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Saturday, 17 January 2015

A year from now you'll wish you had started today

Chris took this pic of me in Playa del Carmen, Mexico on 31 December, as the sun set on 2014.
Think back to your life a year ago... you were probably making your New Year's resolutions for 2014 and promising yourself "this will be MY year!". 

Now, one year on, have you kept those promises you made to yourself?

Perhaps you did, and if so, a huge pat on the back for you as we all know how hard it is to keep resolutions. Isn't it strange that often the easiest promises to break are the ones we make to ourself? Surely we should all naturally prioritise the things in life we've decided are the most important for our happiness and success, but alas these are usually the first to slip as we try to juggle the needs of those closest to us whilst modern life just generally gets in the way.

2014 was a very good year for me. I really felt I made progress in my life with things I had been half heartedly trying to change for years. As regular readers will know, I overhauled my career and also significantly changed my attitude to my personal finances, paying off a truck-load of debt in the process.

But despite all these positive changes, which I'm very proud of myself for achieving, I still didn't manage to keep all of the resolutions I made at the start of the year. I'm not going to give myself a hard time about it - what would be gained from that? - and on reflection I'm sure I set myself waaay too many huge targets anyway; transform my career, give up sugar, lose 2 stone, pay off all my debts, run a half marathon, stop smoking and binge drinking, read a book a week...

All great ideas but in reality it was a totally overwhelming list of goals (and that isn't even the full list!). Essentially I was trying to change myself into a completely different person, virtually overnight - no wonder I didn't achieve them all! 

You may recall this post from July last year where I boldly declared to you all that I intended to NEVER EAT SUGAR AGAIN. Oh, and I also promised to drop 8 pounds in a month whilst doing an online health and fitness programme. Well I think you can all guess this didn't happen! Obviously if I had managed to achieve those things they would have received considerable air time on this blog :) 

Most of us have been told the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T goals, right? In case you don't know, that means; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Most of the goals I had in mind at the start of last year were definitely achievable but, crucially, not all at once! Also, I most certainly didn't get specific about what I was going to do exactly to reach each goal or decide how I would measure my progress. And as for being realistic?? Nope... It would actually have been impossible to clear all of my debt in 2014 as I simply didn't earn enough money to do this.

So, with a couple of big hitters already crossed off my long list, what do I dream for myself in 2015? At the end of this year what do I want to have achieved? Where do I want to be in my life?

"A year from now you'll wish you had started today."
Karen Lamb (author)

This is one of my most favourite quotes. I think it has such a powerful message which really speaks to me as someone who so often puts off to tomorrow things I could definitely have done today (and probably should have done weeks ago!). 

When I envisage myself one year from now I realise there are some key things I want to be able to say I achieved over the previous 12 months. Like many of you, my goals all revolve around some common central themes: I want to look better, feel better, be a better person, and keep learning and growing, whilst making sure I carve out time to have fun and smell the roses along the way.

For 2015 I'm not making New Year's resolutions as such, but rather taking the opportunity at the start of a fresh year, which is like a beautiful blank sheet of paper, to review who I am, what I want out of life and what kind of person I want to be. There are a lot of exciting things I want to do this year, a few of which would be life changing and some of which would simply be life enhancing. The common thread between all my goals is that I'm passionate about and determined to achieve them all!

I'm not going to list out all my dreams now, instead I plan to write more focused posts over the next few weeks covering each of my goals individually so I can go into more detail, rather than just giving a perfunctory list here. I also plan to do a post soon on some top tips for taking action and actually making real changes in your life based on my own experiences, so watch this space if that's something you're interested in.

I'd love to know what your dreams for 2015 are so please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts with me, and good luck to all of you with whatever you hope this new year will bring! 

If you would like to leave a comment below I would really welcome any thoughts or reactions on this post. Leaving a comment is easy. Simply write your comment in the box below the post (don't forget to write your name!) then select "Comment as: Anonymous" and click the "Publish" button. I moderate all comments so it may take a day or so before you see your comment published on the blog. 

Thanks, Celia x

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