A year is a long time. Lots can happen that is outside of our control. At the end of the year we can get very reflective. We set ourselves grand goals “This year I will…stop smoking…lose weight…get fit….follow my passion…find love…etc”
And yet, nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, let alone through the whole year. Most people will have abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions by half way through the year. And yet, it’s a resolution for the whole year. This is why resolutions fail. It’s hard to keep a resolution when the world is changing around you.
So I tend to approach it slightly differently. I imagine I am at Christmas 2018, looking back on my year, what would I like to say I’ve achieved? I then aim to do something each day that brings me a step closer to that vision of Christmas 2018. If I get blindsided by something, it doesn’t matter, as it’s an aspiration rather than a fixed goal I can succeed or fail at.
Here was what I wanted to have achieved in 2017 and an update on how it went
- Continue to develop my reputation and become the known expert in my field: I published a book this year. Diary of a Teenage Mind Reader is a fiction book for Teens and Tweens that builds on the Caveman Rules of Survival. The younger generation is really struggling. This was not in my plan but fits in perfectly with my overall goal. I also did 5 different talks to very diverse groups – from Eating Disorders to WI. I use my puppets all the time now and they work really well.
- Build a safe and useful community for clients and non-clients: In 2016 set up a Facebook group where clients and non-clients could discuss issues and I can share insights and useful stuff. I love this community. We have fun and share ideas on life’s challenges. I have been trying to do regular Facebook Live events and they are working out well too. At around 250 members at the time of writing this post, it’s a really nice size too.
- Sort myself out physically: This was an unmitigated disaster as a goal. Although it wasn’t anything to do with a lack of effort. I did a month of fast days (as per the 5:2 approach but every day) in March. It made no difference. None. That is physically impossible. In May I ran over 100 km in total. Some days I would go for a run and do 14km on a whim. That made no difference either. In the end I went to the doctor in desperation to see if there was anything medically behind it. There wasn’t. Everything checked out. We thought it could be increased Cortisol because of all the childhood stuff but it wasn’t. So basically it comes down to a head thing. I got insight into what that was about. I have always felt insignificant. All the things that happens to me for the first 18 years of my life left me feeling like anyone could do anything to me and I didn’t matter. I realised that maintaining of weight is an attempt to appear physically significant even though I don’t feel it in my head. Very frustrating but at least it’s progress.
- Work-work balance: This was another unmitigated disaster. Things didn’t work out with the hubby’s company. And he had a huge operation on his eyes as a result of his diabetes meaning he can no longer drive. As he already has a broken back from many years ago, walking, or taking the bus are not an option for him. I really struggled to cope with everything in the first part of the year. Trying to balance being a mother and making sure my daughter was ok, with running a business, with making sure my husband was ok, and just having the responsibility for everything and everyone sent me into a very low place. I lost myself. In fact, this, combined with point 3, has meant that this is one of the toughest years as a whole I have had for a very very long time.
So what do I want to say when I look back on 2018?
- Continued to develop my reputation and become the known expert in my field: I want to do a new TED talk using my puppets and with a better title : “We’re all screwed up, and that’s ok”. I also want to get into high schools and do some more practical talks building on my latest book. I also look forward to the results of my Masters Dissertation and hearing the findings quoted on the radio!
- Completed my Masters and made progress towards signing up for a Phd: My Masters is due for completion in August 2018. Before that point I would like to have started the process for applying for a Phd. I can not conceive of life without University now. I love the place. Dundee Uni is awesome and I can’t see myself walking away from it at the end of the year. So I would like to look back at the end of 2018 and know I am making progress towards the Phd and possibly lecturing.
- Created a stable income: I started a very exciting collaboration at the end of 2017 where I developed a 5 week online programme for breaking the emotion connection that people have with food. It has been piloted with 10 people who have all said they would recommend it to others. There is nothing like this on the market. It will create a secondary channel of income for my business.
- Climbed out of a hole: In 2017, I made it through the challenging times by ignoring them and employing distraction techniques. This is not sustainable long term so I hope to resolve some of these issues in 2018 – although I have no idea how!