Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘perseverance’

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.

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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 :).

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.

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.

Writing is Hard

"Writing", 22 November 2008

“Writing”, 22 November 2008 (Photo credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle)

I love how I’ve been blogging for a few months and now I think I’m capable of writing a book. Seriously, blogging is easy. Writing a book is hard.

When I blog, all I have to do is throw together 300 – 600 words and I’ve got a blog post. I pat myself on the back, enjoy the fact that I have a handful of readers and move on with my day.

The blog post doesn’t need any specific structure; it can be written about whatever the hell I want including rants, whining and trips to the beach; and I can write it straight from the hip with no editing or second thoughts if I like. Writing a book takes thought and effort. It takes clarity and outlines and proper sentence structure.

I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I haven’t given up yet but I’m already facing writer’s block and I’ve only been writing every day for one week. And most of the stuff I have written during this week has nothing to do with any book, unless, somehow I manage to re-package this blog into a book.

The WINS course is supposed to help unleash my creativity so I still have Hope. Hope is my best friend these days. I wouldn’t mind if Confidence and Inspiration could knock on my door too. They could keep Hope company. We could have a little party. I’d serve them hors d’oeuvres, we’d dance like no one was watching, and fall to the floor maniacally laughing about nothing in particular. It sounds a little crazy but also like fun.

Who wants to join us?

Month 8 Check-In

I’m 2/3 of the way through this project and it has been a learning process. I have enjoyed writing and sharing on this blog. I’m not much of a Tweeter or a status sharer on Facebook but I have been committed to writing here. I’m enjoying the process and I have been tossing around the idea of trying my hand at some type of book. Eep.

I had a meditation challenge for August, I certainly didn’t do it every day of the month (esp on my vacation) but I have made progress. I wouldn’t call myself good at shutting off my thoughts but I think I have made a tiny bit of progress. I’m going to keep at it and see if I can’t figure it out eventually. I’m thinking about some type of writing challenge for September but will let you know for sure tomorrow.

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

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I’m up 1 pound this month due to vacation and a giant bag of chocolate covered almonds. Remind me to never buy one of those bags at Costco again. I’m still enjoying my smoothies, they seem to be my go-to food when I don’t want to cook (unless there is junk food in the house).

Exercising – I did a lot more yoga this month, plus I still love walking :).

Blog 4 times/ week – Still on target here, I had to do a bit of catch up after the vacay but I made it.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I spent a week hanging with my family and I went to a cooking class with strangers. I already have a great relationship with my family so that probably doesn’t count but did I mention cooking with strangers??

52 Actions – I’m doing OK with my weekly goals, I wouldn’t say I have made stellar progress (I still have not painted my bedroom) but I’m hacking away at them as best I can.

Getting a job – Still no job. I had an interview this past week, it’s something a little different than what I have been doing but I think I would be good at it so I am crossing my fingers for a 2nd interview.

General happiness – My vacation week was good for my soul but the no job thing is hard on it. I am hanging in there and doing my best.

I can’t believe there are only 4 months left until the end of the year. I still have so much left to learn and do :).

Month 7 Check-In

Month 7 of my project has come to a close and I have to say that I am pretty happy about a few different things:

  1. I have lost 15 pounds in the last 7 months. It is directly related to less snacking, more eating when I am actually hungry, and the increased intake of fruits and veggies. (My photographer is not around so I will have to add a photo later.)
  2. I have written over 120 blog posts. Not all of them have been stellar but they all have been written by me.
  3. I taught my youngest how to ride her bike. We both learned about perseverance, practice and dedication to a goal. When I couldn’t figure out how teach her the first, second or even third time, I re-grouped and came up with a new plan. You can accept failure or you can keep at it; and when you are on the verge of giving up, try a new approach… this is an important life lesson.

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

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I had a little challenge for July and although it didn’t go perfectly, I did eat a lot of smoothies and salads which is part of the reason I am down a total of 15 pounds for the year. Now if I could do something about my junk food problem then the pounds would probably melt off.

Exercising – I don’t seem to have a regular habit but I’m doing some walking, yoga and just getting outside more.

Blog 4 times/ week – Pretty on target here, some weeks have 3 posts and some have 5 so things have evened themselves out. By the end of the year I should have over 200 posts :P.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – July just zipped by, as the summer months tend to do. I didn’t meet as many of my friends in person as I would have liked, but there have been IM’s and texts and future plans so all is well on this front.

52 Actions – I’m not as focused on my weekly goals as I have been in the past but I have not completely forgotten about them either. I think I am going to try to pare them down a little bit so I have a better chance of achieving them. Plus I have added monthly challenges and they seem to be top of mind for me these days.

Getting a job – Still no job. I actually had one woman tell me that she wanted to hire me but I did not get the job, it was re-posted instead due to their internal BS. I have a friend who works there and he told me I didn’t want to work there anyway as the political atmosphere and boys club mentality is rampant. I have another outstanding interview that I should hear about next week and I have also touched base with a placement agency.  Plus I have done a small amount of volunteering to get me out of the house. Something has got to happen soon!!

General happiness – The whole dating side of things causes me unhappiness. You would think that searching out a life partner or someone special would lead to good things but mostly it just leads to headaches, lol. I am still in touch with Kirk, I know I said I wouldn’t be but I faltered… something akin to a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, lol. Anyway, there was a big fight, we did resolve it but the pretty shine has been smudged. The texting frequency has gone way down and we are still having trouble finding time to see each other. I don’t see this as long term, but I’m going to let it play out for a bit and we’ll just see what happens. To counteract the unhappiness, I have decided to try meditating for the month of August. It certainly can’t hurt things and I hope it will help.

My conclusion based on the first 7 months: I am heading in the right direction but still have a long way to go. Thanks for joining me on my journey!!

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