Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘actions’

It’s Still Personal Growth

Personal-GrowthMy oldest is in a cheerleading exhibition of sorts this weekend. So about a week or so ago, I texted her father and told him that he should bring his girlfriend to the exhibition so I could meet her. Yay me! He agreed, it seemed like a done deal. And I was proud of myself for taking that step.

Yesterday, I found out from my daughter that her Dad and his girlfriend broke up.

Wha?? They had been going out for over 2.5 years as far as I know. I figured she wasn’t going anywhere which was part of the reason that I should meet her. Apparently, I was wrong.

So even though I’m not going to get to meet her, it still counts as personal growth for me, right? I made the effort to try to meet her. I put out the invitation.

I’m going to go with ‘yes, it does count’, and the reason why is that I don’t think I would have made the invitation a year or so ago. That means I’ve made progress and grown as a person and that’s what I was going for in the long run.

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Month 12 Check-In

December has been over for a few days but figuring out my wisdom for 2014 took longer than I thought it would. Who knew that I had learned so much? Anyway, here is my final check-in for 2013, in case you were wondering if it was coming.

I’m not really sure what happened in December. I remember frantically getting ready for Christmas. I remember baking with the kids and us attempting to decorate a gingerbread carousel. I remember present wrapping and unwrapping. I remember last-minute errands and visiting family. I remember arguments, laughter and love. But the rest is just a whirlwind of busyness.

I wish I could say I wrote, ate healthy and exercised. Well, I did write, just not my book… Ah well, there’s always 2014.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I’m quite sure there were days in December where I didn’t eat one fruit or vegetable :(. I also put some weight on for Christmas. However, I am still down 10 pounds for the year so I’m happy. I just need to eat better!!

Exercising – I think that the only exercising I did this month was one session of yoga and several sessions of shovelling. I also made it to badminton one time this month. As I’ve already said, there’s always 2014. I did find out that there is a free skate at lunch time 3 days/ week close to where I work, so I’m going to try to get there at least one day/ week in the future. I’m not a good skater but every little bit helps.

Blog 4 times/ week – As 2014 came to an end I struggled to meet my blogging goals but I have decided to continue on and keep blogging. Yay!  I think I will aim for 2-3 times/ week as opposed to 4 but we will see what happens as the year goes on. The reason I decided to keep blogging was really because of the Winter Solstice Ritual. It was really great to look back over everything from the past year. It made the learnings more tangible and made me feel like I really accomplished something so I will soldier on and see what 2014 brings.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I had one friend lunch this month and the work Christmas party and New Year’s eve so I did OK with putting myself out there. Plus I hung out with my big, old family and that was awesome.

52 Actions – I tried to make December pretty easy and I did OK with my weekly goals. I think I’m going to keep them up for 2014, I may even re-use a few. But I also think that I will try to do less each week. Working full-time makes it a bit trickier to get some things done but I’m sure I can manage some small actions.IMG_20131231_204109

General happiness – Am I happier? Yep. Why just today I marvelled over a beautiful sunset, some deer I spotted on the way home and the great deal I got at Wal-mart. I was even pretty happy about the warm hot chocolate I drank while trying to warm up from the cold. And look how happy I look (even if I’m a little fuzzy).

2013 was a great year!! I declare it complete!

One other thing I like from the Winter Solstice Ritual is taking the month of January as a time to dream and then starting the new year in February. So there will be no goals or actions for January, just a time to dream and think of the possibilities for the rest of the year. Thanks for following my exploits in 2013, and here’s to more learning, love and laughter in 2014.

Month 11 Check-In

I’m a few days late getting this blog post up but, better late than never.

November feels like a blur. I was sick, my youngest was sick, I had family over for the last weekend in November so that required some prep, plus I was also adjusting to being back to work. Throw a little bit of Christmas shopping into the mix, the regular ups and downs of being a parent and bam, 4 weeks is gone.

I wish I could say I succeeded with my challenge for the month, however, the catching up on my writing course was limited in nature and so was the healthy eating. As a matter of fact, my diet is a disaster area these days. I need to bring it back into a better realm of healthy.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – There were some smoothies this month, of course, but not as many as there should have been. However, if chocolate was a food group I would have it covered. Somehow, I am down one pound which is a total of 14 lbs for the year. I seem to have plateaued at this point but luckily I’m not putting any weight on so I will take it.

Exercising – Exercise has also declined as the month passed. I haven’t been to badminton for the last 2 weeks as I’ve had my kids during that time and the last walk I took was only 15 minutes because it was so cold out. I’m supposed to play squash tomorrow night, so barring any cancellations maybe that will help motivate me to get back to exercising.

Blog 4 times/ week – I’ve struggled to meet my blogging goal for the last 3 months and as the year is drawing to a close I’m wondering if I will continue blogging into 2014. I haven’t made any decisions yet but I am thinking about letting it go. We’ll see, still a few more weeks before the year is over.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I’ve had a couple of lunches with co-workers this month, I also had lunch with a co-worker from my last job and dinner with another. It’s funny how hard it is to coordinate things when you no longer see each other every day but I will keep trying, it is worth it. And as for Sven, it’s been hard seeing him this month too. Between kid schedules and being sick, we didn’t see each other all that much during the month of November.

