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A new year and a clean slate holds a certain appeal. I always appreciate a fresh start, and the chance to pause and reflect on my goals and recalibrate my focus. The new year feels like such an opportunity to dream big and use your imagination to do some futures forecasting for your own life. What a fun opportunity!

Rarely do I stop to reflect on past achievements, but today I'm glad to see I've knocked over a few major goals in the second half of 2013, with still a few more to tackle in the coming year.

2013 Wins

  • Taught myself that I'm a good saver when I put my mind to it by doubling my goal of 5K.
  • Made great gains in my adrenal fatigue recovering journey by taking control of my own health, and getting support from the professionals, which I'm looking to build on in 2014.

So, to 2014. I've already set some goals for my job, but it is nice to look beyond that and reflect on personal goals for the year.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a perpetual planner and a chronic goal setter. So I've come up with a mix of big ambitious goals and rituals to form my fairly comprehensive list. I tend to aim big, but try not to beat myself up too much if I don't meet all of my goals. I feel like there's a whole lot of value in the process, but too much pressure makes things get stressful, and a perfectionist like me tends to get overwhelmed. I prefer to think of these as ambitious guidelines.

Goals and Rituals for 2014

Academic

  • Finish my first Masters and get Distinction or better for my last few subjects.
  • Knock 26 books off my reading list by reading one a fortnight.
  • Make time to write and publish a blog post a week, either a book review or a reflective piece.

Health

  • Lose 20 kgs by finding balance with my eating habits and losing the all-or-nothing mentality.
  • Work out every day, over and above my daily bike commute with a mix of crossfit, bikram and running, or even just a dance class, a long lazy ride or a walk - just as long as it is something.
  • Run a sub 60 min 10 km race. Aiming for Run Melbourne on July 27.

Money

  • Remain debt free and stick to a budget to save another 20K by October.
  • Finish renovating Curracloe Farm and have both it and our apartment done.
  • Simplify all our finances.

Work

  • Confirm my next move for study and get accepted into my new course.
  • Explore the ethics/economics space more and refine my goals and next steps.
  • Get some funding for my research project idea.

Personal

  • Refine what I own down to essentials and only things I really love.
  • Go to Beyonce dance classes to get my sass on.
  • Get up at 5.15 with Marcus every weekday morning.

Rituals

On top of this long list, I really love the idea of sprint goals - extra points of focus over a short term which are designed to shake up and reshape your habits. They say it only takes 30 days for a new habit to be established. I've been brainstorming a list of habits I'd like to form that I'll attempt throughout the year:

Sprint Goals

  • Do at least 1 page of journalling everyday.
  • Get out of bed before 6 am everyday - not just week days.
  • No TV.
  • Meditate for at least 30 minutes daily.
  • No sugar.
  • Bikram 30 day challenge.
  • Practice spanish for 30 mins daily.
  • Photo a day challenge.
  • Practice guitar for 30 mins daily.
  • 30 min walk every evening.
  • Eat only food made at home.
  • Make the bed for 30 days in a row.

So there you have it. A long, ambitious list of targets for 2014. It feels good to do some longer term thinking and planning. Don't forget to have fun, be happy, and appreciate how amazing life is.

Bring on 2014!

What are you celebrating in 2013? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

Happy New Year

My friend Cheryl Lin over at Business Chic inspired me to follow her lead in setting some goals/rituals for the New Financial Year.  (Read her post here.) I always appreciate a clean slate, and I'm using this one to recalibrate and remind myself of where I'd like to be at the end of the year.

Goals

Academic - Finish my Masters

My first masters has been ridiculously drawn out, and I'm pretty keen to get it done and dusted. Four finance subjects this semester will be a big test and a huge intellectual challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Health - Lose 10 kgs

I'm pretty sure I've had this goal every six months for the last five or so years (since the beginning of my Adrenal Fatigue issues). This is obviously part of a broader issue, but it is a big indicator for my health in general and I'd like to get it under control.

Money - Save $5000

I'm planning some serious travel next year and need to get some cash in the bank. I'm hoping that these travel goals will help me make some changes small and large, and knuckle down and do some savings.

Work - Make a plan

My work goals have shifted somewhat in the last few months, and I'd really like to develop a clear action plan for where I'm headed in the next 5 - 10 years. I'll get some coaching, and engage in some consultation to get this sorted out.

Personal -  Recover from AF

Easier said that done, but this is front of mind for me, because it will either prevent or permit me meeting future goals. This takes gentleness, self love and a softly softly approach. It also takes planning on being proactive.

So how will I achieve this? Well, they say success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out, so something simple for each area that you can check in on makes sense to me.

Rituals

Academic -  Read everyday

In the last little while I've been a little lax in actually reading - and I've accumulated quite a bank of content waiting for me. I really believe you learn so much by reading, and no amount of documentary watching or podcast listening can replace it. Fiction, non-fiction, academic, personal, professional, amateur - more of all of it please.

Health - Move everyday

I'm far too likely to baton down the hatches when the cold weather hits, but I've started a new morning routine today - which I'll no doubt write about - and it means I have no excuses for getting up and moving first thing in the morning.

Money - Track everything

In the past I've been willingly ignorant of just where I've been spending my dollars. I'm on the hunt for a good app for tracking spending and maintaining a budget, but in the meantime I'll be writing everything in my trusty notebook, the old fashioned way.

Work - Write everyday

Also part of my new morning ritual is an hour of writing each morning, so be prepared for more entries here. I was reminded this week that writing is a practice, and a regular habit is the only thing guaranteed to improve it.

Personal - Engage the professionals

Like Cheryl, I've realised I can only do so much on my own and I'm working with a few excellent folk to proactively deal with my AF - including a naturopath, a great holistic GP, and a kinesologist. I'm also going to include occasional massages, maybe even acupuncture and a psychologist. I'm allotting myself 1 hour a week to focus solely on having someone else help make me well.

So there you have it. What's on your hit list for the second part of 2013? How often do you set goals and how closely do you stick to them?