Well, January is coming to a close and I am happy about that. This blog series was about looking back, looking ahead, and making decisions about how you want your new year to be. I hope that you took an honest look at the past year and then gave some honest thought to the new year ahead of you. So you should be fired up! Right?
I'm definitely fired up abut this year. Now that doesn't mean that it's going to be a good year, or a bad year, all it means is that I'm ready to face it.
Last year was full of really difficult challenges, as I'm sure was the case for many of you out there. But I survived it. I made it through the drama, the money woes, losing my job, health issues and much more. I don't know if it made me stronger, but it certainly made me re-prioritize things. I feel like I was a spinning top, spinning and spinning, and then when I came to a stop - everything was re-aligned. That's why I review, renew and redo each new year.
Worst thing that happened? I lost my job AND I'm still unemployed, although I have a few excellent prospects, which is a good thing.
Best thing that happened? That's tough because there were way more lows that highs. I guess Christmas was a high for me - spending time with my family, good food, fun and dancing was the perfect way to end the year.
February is just about here and for me it means a few birthdays, more job searching, and school work. Did I mention that I am returning to school? I'm returning, hooray! I have missed school! I've changed my degree from CIS to Business Administration, we'll see how that goes. Most of the classes I have taken, will apply so it should be an easy transition. My motto is always to stay busy and keep my brain forever learning new things so that's what I am going to do.
So come back next week for the February blog series. Hmm...what will it be about?
So far in this blog series we have reviewed last year and asked ourselves "how can I improve, do better?" We've asked ourselves "what can I renew, where have I fallen short?"
This week let's look at what we can redo! When I say redo, I mean what do you want to fix, to re-make? PROJECTS!
I absolutely love projects. It just fits with my personality - projects have a plan, they are (should be) organized, have a structure and a desired end result. If you know me, you know that I thrive on that!
So for me, one of the projects I'd like to do, is to redo my gardens. In fact, it's on my NEW NINE resolution list. So in the Spring, I'll redo my gardens. I'll take an overview of the plants and reorganize them, place them where they'll thrive better. I'll spend some quality time outside in the garden with my hands in the soil.
In the summer, I'd like to redo or cleanup my back deck stairs. They are covered in weeds and overgrowth of the bittersweet vine (see below). While I love the bittersweet vine, it can really take over your yard. So for Spring and Summer, I'll do outdoor projects, and I can't wait!
There are also other things to redo-right? You could redo your office. For example, just facing your desk a different way can be enough of a change to make you feel re-motivated. If you have a home office you can really make it comfortable and energizing by using color and light.
You could redo your garage if you have one, or your basement. The garage and basement are the catchall for all of those things that you think you want to keep but eventually you end up tossing them. You could donate some of that stuff. Big Brother Big Sister (MA, NH, ME) will even pick up your stuff if you don't want to haul it away yourself. BBBS has online scheduling - so what could be easier?
Now get started! Think of what you can REDO, what PROJECTS will you be working on? Tell me in the comments. I'd love to know.
Come back next Thursday for the wrap up of REVIEW, RENEW, REDO!
Let 2014 be a time of renewal. What does that even mean? Well, let's start with the actual definition:
1. to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection <as we renew our strength in sleep>
2. to make new spiritually
3. to restore to existence, to make extensive changes in
So there you have it. Let's renew things, let's restore things to their once perfect form, let's revive things, rebuild, regrow.
Think about this! In your life, what can you renew? Don't say your magazine subscription, please think more deeply. Here's a few ideas to get you going, then, your are on your own!
Is there a relationship in your life that needs renewing? If you thought of someone just now, then the answer is YES. Don’t think twice about it, just do it. What can it hurt? Call that person, send them a text, an e card – anything that just says, hey I thought about you just now. This person could be a friend, lover, family member – ANYONE It’s always good idea to just keep the bonds together.
You should at least try!
What about renewing your vows? Has anyone done so? I’d love to hear your story.
Renewing your vows doesn’t have to be all fancy schmancy – it can be as simple as the two of you standing before each other saying that you renew your vows or it can be a big to-do complete with guests. Either way – it’s good to just know that you are still in it. Ah, how romantic.
