[pics above – a selection from our year that was]
The start of a fresh year brings a need to reflect on what was and what will be.
Do you stop and have some reflection time at this time of year?
On reflection 2011 was a pretty good year professionally for me — on the personal/family front it has been good too – nothing bad happened (quick touch wood), we went on a really good family holiday, read some great books, made some cool things, started at the gym, the kids all did well at school, I learned some new skills, made new friends and drank some good wine.
I love to plan, reflect and write lists all year round, but this time of year is a particularly good time to really get to the nitty gritty of what you want to do differently – what needs changing. I am not talking about resolutions like getting fit etc. (as they inevitably get broken pretty quickly) but rather some big but achievable goals that you can work towards during the year.
My goals for the year:
- Spend less time online but be more productive with my online time: – use schedules and lists.
- Make a few changes to Action Pack (my e-magazine for kids), it was a good year but I think I worked too hard: – pull back a little.
- I’ll be working on some books and freelance writing projects this year so I need to really manage my time well: – get familiar with time management tools.
- Simplifying the clutter in my life by getting rid of stuff – not buying a lot of new stuff too: – be ruthless and clear out – don’t buy new crap to fill the gaps.
- Being eco friendly is important to us as a family – but I fear I have slipped this past year: the solution: – don’t buy stuff with lots of packaging, only buy clothes second hand or make them – and continue to shop at the farmers market.
- On the more personal front – take better care of myself: – continue to go to the gym, make more effort to avoid sugar and get a hair cut every once in a while.
Please tell me your goals – do these resonate with you or do you have a few different goals?
I have kick started the year by clearing out the old in my life and home — I have chucked out all old and unflattering clothing (for myself and everyone else too!), toys and books that the kids have outgrown, never used kitchen utensils, vases and lampshades that clutter, excess linen that is clogging up the storage spaces… This is what I have been doing in the first day of the new year…
- Did I use or wear this at all in the past 12 months? Is it taking up valuable storage space? Do we really need all that stuff … it just collects dust, doesn’t get used and makes a mess.
- What then do I do with all this stuff: Some of it I am not quite ready to throw out .. vacpac it and store it on the top cupboard, give to a family member who might dispose of it / or put it to use for you — advertise some of the better quality goods for sale, but because I can’t be bothered with this I will be giving it all to charity or to friends – is there anyone out there (who lives near me) who would like a treadle singer sewing machine?. I have bundled up bags of unwanted clothing for the charity shop but I may consider later in the year hosting a clothes/white elephant swap day with friends.
- For all the stuff I am keeping – it needs a home – and if I can’t put it away then I’ll be throwing it away. Kids toys – out of the living room, books – on books shelves, craft supplies – in a box (or two) on a shelf or under a bed, linen – folded and sorted in the linen cupboard. (You might need more storage – get some under bed roller boxes or put up some bookshelves). Then I’ll be making a pact to not store things on the dining table or the kitchen bench or on the couch – if I can keep these areas clear then I am winning the battle!
Once you have a clear space to live in – you will be better positioned to clear your head and think about the bigger picture that is your life. We are making plans this year to make some changes — less work, more play — more travel and adventure in our lives. I am planning for more books, a big trip and a location change — it’s going to be a big and exciting year … I hope you have some grand plans for your year too!