Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It's that time of the year..

It is of course THAT time of year, for looking back and looking forward, reflecting on resolutions made and kept/ broken and making them all over again to keep/ break.

I wrote last year that I don't really 'do' resolutions - although I do love a plan - and instead wrote myself a letter that reflected my aims for the year and what I thought I'd like to achieve. 

So farewell then 2012

I love re-reading things like last year's non-resolution letter, it's a bit like finding an old diary that transports you back to another time, with all the feelings flooding back.  If you want to read it it's here, but essentially there were three main things I wanted to get into the habit of doing and do well - writing, running and meditating. So how was it for me?
  • Writing - I've definitely made progress this year. I've had articles published in magazines and on websites, I have a contract for an e-book, I have a whole series planned, and know that I want to focus on travel related non-fiction. I don't earn a living from any of it. I still don't write every day. Yet. But watch this space.
  • Running - I started the year very focused on fitness, with a personal trainer and regular running habit. I was probably the fittest I've ever been by the time I went to trek to Machu Pichhu in April. Then three hospital stays within three months (one unplanned in Peru, and two planned here at home) set me well back. I have discovered much to my chagrin that I am in fact not Wonder Woman (maybe a good thing, I do not have the figure for that costume). My 'I'll have a couple of weeks off, then I'll be fine' after two not insubstantial operations turned out to be naive/ optimistic/ daft. It took til the Autumn for me to start feeling properly better. And the after effects still go on. So running took a back seat. Though I did turn vegan.
  • Meditating - I have done this on a very ad hoc basis, which as with most things you don't get the best benefits from. I did go to two sessions of a six session course but was wasn't really too taken with the teacher (or have been very lucky and spoilt to have had an excellent previous teacher) I don't do this every day but would still like to. And I don't have to go on a course to do it really!
The last bit of last year's letter was an almost flippant pledge to clear out the black hole that was the cupboard under the stairs. Do you know what? This is the one thing I actually did 100%! In fact it became my small but perfectly formed office! This year's black hole is the garage... 

And hello 2013

So - what about this year? My aims are in similar kind of groupings - writing stuff, health stuff and good for the soul stuff.   

Writing stuff - I want writing to be my number one focus (there are all sorts of other things I'd love to do like learn Spanish, dig out my guitar - but I must focus!) My target is that I will finish and publish my first e-book and complete one other that I've started (ooooh is that a pattern of starting things and not finishing them I spot?!)
I do have ideas for a whole series and if I achieve any more than this it's a bonus but let's get one done at a time! 

Healthy stuff - I have no plans for any more hospital stays or operations! I have committed myself to fundraising for a charity and some challenges which are going to need tip top fitness (more on this another time) I also want to keep up being vegan and understand more about nutrition. I know what it's like to have something that you take for granted like good health suddenly taken away from you so keeping well is vital to me.
Running will be my exercise of choice and I do have goals which I'm still in the process of signing up to so I won't say any more until that's all signed and sealed. 

Good for the Soul stuff - this is where the meditation and mindfulness comes in. I'd also put things I sometimes mention like random acts of kindness and gratitude into this. The fundraising and support for the charity I'll be doing also comes into this Lentil Soup for the Soul grouping. Harder to set specific goals but I know that I want to feel more like I'm giving back, being more aware and more present.

With my managerial head on I am shouting measurable targets and actions are needed! So I am going to set monthly goals then you Dear Reader can cajole, criticise, congratulate and chivvy me along if you like the resolution will be blogivised (with apologies to Gil Scott-Heron!)

So The Plan for January is that by the end of the month I will:

1.    finish the draft of the Machu Picchu book and apply for the Northern Writers Awards

2.    be able to run for 8 miles

3.    re-read Happiness and How it Happens by my favourite mindfulness teacher Suryacitta aka Happy Buddha

And on that note I am off for my first run of the year!

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