We all make promises and commit to do things. Sometimes these promises fall away and are forgotten. You can bet that the person you made the commitment to has not forgotten!
Why not get back to those promises and make good on them. Did you promise to take someone somewhere? Promise to do a favor for someone? Did you commit to doing something but you just never got around to it?
If you are thinking of something right now – why not go ahead and make good on these things? Or renew them just by saying, ‘look I didn’t forget and I am still committed to it’. All parties will feel better.
When the new year begins, I always look back as well as ahead. I am always trying to improve and do better, and learn from the past. I really do believe in what I say. I do believe that we should keep our promises, renew our commitments and/or vows. Although I may not have the opportunities to live out my beliefs all of the time, I still feel strongly about them and I don't give up on them!
Come back next Thursday for the 4th part of Review, Renew, Redo.
Now that it's a new year, most of us want to improve, do better, take a look at what we did or did not do in the last year, REVIEW!
Let me help you take a look back at your 2013. I used the letters from the words LAST YEAR to come up with an interesting bunch of questions for you to ponder about when thinking back to last year.
So LAST YEAR - HOW DID YOU DO?
Ask yourself, did you LEARN anything new, ACCOMPLISH any goals, SAVE any money, TREAT people well, treat YOU well, ENJOY life, ALLOW or AVOID things, and how RANDOM were you?
Answer and think about your last year and get ready for a great 2014!
LEARN – Did you learn anything new? I love learning and educating myself. I could easily become a lifelong student if I had the time and the money. It’s important to learn new things, don’t let life become stale. Perhaps you had formal learning in a classroom setting. Perhaps you learned a life lesson. It’s all important, to learn means to grow. So how did you do?
ACCOMPLISH – Did you set out to do something and if so, did you accomplish your goal? If not, be sure to try again in the New Year. If you didn’t accomplish your goal, maybe you need to modify it somehow – don’t set yourself up for failure, and don't make it easy either. Challenge yourself. Don’t try to run a marathon – start with a walk around the darn block! So what goals did you reach?
SAVE – Did you save any money? If you think about it, we all could save something. Have you seen the 52 week savings challenge that has been going around Facebook? It’s a really good idea! I think many of us could do this, some could do more, some less. The main thing is that you are saving something and it’s painless and you don’t miss the money each week. Basically you start saving the first week of the New Year. The first week you save $1.00, then week two, you save $2.00, and so on. Each week you increase the saving amount by one dollar and by the end of the year you will have saved $1378.00 pretty easily – hey it could pay for Christmas! So, did you save anything?
TREATMENT OF OTHERS
TREATMENT OF OTHERS – How did you treat people? This is important, now think! Did you treat others right over the year? We all have moments when we lash out, or get angry easily over little things, or moments when we feel the love! Maybe we gained some friends, that’s always a good thing. Did you offer to help a friend in need? Did you do something nice for someone? Did someone do something nice for you? We all could and should treat each other better. We should also pay it forward when we are treated well. Have you heard of the Pay It Forward movement? Check out this video:
So Charley wants you to do something nice for someone, just at random, and then give them a Pay it Forward bracelet, and ask them to pay it forward. Isn’t that a nice idea? How many of you could do it? So how did you treat others last year?
YOU– How did you treat yourself? I really need to practice what I preach here. I tell everyone to treat themselves well, take care of themselves, and then I don’t follow my own advice. I am always last on the list. Shouldn’t we take care of ourselves? Think over the last year – what did you do for yourself? Did you pamper yourself a little bit? Did you get healthier? Did you take “you” time? Hell, my only quiet time is when I’m in the bathroom – sad isn’t it? So let’s do better if we are not treating ourselves well. How did you treat YOU last year?
ENJOY – Did you enjoy life last year? It’s so easy to get all caught up in our chores, responsibilities and worries. Sometimes it feels like all I have are chores, responsibilities and worries. If I ask myself if I enjoyed life last year on a scale of 1-10 I’d have to say 5 and that’s just bad! What about you? On a scale of 1-10 how much did you ENJOY life last year?
