Last December 31, I wrote about my goals for the coming year and my favourite memories of the year that had been. Every now and then throughout 2014, I came back to the goals to check-in and re-evaluate them. Now, as we find ourselves at the end of another year, I thought I’d take a moment to once again look back and look forward.
First, the memories. My favourite memories from 2014 come from the month our family spent in South Africa. That was the most amazing and fulfilling experience of 2014 and the one place I would pick up and move to in the morning. It was beautiful beyond words, we had a chance to catch up with close friends and meet new ones, and I really enjoyed driving around and getting to know an entirely new place, finding my own favourite spots and activities.
There have also been extremely gratifying moments spent writing and connecting with a community of writers and new friends I’ve met through blogging. Most days, I find myself grinning a big ol’ silly grin as I read and reply to their comments. How wonderful is that!?
I feel very lucky to have had 15 months off to re-evaluate my life; I have returned to “the real world” (whatever that is) wiser and with a better perspective than I think I had ever had before. I still worry and stress but it’s no longer as all-consuming as it once was. My most common themes in my writing these days are fiction and poetry, rather than anxiety, mental health and stress management.
As for goals, my two main ones in 2014 had been to publish a piece of my writing and to return to work while maintaining a balance between work, family and time for myself. I’m thrilled to have been able to achieve that second goal (though there are weeks that it has been a struggle), and perfectly comfortable with the fact that I didn’t achieve the first one. I’ve managed to keep writing despite returning to work and that to me is worth more than publishing anything.
I had also set out a more involved list of goals back in December 2013. These were the ones that I came back to several times over the past year – especially when I was thrilled about achieving them (the most notable of these being the “try something new” goal which I achieved when I learned how to make books). Some I have met since I last checked in. I have, for example, actually started running again…or at least I had, until Christmas shopping got in the way.
Some I still haven’t met. But again, that’s ok.
In August, I wrote that there were goals I had never even mentioned, never even realized I had until I looked back on the year and realized I had achieved them. These goals were actually the most important of all:
- Write. Write as much as I want. Write whatever I want. Write to the point that I feel fulfilled. Then, keep writing.
- Learn how to live with my anxieties, how to find peace despite them, how to return to work and put myself in other stressful situations while protecting myself from all my negative thoughts.
Now, with 2015 only hours away, I would like to take everything I learned about goal setting in 2014 and apply it to the coming year.
What have I learned?
I’ve learned that you don’t need a huge list of goals.
That goals don’t need to be life-changing or earth-shattering.
I’ve learned that goals aren’t the same as resolutions; you can work towards them without necessarily achieving them and yet you still feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
I’ve learned that goals can change or morph or can even be replaced.
And I’ve learned that the simple act of working towards goals helps you to keep growing and improving your experience of this life.
So what are my goals for 2015?
- Remember to take a deep breath (and to stop and think) before reacting or replying. This is key to protecting my boundaries at work but it also helps avoid confrontation at home and helps to maintain consistency in parenting. It’s my super-goal.
- Improve my ability to assess my worries and anxieties before overreacting to them and, if they are likely to impact me in some significant way, to come up with constructive things I can do to address them, rather than simply stewing about things that are unlikely to happen.
- Continue to set and protect boundaries at work especially, but also in my personal life.
- Keep writing!
As always, I’d love to hear about your memories from the year and your goals.
Happy New Year everyone and all the best for 2015!
~ Silverleaf xo