52 Actions – I wish I was doing better with my weekly goals. I didn’t fail completely this month but I wasn’t overly successful either. For some reason they are no longer top of mind or maybe they are just things I don’t really want to do. Something to think about.

General happiness – Overall, I think I have learned a lot about how to be happier during this past year. It is so important to live in the present. To stop worrying about what may or may not happen in the future and to stop obsessing about what has happened in the past. Some days these things are easier said than done but if you can stick to the present, life will be better. I think that is the key.

Only 28 days left to 2013, where has the year gone? During these last 4 weeks I will try to review some of the stuff I have learned during this past year of blogging and make plans for 2014. Not sure what they are yet, but I’ll figure it out :).

Compliment 7 People in 7 Days

I’ve been slacking on my 52 Actions so this upcoming week I’m going to try extra hard to do this one. It’s an easy one but pretty important. Compliment 7 People in 7 Days.

I mean, who can’t compliment 7 people in 7 days?

In fact, it’s so easy that I dare you to join me. I dare you to compliment 7 people in 7 days. Even if just 2 of us do it then 14 people get compliments. If 3 of us do then 21 people get compliments. You see where I’m going.

So I triple-dog dare you to join me in complimenting 7 people in 7 days. You know you wanna. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

And to inspire you further, listen to Kid President, he’s pretty smart and says that you should do it too!

Month 10 Check-In

There are only 2 months left to 2013. The year has flown by.

October has been a bit of a chaotic month for me but in a good way. I have returned to work after a year hiatus (that sounds like a nice way to say it). I have written a short story and submitted it to a contest. And I am still trying to ride the happy train. I find that the hardest time for me to be happy these days is when I think about the whole boy-girl relationship thing or lack thereof. I just find that area of my life frustrating. I’m trying to let things be what they will be more, but that is difficult for me (hence the frustrating part)… maybe there is a better way to deal with those feelings.

I had a writing challenge for September and October. My plan was to write every day for at least an hour/ day. I found the challenge pretty challenging. It was hard to commit to writing everyday but I do think I wrote more than usual during these past 2 months. But in spite of writing more during these 2 months I was short on blog posts for both September and October. I was doing a different kind of writing so I’m still happy with how things have gone.

During the month of October I also discovered that I would like to write some fiction, I had no idea that this would interest me but I was inspired by one of the women in my writing class so I’m going to try something new.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – This month has not been great for the fruits and veggies. Junk food has snuck into my diet and I need to get a handle on that. Halloween sure does not help the situation. My weight is up a little this month so I’m only down 13 lbs for the year, I need to refocus on eating better and exercising as they are important habits to establish.

Exercising – Exercise has not happened as much as I would like this past month, especially during the last 2 weeks. The new work schedule is making things a bit crazy but I did manage to walk at lunch time a couple of days in there. If I can continue with those walks that will help me fit exercising into my schedule.

Blog 4 times/ week – I missed my goal in October again! I’m hoping to catch up in November or at least to hit my weekly goal.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I went for a couple of lunches with friends this month and to my sister’s for Thanksgiving. I also started a brand new job and have been trying to get to know my new co-workers.

52 Actions – I managed to purge some clothes and give some gifts but other than that the weekly goals are taking a bit of a beating. I haven’t forgotten about them but I may need to re-jig them as I have less free time than before.

General happiness – I think I am happier than I have been in quite a while. I’m still welcoming abundance into my life, I try to say what I am thankful for every day, I try to focus on living in the present, I try to write about my negative feelings when they happen and release them into the universe, and I think these things all add up to being happier with what you have. Not every day is a stellar day but a greater majority of them are and that makes me happy :).

Only 2 months to go, time to really focus on what’s important during this time. It might be a good idea to reflect on that and make sure that’s what I’m doing. I’ll try to come up with a challenge for November that encompasses that.

My 7 Days of Gifts

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper.

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my actions for last week was to give 7 gifts in 7 days.

The idea started way back in March when I read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. In the book she gives 29 Gifts in 29 Days and she found that it changed her life.

The premise is that giving gifts to others forces you to take the focus off of yourself. So instead of focusing on her illness and negative thoughts, she was able to invite more abundance and positive energy into her life. This changed her perspective and helped to improve her health.

So I decided that I would do a watered down version of the challenge. I have so many things going on at the moment that I didn’t think I would be able to keep it up for 29 days so I tried it for 7 days. I was almost successful but I forgot all about my gift on the last day. I was going to give it on the 8th day but forgot again. One of the keys to the project is that your gifts must be mindful and authentic, I think I failed the mindful part at the end.

