Reflections on 2012

Well, well, well, what a year of highs and lows! I started to write a post which ran through all of the goals I set myself this time last year and tallied up my progress against them and then I realised that those goals aren’t as relevant as they used to be.

At the beginning of 2012 I was pretty darned miserable so I set myself a whole bunch of goals to achieve to distract myself from the reality of being so blue. I can’t lie, the goals were good and working towards some of them means I’ve had a great time; I’ve seen far more theatre shows than I usually do in a year and I did manage to leave the country 3 times but actually I failed on a number of those goals because I was too busy just living my life.

This year, 2 really significant things have happened to me. The first is that my ex and I split up. Initially this sounds bad and it was painful but from where I stand now, it’s a purely positive thing as it’s given me a whole new perspective on that relationship which will really help me in future. I still don’t regret that relationship at all and I thank my ex wholeheartedly for being such an amazing person, he taught me a lot about myself and gave me all the confidence I needed to get to where I am now.

The second really significant thing that happened to me is that I have made a career change, fuelled by the confidence my ex has given me :-) I’ve only just started on my new path but providing I succeed, it’s going to open a lot of doors for me in 2013 and it’s finally given me that feeling of independence I have been craving for years.

So for 2013 I do have goals and things to achieve but the main thing for me is to hold on to the feeling I have right now. The last 3 months of 2012 have seen incredible change in my life and now I feel happy, in control and really excited to move into 2013 with all the fabulous friends around me who shared the highs and lows of 2012 :-)

Bring it on! In a week I will be sat at my desk shattered from an amazing weekend in Paris and in a year I will be an auntie for the first time! I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months hold!

Enjoy the last day of 2012 everyone and I’ll see you in 2013 for the best year yet! x

4 Months Down – What Are The Chances???

Back at the end of January I updated on my progress against my objectives / resolutions for the year and had assumed I would be doing that every month. However, here I am at the end of April, a third of the year through and this is only the second time I am checking in. I’m ashamed to say I had totally forgotten about some of my objectives as I was focussing on others far too much. Here comes my update for where I am now; I’m glad I’ve done it and it’s reminded me to drive forward with some of my other objectives which aren’t so reliant on money to achieve!

  • Weight 9st7 (or less) by March – somehow have managed to reach 10st…oops!
    • Once again I am still at 10st. I did briefly drop to 9st 9 or so but I was really unhappy and put it all back on. With the threat of summer looming, I am now pushing forward with this one. In all honesty, I’ve done well to keep at 10st given how much I have been eating!
  • Weigh no more than 9st at the end of the year
    • As above
  • End the year with £3,500 credit card debt or less (fair chunk to pay off to reach that!)
    • My strategy on this has changed following my car disaster. I ended up selling the car for far less than I paid for it so the only thing I could do was to use the money to pay off a chunk of my credit card. On this basis, I have achieved this objective but on the other hand, my total debt is still higher than I would like. I do however have to say that the £750 car I drive now is awesome for it’s price; get yourself a Ford Puma if you’re on a budget – they rock! Luckily I bought mine off a friend so I knew it had been really well maintained for the last few years.
  • Read 10 new books
    • So far I have read 2, neither of them particularly intellectual but they were fun. With holidays in the summer, etc. I expect this to go up quite considerably.
  • Star in at least 1 theatre show
    • I didn’t go to the auditions I mentioned in the January post. I have however very recently landed a part in a play called Relatively Speaking which will be on in June :-) It’s a new theatre for me as well so it should be a great experience
  • See 12 theatre shows
    • This one is super fun. Have so far seen an amateur show at my local theatre (Neverwhere, was awesome) and went to see Cirque Du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall which was spectacular! (January update)
    • I have booked to go and see The Wizard of Oz in London on 9th May so I am still on track with this one and will get the bf involved in a bit more theatre soon. (April update)
  • Spend 3 weekends away with the bf
    • Finally we have 1 booked in. We are heading to Devon for the bank holiday in June and will be visiting the donkey sanctuary while we are down there. It took a little bit of persuasion to get this in the diary but it’s been done and hopefully we will get the others booked in too.
  • Eat in 6 new restaurants
    • I had totally forgotten about this one but luckily I have started on this path. So far I have eaten at a Yo! Sushi for the first time (first time in a sushi restaurant) and at The Greyhound in Berkshire with my daddy which was super yummy. With holidays, etc. this one should definitely happen.
  • Leave the country 3 times
    • Trip to Budapest booked for July, super luxury as well :-) (January update)
    • Holiday to Marrakech booked in with the girls for October; we had a  minor setback with booking but it’s done and I’m excited! (April update)
  • Exercise for at least 1.5 hours per week (up from 0 hours)
    • I am not yet there with this; I was for a few weeks but then have been so busy I haven’t managed it. I am taking a pole class on Mondays for an hour and I had been combining it with a 45min aqua class on Wednesdays but that one has dropped off recently. I’m hoping to start that up again this week…
  • Make my eBay store self sufficient by June (i.e. have enough profit to buy next lot of stock)
    • CLOSED – so many people had the same stock it was just too hard to make a good profit so I figured it was best just to have that time back and take on some other work instead (which I have done).
  • Have a trip to NY booked in (actually have at least deposit paid)
    • This one’s for later in the year
  • Make and try 3 home made beauty products
    • Nada! Have however inherited a heap of non home made products from a friend who is emigrating. The pile of products I have in reserve is MASSIVE. I will use them all though…eventually! (January update)
    • I plan to get on this next week when I have some time off. Have bought some tea tree oil to add to a scrub I have seen on someone’s blog so I’ll be reviewing that soon :-)

