What a year!
I may well say this every year, but this time it’s definitely true – the past year has been the biggest, the most life-changing of any of my 29 years on the planet so far (if you exclude being born).
The year kicked off well as I became an aunty for the very first time to the cutest little munchkin that ever lived. The down times included spending far too much on hospital car parking… but I’d do it all again just to hear that “It’s not cancer!” news one more time. A highlight was of course saying “Yes!” to the man of my dreams, as well as celebrating a number of beautiful weddings and exciting engagements (taking notes all the time). I embarrassed myself on national television, kept the family business afloat while my parents lived it up in Europe, and ticked off 13 challenges from my ‘Top 30 Countdown‘ list!
I’m proud to say that, in addition to completing 13 challenges, from the list I also managed to achieve the four New Years’ resolutions I set for myself at around this time last year. According to my iPhone notes, they were as follows:
- Make exercise a habit (I achieved this with my running program, although I confess I let it slide towards the end of the year – bring on half marathon training 2013!)
- Lead an interesting life: Say yes to opportunities, create my own opportunities for myself and my friends and family (I think it’s safe to say that the Top 30 list sealed this one for me!)
- Continue my de-stress plan: Live in the moment and end 2012 by looking back and realising it was the most chilled year of my life (In spite of some very trying times this year, I’m proud of my efforts towards becoming a more relaxed person. I’ve still got a long way to go to de-program my poor anxiety-riddled brain, but I can already feel the positive effects of the efforts I’ve made so far. 2013 will bring a new resolution to further this aim!)
- Hold a market stall (Launching www.mandiidesigns.com.au was my modern-day equivalent. Perhaps one day I’ll get up the quantities required to hold a real-life version however I think 2013 will be busy enough without that to add to the mix!)
I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. Life, to me, has always been about the destination rather than the journey. Some might see this as a little strange – valuing the ends higher than the means. I guess it is a little strange, but to me the result is that, by aiming high, I guarantee that my journey AND destination are equally fulfilling. The only drawback is that my tendency towards forward-thinking often results in an inability to enjoy the moment while it’s there – generally only realising how great it was in retrospection.
Then again, keeping this blog has been a fantastic way to “live in the moment”. It’s forced me to relish every step of my journey towards the big three-oh. Every now and then I’ll read back over an old entry and remember the excitement of ticking off another challenge. I can’t wait to hit 30 and look back over the whole year’s achievements (whoops, there I go being forward-focused again!)
I am a huge believer in goal-setting. For work, I recently completed an eLearning project relating to ‘SMART’ goal-setting. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, it involves setting goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. The point of the exercise is to help you set specific and measurable goals which you will be likely to achieve, rather than vague goals which are easily forgotten. If you’re considering setting yourself some New Years’ Resolutions, I recommend you apply that same formula. Sure, it might sound a little over the top for a fun turn-of-the-annum ritual, but I’ll wager I’m one of the few people you know who actually keeps their New Years’ Resolutions each year, so I think I might be onto a winner!
Sure, New Years’ Resolutions are usually just a bit of fun… and most people set themselves diet and exercise promises even their own brain scoffs at as soon as they’re uttered… but I like to take my resolutions a little more seriously. There’s something amazingly cleansing about the dawning of a new year. To me, it overflows with hope and possibility and offers every one of us a clean slate and an opportunity to rejuvenate and reinvent ourselves in whatever way we choose. If, like me, you have things about yourself that you would like to change, I think the new year brings the opportunity to say “Me? Obnoxious, loud, insensitive and rude? That was soooo 2012!”
When it comes to New Years’ Resolutions, I think the number one most important letter of the S.M.A.R.T. formula is the ‘A’. Is your goal Achievable? There’s no point setting yourself a challenge you know you’ll never complete – you’ll just be setting yourself up for disappointment if you do. More important still, however, is setting yourself resolutions for the life you want, rather than the life you think you should be living. One year I challenged myself to spend more money on looking good. That might sound ridiculous to those of you out there with threatening credit card bills the same shade of fire engine red as your perfectly manicured nails, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m well, a little bit stingey, and probably the biggest dag out. To spend money on myself like that was indeed a challenge, but it was one I really enjoyed fulfilling!
I’m still working on my resolutions for 2013, but I’ve made a start…
- Attend yoga classes on average once a week for the whole year (this is part of my bid towards de-stressing!)
- At least once a month, do something special for a friend or family member to let them know that I’m thinking of them (I think I am generally a fairly selfless person, but I hope this will help me stay that way as I enter the rather self-centred process of wedding preparations!)
I don’t have a third resolution yet and tradition states that I at least have three. Andy suggested, “Have at least one amazing wedding,” although when I looked at him sideways he quickly modified that to, “Have at most one amazing wedding”… I’m still wondering whether I should take that as a threat of a jilting? 😛
Since I had so much luck appealing to my friends and fam for the Top 30 challenges, I thought I might appeal to you all once again for some ideas as to what my third resolution might be? I’ve got lots on my “to do” list already, so I’m fresh out of ideas on what else I could possibly add to make my 2013 complete. I did think of “Finish the damn painting in the damn kitchen, dammit!”, but that didn’t seem quite in the spirit of things.
So, to all of my loyal blog readers – whether I’ve met you or not and whether I’m aware you’re cyber-stalking me or not – I’d love to know…
What are your resolutions for 2013 and what do you think my final resolution for 2013 should be?