Anyway, here is a run-through of what I did manage to give:

Day 1 – Sven does not have a car, so my gift to him was to take him to get groceries. It may sound silly but he appreciated the fact that he was able to pick up more than he could physically carry home as we were driving instead of walking. I even helped him carry the groceries up the stairs to his place.

Day 2 – I was having a bit of a bad day and yelled at my oldest daughter when she wasn’t helping like I thought she should. Once I finished yelling we managed to talk about what happened and I gave her the gift of an apology. An apology may not sound like a gift, but sometimes we as parents do not always admit when we make mistakes. I over-reacted and apologized for doing so.

Day 3 – I took Sven out to lunch and bought him a bottle of wine as a house-warming gift. You probably are not supposed to give the same person more than one gift but that was how things worked out.

Day 4 – A week or two ago I had told my youngest that she could babysit herself for about 30 minutes while waiting for her father. Things happened and she never got the chance. She was disappointed that she couldn’t show how responsible she was. So on day 4, I went for a 20 minute walk and left her home to look after herself. I gave her the gift of feeling responsible.

Day 5 – We were at the mall shopping for some jeans and we had some coupons for 25% off. We had 4 coupons actually. So we gave away 3 of the coupons to customers in line at the check-out. People were very happy to get them and it was nice that they actually got used and didn’t go to waste.

Day 6 – I’ve been wanting to purge some of my daughter’s old, but still good toys for ages, stuff that is really too young for her now or that she doesn’t use. I snagged a good one and gave it to Sven for his daughter. He has a new place and no toys or things there for the kids so I thought she might like it. He thinks she will too so we’ll see.

Day 7 – :(, I forgot to give my gift. My youngest’s school is looking for some books for their library so I was going to take a couple in. I’m still going to do it, it just didn’t happen on day 7.

All in all, I’m happy with the way things turned out. I think I’d like to try it again and perhaps even work up to the 29 day challenge at some point. It is a great way to turn your thinking towards how you can help others. One of the changes I’d make for next time is to gift to a wider variety of people.

I dare you, my lovely readers, to try giving 7 gifts in 7 days. As you can see by my example, they don’t all have to include money, but they should all be mindful and authentic. And if you want to do the full 29 day challenge, one of your gifts should also be of an item/thing that you find scarce in your life. It’s not a big challenge but small things can make a difference.

Month 9 Check-In

I cannot believe that 2013 only has 3 months left in it. How things have changed and yet how they have stayed the same. As of the 24th of October I will have been unemployed for a year. I did some consulting in there but not enough for it to feel like a real job. I have another interview coming up soon, perhaps this will be the one. As for changes, well I have been blogging for 9 months, I’m taking a writing course and I have spent a tremendous amount of time trying to find my happiness.

Am I feeling happier? Well not every day, but I have discovered some techniques that make it easier to redirect negative feelings and some techniques to focus on the positive ones. Today I’m feeling pretty damn good actually :).

I had a writing challenge for September. My plan was to write every day for at least an hour/ day. I thought it would be pretty easy as I have been blogging 4 times/ week but things seemed to change once I set up the challenge. All of a sudden I was no longer inspired and I could barely write a blog post (as a matter of fact I was short on blog posts 1 week this month).

I think that once I told myself that I had to do it then all of a sudden I felt like I couldn’t, I was resisting. I’m working on clearing up that resistance so I’m going to implement the same writing challenge for the month of October. I have sketched out an idea for a book so I need to put some effort into it. Even if it never gets published, I can leave it to my kids so they have a part of me later on. On a positive note, I have written a few things that I wouldn’t normally write this past month so that has been a fun exploration of my creativity.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I was on and off with the fruits and veggies this month. I’m going to try to re-focus on this for the month of October. I really do love the smoothies and they are so good for me. I’m down about 1 1/2 lbs this month, so 15 1/2 pounds in total for the year. I’ve plateaued a bit but if I can increase the fruits and veggies again I should be good.

Exercising – I’ve been sick this past week so not exercising but I have big plans for badminton and boxing this fall.

Blog 4 times/ week – I missed my goal 1 week in September but I know I’ll hit it in October!

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I took two classes this month: I went to a cooking class with Sven and took an HTML/CSS one-day course called Ladies Learning to Code. I also had coffee with a friend of mine who I hadn’t chatted with in ages, it was so good to catch up!! And every once in a while I manage to snag one of my friends for lunch so that’s always fun.

52 Actions – I’m doing OK with my weekly goals. I planned a scavenger hunt in town (which I have been talking about for ages), now I need to gather up some folks and try it out!! Some of the other stuff has not been accomplished but I’m moving in a forward direction.

Getting a job – Still no job. I really thought I would have one by now. I think I’m not selling myself enough. Job interview at the 11th company coming up next week. Wish me luck!!

General happiness – The writing course that I am taking is so much more than a writing course. There are sections about dealing with your inner critics and negative feelings. All of these things are helping me feel happier these days. I didn’t feel that good while I was sick last week but now I’m mostly better and feeling happy!!

3 months left, WOW! I think I need to take some time this month and see what I really want to accomplish by the end of this year.

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