All in all I am doing ok but I had definitely forgotten some of what I was meant to be focussed on. I’m pleased I have some big plans in place but I need to start doing the basic things like reading more, etc. I set these objectives with the aim of keeping a balance and that’s exactly what I need to do; stop just thinking about big things and get into the smaller stuff as well. I also think it’s interesting how many things have already changed from my original plan; a reminder that flexibility can be the key to happiness sometimes!

Is anyone else out there still working on their new year’s resolutions or has everybody given up by now!?! x

Hello 2012, Year of Financial Freedom and Travel

Being the imaginative individual that I am, I feel it necessary to write a post on my goals for 2012; just the same as most other bloggers out there have done or will do. I’m not so much calling these resolutions as goals because there is still a degree of flexibility in what I am about to set out, these are not hard and fast targets. This year I’ve spent more time than ever thinking about what I want out of next year, mainly because a lot has changed this year and I want to continue along that path next year. What I’ve really contemplated is what makes me happy. I’ve always been led to believe that money and material possessions make me happy; this is what others around me have noticed. Whilst I agree, I have also now worked out that to a certain extent this is incorrect or by now I would be starting to feel pretty darned happy when actually I’ve been feeling like something is still missing. Until now!

I’ve worked out that with me, material possessions do make me happy, but only the ones I really enjoy, not the ones I feel I should have to be happy. My case in point here is my car; I started 2011 driving my beloved 2004 Mini Cooper, or Reggie as he was affectionately known. Unfortunately, Reggie was getting on a bit and needed more and more expensive BMW repairs so we had to part ways and Frank joined me. Frank was a 2002 Fiat Punto, (orange no less!) who filled the time when I wasn’t sure which car to buy next. He was basic but reliable and I appreciated him every day apart from the one when he melted the Easter Egg I had spent days making for my bf before he even saw it. However, he was a temporary measure and soon came Stanley, (or Seamus as the bf calls him) my 2008 Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Now Stanley is a ball to drive, his acceleration is immense and he’s so small I always nip into those tiny gaps everyone else is too scared to fill. BUT… I haven’t warmed to him. I want my Mini back. I rarely get to use Stanley to his full acceleration capacity and whilst he has more knobs and dials than Reggie, I haven’t even bothered to look up in the book what these knobs and dials are or how to use them; I’ve had this car for 5 months now!

The Beloved Reggie

You may be wondering where this is going and questioning if you really care that much about my car to continue reading but here comes my point. I bought a faster, more expensive, generally flashier car and it didn’t make me happy. A year ago I would never have imagined this could be the case but I have lived and learned and now know myself a little better. So this year one of the things I plan to do is sell Stanley and find myself a new Reggie – the replacement may or may not be a Mini but it will definitely be cheaper than Stanley. Then, I will use the money I save to start paying off my credit card – yes, I seem to have matured in the last year and I can’t quite believe it.

Here are my goals for 2012 in full:

  • Weight 9st7 (or less) by March – somehow have managed to reach 10st…oops!
  • Weigh no more than 9st at the end of the year
  • End the year with £3,500 credit card debt or less (fair chunk to pay off to reach that!)
  • Read 10 new books
  • Star in at least 1 theatre show
  • See 12 theatre shows
  • Spend 3 weekends away with the bf
  • Eat in 6 new restaurants
  • Leave the country 3 times
  • Exercise for at least 1.5 hours per week (up from 0 hours)
  • Make my eBay store self sufficient by June (i.e. have enough profit to buy next lot of stock)
  • Have a trip to NY booked in (actually have at least deposit paid)
  • Make and try 3 home made beauty products

Some of my goals are fairly ambitious but they are considered and I think they will lead to increased happiness so here’s hoping I’m right! Anybody got any suggestions or links they’d like to share to their own goals for 2012??? BIG LOVE, I’m super excited about 2012, it’s going to be a good one! x