Tag Archives: New Year

Reflecting …

The period between Christmas and New Year always finds me in reflective mood. I look back over the year about to close and check its success against the goals I’ve achieved, the regrets I have, opportunities grabbed, rejected or just plain missed through lack of focus. Then usually, like most people, I resolve to do better next year.

Resolutions. Why do we make them? What magical substance do we suppose is in the air on that strike of midnight that heralds in a new year? And, once made, why do we break those resolutions so easily? When you think about it, resolving to be and do better at this time of year puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on us. The festive sparkle has diminished, the nights remain long and dark, comfort food is in short supply because we’ve maybe resolved to lose weight, and spring seems a long, long way off. Hardly any wonder we often break those resolutions well before we bid farewell to January, isn’t it?

So, no resolutions for me this year. Instead, I’ll have goals, broken down into weekly and monthly mini goals which, hopefully, will feed into one big annual achievement. That’s the plan. Because sometimes the big picture is scary and feels so out of our comfort zone our mind rejects it as unobtainable and we give up before really giving ourselves a chance. For me, it’s easier to think about losing weight by shedding one pound each week, than it is to resolve to lose three stone by next Christmas. Or writing a few hundred words a day which will lead to my goal of, say, three novels next year. Those bite-sized chunks really add up fast. Keep it simple, make it happen 🙂

Years ago I bought a book by Sarah Ban Breathnach which, although a cliche, really did change by life. Simple Abundance taught me the joys to be gained from disentangling the complicated and refocusing on the everyday pleasures that are so easily overlooked in the rush of life. Taking time to watch those roses grow, to just be in the now and enjoy. It was from that book that I discovered the beauty of keeping a gratitude journal, to every day list down those things that I am grateful for. I’ve slipped over the years, but often find myself returning to this practice. It’s the writing down that works for me and listing those five things a day to be grateful for helps keep my focus on the positive which, in turn, seems to draw in even more to be grateful for. I thoroughly recommend this book.

I’ll end my last post of 2012 with the wish that everyone has a safe, happy, healthy and enjoyable New Year filled with simple abundance and many, many blessings.

Welcome to 2012

Welcome 2012. I hope this will be an amazing year for all of us. I’m enjoying being a part of this blogging community and think all of you are wonderful ladies and I’m lucky to have you all in my lives. We don’t say it enough in this life and I wanted to take this moment when the year is new and tell you all how much each of you have been a blessing in my life.

It’s funny how we make friendships on line and feel more of a bond with the folks we have things in common with all around the world than sometimes we have with our own backyard neighbors.  This blog is well-named since we are all a long way from each other, but we’ve gotten to know each other as if we were having a cup of coffee or tea over the fence.

I’m happy to have you all as my neighbors and wanted to say so. Now, enough of all the sentimentality, and let me show you a couple of cool shots I took when I was way away from my own backyard fence and in England for Christmas. I was lucky enough to have the chance to spend a week over there and have some quality time with the family.

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Out with the old…

Hmm, well here we are on the cusp of a New Year and as always it finds me in reflective mode. 2011 has been a good year for me with loads of good times, much laughter and, okay, a few tears, but on balance it’s been pretty great. I have a lot to be grateful for as the old year ebbs away.

As the clock ticks toward 2012, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve achieved during the past twelve months: whether goals have been reached and objectives met. Looking back at my list I see that some of my goals haven’t been achieved and they’ll need to be reviewed and reevaluated before I pop them on the list for 2012. This is an important step as goals that were relevant twelve months ago might now be inconsequential as needs and desires can change so much in the course of a year. It’s easy to continue pursuing something that we may have outgrown and no longer holds value to us. For me, this means accepting that if certain goals remain unmet, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve failed, but that perhaps I’ve changed along the way and those goals are no longer relevant or important to me.

So, I’ll take some time between now and when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st December, and reflect and evaluate on the goals that have strong personal meaning to me. Then I’ll write them down because I believe that the act of writing them down makes them concrete and that in turn allows them to seep into the subconscious mind where they’ll simmer and grow toward fruition. Then I’ll make a promise to myself to do everything in my power to achieve those goals as long as they remain meaningful to me.

So along with my good wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2012, I hope you achieve your own goals and desires and that their achievement brings you light and love and everything you hope for.

I’ll finish my last post of 2011 with my favourite quote about success from the wonderful Ralph Waldo Emerson, which seems very appropriate as we reflect on the old and look forward to the new:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.