

10. “Two years ago I was working the WORST office job imaginable. My boss was a total maniac who made us work twelve-hour days without overtime pay. I knew I needed to get out so I took a HUGE risk and decided to quit to pursue my dream of opening a bakery. It took a while to get things sorted out but almost exactly a year later, my best friend and I opened the doors of our own café. There’ve been a lot of ups and downs but I can proudly say that the business has been afloat for almost eight months now. Even on the bad days, I’ve never been happier with my choice.”

— Jessica, 27

beetlejuice

11. “In the past year, I’ve lost almost sixty pounds. I’ve never felt physically or mentally better! I’m running my first half marathon this fall, which I never thought I’d be able to do.”

— Dean, 30

beetlejuice

12. “Last summer my boyfriend and I broke up so I decided to go travelling while I was unattached! I ended up moving to South Korea to teach English and LOVING it. I have a whole community here the way I never did back home. I just renewed my contract for another year and honestly I don’t see myself leaving for at least the next five. I make great money, I get a free apartment and I travel all over when I have time off. I only wish I’d worked up the courage to do something like this sooner!”

— Jayden, 24

beetlejuice

13. “A year ago my best friend was undergoing extensive radiation and chemo therapy for skin cancer. Things were looking really bad and we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. A year later, he’s in remission! Not only that but he’s also back at work full-time and dating an awesome girl he met while undergoing treatment. I’ve never been happier to see things turn around for someone so quickly.”

— Krisann, 20

beetlejuice

14. “For the past seven months I’ve been keeping a ‘gratitude journal.’ At the end of every week I pencil in ten things I’m grateful for and three things I’m looking forward to for the next week. It’s a small change but it’s made a big difference in my outlook – I never realized how much I truly have to be happy about!”

— Lisa, 25

beetlejuice

15. “I graduated college with no idea what to do next. I took the first job I could find waitressing to supplement my income from what I really wanted to be doing, which was modeling. Less than six months later, I landed a full-time gig as a plus-sized model. Now I get to inspire women from around the world to celebrate their bodies! I’ve never felt happier or more confident. I actually can’t believe how little time it took for me to land my dream job!”

— Erin, 25

beetlejuice

16. “Last year was the most monotonous year of my life. So this year, I decided to finally take the summer-long trip to Africa that I’ve been dreaming about for almost a decade. I booked my flights this past weekend and I can’t believe it’s all actually happening! The anticipation is indescribably sweet.”

— Melissa, 36TC mark

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