Year-End Review, 2016: Thinking Ahead

Year-End Review, 2016: Thinking Ahead

For Day 3 of the New Year for a New You series by Lisa Jacobs she asked us to consider the following areas of our lives: financial, spiritual, mental, relational, and physical. This is similar to an exercise in her #YBY2017 workbook and when I did it the first time, and now this time, I’ve learned a lot about where I want to ‘go’ in 2017. Here are my thoughts:

  • Financial:
    • This is sorta an easy one. Now that I have the majority of the medical debt from my illness behind I’d like to get the rest taken care of, pay off my credit card (only 2 left, wheeee!), and continue to build a savings. I’d also like to get a ‘new’ used car, or lease a car. But, I do know I want to keep my payments under 300 a month, at a maximum. It’s been so nice not having a car payment for the last 5 years, though that I’m in no hurry to have one again. 😀 And paying a good chunk of my student loans would be nice. (For that I need to win the lottery, or at least a 6 fixgure scratch-off *grins*)
  • Spiritual:
    • Be centered, be present, and get my get a good night’s sleep. I put this under spirtitual because yoga and a few minutes of meditation each morning has been such a centering experience for me to keep me focused and my inner critic at bay, I’d like to keep that up in 2017.
  • Mental:
    • Be less anxious
    • Plan, plan, plan: one thing I’ve learned about me that is connected with my anxiety is that not having a plan increases it. I tried lots of apps and digital ways to fix this early in 2016 and it wasn’t until the fall that I discovered an analog system is what works for me. It won’t work for everyone and it’s not a cure-all. But it makes me feel better, and that’s who I’m focusing on in 2017.
    • Read more non-fiction and craft books: I love craft books mainly because I love learning new things and improving my writing. I also have at least 5 non-fiction books on my book shelves I want to read, plus the Hamilton audio book. I need to get cracking on those!
    • Take more classes: Whether it’s a crafting class at my local Michael’s or library, an online course through Creative Live, watching videos on youtube,  or listening to podcasts, I want to learn new things and expand my horizons in all the things I’m interested in, during 2017. I have a bullet journal page of things I want to learn during my life and I have quite a bit to get to. 🙂
  • Relational: 
    • I want to do what makes me happy. I don’t want to get stuck in the wheels of unnecessary obligations and feelings of guilt. This will be a hard goal to accomplish but I started this last year when I read Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck. It’s not only a fun read, but it forces you to think of all the things in your head you worry about you, that are unnecessary, and focus on you and your family and what makes you happy. It’s not about being selfish, though. It’s about freeing yourself from things you don’t want to do, but do because you think you have to.
    • Take vacations: I’m going to Orlando (Harry Potter, here I come) and am thinking of a European vacation in the fall. These are huge steps for me because for the latter it’s a long flight. I hate flying. And I have a blood clotting issue so I always worry about sitting too long. So this will be a mental feat as well, to get on that plan and not panic, but I’m determined to do it!
  • Physical:
    • Finally feel healthy, in all ways. Not just the standard ‘lose weight’ everyone talks about in January of every year. I want to be healthy inside and out. This will be a combo of my yoga practice, some cardio, and most important, eating healthy. I started this earlier this week so here’s to a new year and a new me, hopefully!
    • No take out unless I’m on vacation or a business trip, and if I do, pick healthy choices. (This is more of a mindset I want, as opposed to a goal!)
    • No soda though I’m leaving ginger ale out of this because I need to have a bit of a reward instead of going cold turkey! I don’t drink a lot of it anyway but sometimes I just need to have a diet ginger ale with a cherry in it. 🙂

[Again, some stuff wasn’t included from my notes b/c of the too personal/financial nature of the info. But I generalized here for the purpose of this exercise.]

Next, Lisa asks that we apply the above to the following prompts. For the sake of getting this post done I’m going to summarize all of the above into one answer for each:

What do I really want? (vision)

I want to never be in debt again from medical bills and/or credit cards. Getting sick and realizing I didn’t have enough of a cushion to get me through that was also a huge stressor. So, getting my financial house in order will be so very important this year!

I also want to have a work-life balance where I am writing, working the day job, and finding time to vacation. A tall order, I know, but I am determined to get there.

What is important about it? (values)

I guess I want to be as happy as possible in all areas of my life. As cliche as it sounds, we’re only get one chance to do this thing called living and I want to do it happily ever after, in whatever form that comes in. 🙂

How will I get it? (methods)

By having a plan and being able to adjust when needed. By hard-work, determination, and motivation that I put into practice every single day, even when my inner critic is telling me not to. By making and reviewing my strategies and plans for upcoming releases and writing new books. By scheduling admin days every month (so far I’ll try 2 a month), so I don’t get bogged down in that aspect of things.

And of course, by being open to learning new things and of course, smiling. Nothing like a positive attitude and winning smile to get me through, even when I hit the rough patches.

What is preventing me from having it? (obstacles)

  • My inner critic, most of all.
  • Not enough hours in the day, or so it seems. (This is where my Happy Planner & bullet journal come in!)
  • Lack of a good night’s sleep. (Yoga & meditation is helping me with this, thankfully!)
  • Fear of failure and fear of success. An unfortunate double whammy I’m determined to crash though in 2017.

How will I know I am successful? (measurements)

  • My annual strategy goals will be completed. (Basically I have about 5 major projects to release. Not just books though. I have some flash fiction and short stories I’ve been working on to release. Gah, I’m terrified but am so doing this!)
  • My credit cards and final medical bills will be paid off 100%
  • I will have a new or new-ish car
  • My savings account goal will be realized
  • I will take two major vacations in 2017 where I can rest, relax, take tons of photos, and share on FB and instagram. (Yeah, I need to get me one of those if I’m going to Europe!)

All right, day three is in the books. I need to get my yoga in for the day (I’m a little late this morning!) so I’ll see you for my answers to day 4 and 5 prompts later today.

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2017 the year we turn our dreams into goals and smash through them with drive and hard-work!

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