ALLOW or AVOID
ALLOW or AVOID? Did you allow things to happen (good or bad) or did you avoid things? Think back over the situations in your life that happened last year. How much avoiding did you do and how much did you allow things to happen. Maybe you allowed that person into your life, maybe you avoided that person. Maybe you allowed that good thing to occur or maybe you did something to prevent it from happening. The point is to be open. It’s something that I am always aware of – allow or avoid – how did you do?
RANDOM – yes random! How random were you in 2013? Did you do anything unexpected? If you are like me, everything is planned, structured, measured, analyzed – not much spur of the moment. We all have to be somewhere, see someone, do something – what about changing it up! What about you? I mean I can barely pick up and just go out to dinner without adjusting my entire life’s schedule. I guess this should be on MY 2014 list! How did you do last year - how RANDOM were you? Try to be more random - if you try, I'll try too.
The point of this is to take a look at your year - rate yourself honestly and then do better at the things where you can do better. These things are really all intertwined - if you improve one thing, something else will automatically get better. If you act a little more random, you may enjoy life more. If you learn more, you may accomplish more and so on.
SO HOW DID YOU DO?
Check back next Thursday for the third part of REVIEW RENEW REDO
Well, first of all, Happy New Year to you! This blog series will review some things from 2013, renew and review some resolutions, and look at what we should maybe redo this year.
At the start of the 2013 I wrote down 10 things that I wanted to try to accomplish, yeah, I know, 10 is a lot to commit to but that's who I am. So now that the year is over, (wow) it's time to check in on myself and see how I have done towards my goals. Here’s my report card, and please feel free to comment and tell me how you did on your resolutions.
In 2013 I wanted do the following to improve my life:
1) Lower my A1C. Grade: A
Well I started the year with my A1C at 11 and it is now down to 8! This is a dramatic improvement that took lots of work and monitoring. For 2014 I want to get it down to 7 - that's the ideal number to have if you have diabetes. The A1C is a blood test for diabetics to see how their blood glucose has been over the last two to three months. The A1C test measures the % of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar. The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.
2) Make and keep all health appointments. Grade: A
I am happy to say that I stayed on track with this goal, going to all appointments!
3) Work reasonable hours and not check email before bed. Grade: B
Since I was laid off in May, this goal happened on its own. I am anxious to get back to work part time as soon as possible!
4) Drink less coffee. Grade: B
Ok well, this one was tough because I do love my coffee, but I have decreased from a whole pot a day to 3 cups a day which is something.
5) Run/jog regularly when the weather improves. Grade: F
I have to give myself an F here - I have not gotten out and starting to run again – now that it’s winter, I won’t get back to it til spring and I may walk instead in 2014
6) Do more with Chris. Grade: C
I wanted to do so much with Chris but I just couldn’t do all that I wanted to due to lack of money and help. I will be making this a 2014 goal!
7) Save more $ than last year. Grade: C
Well, being laid off put a damper on this goal. I give myself a C because it was not for lack of trying!
8) Start pencil drawing again Grade: Incomplete!
Gotta give myself an Incomplete on this one. I did one intricate drawing and realized that I have become way too high energy to sit quietly and draw anymore. Sad, I know. I'm moving and busy all the time so I've decided to take this one off the Resolution list.
9) Return to photography again Grade: A
I have picked up my camera again and have started taking more pics as you can see here I'll continue with my nature photography, got the passion back! Check out my images on the site and order prints if you like.
10) Meditate/pray more Grade: Needs improvement!
Hmm, what to say here. I try, and will continue to try but have lost some faith with everything that went wrong in 2013.
So what about you? Tell me what your resolutions are!
MY NEW NINE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014
1) Lower my diabetes A1C to 7 from 8
2) Sign on 3 web design jobs
3) Find the job I want; part time, challenges me, allows me to use my skills, at a company that recognizes and rewards excellence. (does this even exist anymore?)
4) Drink more water
5) Walk increasing distances all year
6) Do more with Chris
7) Publish another poetry book
8) Meditate and de-stress
9) Re-vamp my gardens in the Spring
I'll be tracking myself and I'll give updates so you can see how I am doing! So what are your resolutions? What do you think, should we even have resolutions?
Check back next Thursday for the second part of this blog series!
It's me, just trying to get by.