Well, well, well! Another year has rolled past and here we are at the start of a brand new one. I always feel so much better as a whole at the start of a year, don’t you?
I think it’s the weather. The sun is out so the weather is warmer (though this is Melbourne so it could also be raining simultaneously), the drinks get cooler, beach trips are a distinct possibility, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming. All of these wonderful things actually make me want to get up super early and get shiz done! It’s very inspiring.
Something else I find inspiring is the idea that life is what you bring to it. If you sit around, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for things to happen, chances are they won’t. You’ve got to get out there and make those changes yourself. It doesn’t necessarily always guarantee that you’ll get the outcome you want but hey, at least you tried, right?
The reason I bring this up is because I’ve been thinking a lot about how best to tackle life lately. The last half of 2014 was a little crappy for me. I don’t want to go into it here but essentially I was almost at the point of burnout at uni with work – so much so that I was almost incapable of finding any energy to work on my thesis. This eventually led to me not even wanting to try to get work done and Extreme Procrastination (Like an extreme sport. If only. I’d have so many trophies.) Then I stumbled across the notion of life being about what you bring to the table – which is such a simplistic idea, it’s almost laughable. But I was at a point where I felt like I was floating aimlessly, without direction. That notion kept circling in my head until I eventually decided to act on it. And now, with that in mind, I’m feeling pretty good about starting afresh in the New Year.
A flow-on effect of feeling so good is that I start to get excited about things to be done and getting said things organised. I started preparing early and pre-ordered my Frankie diary and also bought my calender a few months in advance. So I’ve got the basics down pat. Another thing I’ve done is thought about what it is I want to achieve in 2015 and then broke down those broader goals into smaller, more manageable and achievable bite-sized mini-goals (everything’s cuter in mini). Writing these down in my trusty little notebook gives me something to refer back to when I (inevitably) lose sight of what it is I’m actually aiming towards.
I prefer to think of things in this way, rather than making New Year’s resolutions. To my mind, resolutions often involve swearing or promising to do or not do something. I find that kind of strict, black and white style doesn’t gel well with me and I often fall off the bandwagon not long into the year. Making smaller, more realistic goals and attaching some sort of time frame to them seems to work a lot better for me. Would you like to know some of my goals for this year?
Bor-ring, I know, but I’m one of those people that can’t focus on the task at hand properly if I’m surrounded by teetering piles of unfiled paper. I’m breaking this one down into the smaller tasks of cleaning up my computer files (seriously, they’re in a bad way) and clearing out my cupboard. I have a lot of unwanted/unnecessary things in both instances here and I know I’ll have peace of mind when I do eventually get them organised. Plus, I get to donate to op shops with the latter and do some good for charity! Win!
Last year, I got onto Goodreads. If you haven’t heard of Goodreads – it doesn’t matter, just get an account! Don’t even bother reading the fine print blah blah blah just sign up, damnit! It’s awesome-sauce. It’s essentially a way of keeping online versions of your bookshelves – books you have, books you’ve read, books you want to read – and you can rate all the books you’ve read as well. Another handy feature of Goodreads is setting yourself a Reading Challenge. Around half way through 2014, I desperately wanted to start reading more books but was also feeling quite tentative about how I would go balancing reading and writing for my thesis and reading recreationally. Turns out – I can balance like a mofo. I easily met my (very small) reading challenge goal and then kept reading beyond that. I’ve set myself the goal of reading 50 books this year – I think I can do it!
A classic. No New Year’s goals or resolution list is quite complete without this one. I started running last year and kept it up for a few months which I’m pretty proud about. Then it got cold. So I stopped. So, yeah, I wanna try and work on that this year. My broad goal is to be able to run 10km at some point in 2015 (only a little non-committal). My plan is so start out running 3km two or three times a week. Once I’m comfortable with that, I’ll keep one run at 3km but bump up the other two to 5km. Then, I’ll slowly work my way up so I’ll be running 3km, 5km, and then 5km+1km, adding an extra km to the last run when I feel able to do so. Hopefully, by taking it slowly, I’ll be able to get to 10km. Verrry slowwwlyyyy.
Like I hinted at earlier, for the last half of 2014, I felt like I was under almost constant stress and pressure. That’s no fun, I didn’t like it, I wanted it to stop. I pretty much collapsed in a heap when the working year was over for me and I could finally take a break. I don’t want to do that again. Getting tired and stressed every now and then is okay, it’s to be expected in almost every job I would think. But getting scarily close to the point of burnout is not okay. And it really messed with my head. So I want to take up yoga lessons again. I’ve got a brilliant place that’s not too far from me with a wonderful instructor. The only reason I stopped the last time was for cash money reasons in that I had none. I may not have all that much more this year but I am determined to dedicate a small portion of my income to actually not keeling over from stress this year.
So those are some of my broad goals that I’ve broken down into smaller, more achievable mini-goals! I’m feeling rather excited for this year – who knows what it may bring.
Is it just me who feels refreshed at the start of a new year? What are your big plans for 2015?