All year long, you have read posts from the New Year’s, All Year series. Every month, I created new goals in categories that I (at the beginning of 2012) had recognized as the current major areas of my life: health, finances, relationships, career, wedding planning, and self-enrichment. These goals were made to be stepping stones for the “endpoint” goals I had set for each of these areas – basically, how I wanted to end the year in regards to each area. I set “stepping stone” goals in order to to take into account any new obstacles and then set realistic, measurable objectives. That way, I didn’t make a ton of super specific goals in a year-long format and then have to scale them back throughout the year due to unexpected challenges.
I like this revised, 2012 format of the New Year’s, All Year Challenge much more than the original one from 2011. It made me really assess my desires and actions every month and be more mindful and reflective in my habits.
So, what were my endpoint goals for 2012? Here they are:
- Health: live an overall healthier lifestyle
- Finances: be more organized, balanced, and responsible
- Relationships: maintain mutually supportive relationships that are in balance with one another
- Wedding: have location and date set and all major vendors booked
- Career: aggressively pursue full-time teaching position; develop my coaching skills and knowledge while also developing the school’s swimming program further
- Self-enrichment: allow “me” time without overindulging; actively participate in passions, hobbies, interests, etc. further
And what type of progress did I make?
- Health: I did improve my lifestyle, though I still have a long way to go. I lost some weight, which I needed to do, I learned more about how to eat best for my needs and lifestyle by seeing a nutritionist, I joined a gym, I tried new classes and two 5Ks, and I returned to counseling to manage new challenges in stemming from my issues with anxiety. I have more progress to make, but, overall, I think I’m leaving 2012 healthier than I entered it, and I consider that a success.
- Finances: I am definitely more responsible and organized, though I do think I can still be more balanced and more attentive/pro-active.
- Relationships: While I am only one person in each of my relationships, so I can’t speak definitively, I would say my relationships with my family, fiance, and friends are pretty solid and mutually supportive. I hope to do whatever I can to help them get stronger and be even better of a daughter, sister, fiancee/wife, friend, etc.
- Wedding: locations are set, date is set, caterers and baker are set, music is set, photography is set…but there is still so much to do!!!
- Career: I did aggressively pursue a full-time teaching position, and struggled with that challenge quite a bit. While I did not obtain one this school year, I did have an opportunity that was amazing for me and has opened up more doors and support. Also, the swim program has grown in strength and size.
- Self-enrichment: I think I still need to find a balance between work and play and how much time to devote to each without being self-depriving or over-indulgent, but I think I did a good job this year of letting myself enjoy life and not worry as much as I used to.
I am grateful for this year. It was hard, at times, for various reasons: self-confidence, career success, finances, family’s health, concern for others, changing negative habits, balance of relationships, wedding planning, loss, etc. But it was also a good year, for many, many reasons: learning how to better stay positive and grateful, career opportunities, grace and kindness of others, health problems having manageable solutions, progress in goals and plans, cherishing memories, and the power of love, laughter, and the little things in life that brighten a day. Some of my favorite moments of the year: celebrating Dan and I’s three year anniversary, the success of my first swim season as head coach, setting a wedding date, Bowling Green visits, seeing The Beach Boys, Indians games, another summer as a lifeguard, having my own classroom, seeing my sister in plays, being hired as a district substitute, and countless “little things”: Netflix nights and dinners with my family or Dan, trivia nights with friends, going to the Starbucks drive thru with Madison and Sasha in the back seat, babysitting and housesitting, listening to podcasts on drives to and from Columbus, visits with my grandma or godchildren, lunch with my colleagues at school, naps on my parents’ porch, coffee every morning, and so, so much more.
I am greatly looking forward to what 2013 holds. Even if it brings some hard times, it will be okay. Life is hard, but I’m going to enjoy it anyway.