In With the New
The holidays are over and things have quieted down a bit, at least for now. With the rainy, dreary weather and concerns about the country possibly driving off the fiscal cliff Thelma-and-Louise-style, it seems that most people (including myself) have tiptoed cautiously into the New Year rather than marching in with reckless abandon. Nonetheless, 2013 is here, and since the world didn’t end a couple weeks ago, it’s time to once again look at not only what I accomplished in the last year but also to set the course for the year ahead.
2012: How Did I Do?
Looking back at the progress I made towards achieving my goals for 2012, it’s a mixed bag. I achieved a couple of really big things this year, but faltered on others because of the corresponding new demands on my time and energy. Balance has never been my strong point, and this year was no exception. I punted on a lot of things, but rather than allow myself to descend into a spiral of self-loathing, I’m trying to focus on the things I did right:
- One of my primary goals for the year was to increase my earning potential. In June, I started a new job back in the legal field that pays significantly more than my previous job, and puts me on a track to advance within the company, both in terms of responsibility and compensation. I’d say that this was probably my biggest success of the year.
- Another goal I set for the year was to practice yoga consistently. I maintained a strong and consistent yoga practice for the majority of the year, mostly due to the fact that I went through yoga teacher training this year and received my 200-hour certification. In the last few months, my practice has suffered, though. It’s easy to chalk it up to having a more demanding work schedule, but that isn’t really an excuse.
- I had also hoped to improve my tennis skills this year. I was making excellent progress on this front until a wrist injury put me out of commission. But with my fancy new corporate insurance kicking in today, I’ve scheduled a follow-up with my orthopedist so that I can get back on the courts in 2013.
- This year, I also made a point of trying to talk less and listen more. Whether I succeeded is a matter of interpretation, I suppose. However, being in learning mode for much of the year through teacher training and then joining a new company required me to do a whole lot of listening and absorbing.
What’s New for 2013?
Now that I’ve had some time to settle into my new routines, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish this year. My goals for this year are a bit of a departure from the last couple years, but will continue to challenge me over the next twelve months:
- Rededicate myself to my yoga practice. I fell off the yoga bandwagon a few months ago, perhaps because I overdid it at the Southeast Yoga Conference back in October, or because I haven’t made time in my new schedule. Regardless, I (and my family and friends) pay the price by being more stressed and less pleasant to be around. I am committed to rededicating myself to a regular practice, and am going to give meditation another go as well.
- Teach yoga. I made a huge financial and time investment in my training, and I don’t want that to go to waste. I enjoy teaching, and want to find a regular class that works with my life and my schedule. Teaching also makes me more accountable in maintaining my personal practice as well.
- Get organized. I have several projects that I need to tackle this year from small (going through my pots and pans) to large (redoing my home office). But I know that once I get the stuff in my life under control, I’ll be less stressed and will better enjoy the space around me.
- Travel abroad. Some friends of ours are getting married in England this summer. Neither Dave nor I have ever been to Europe, but I really want to make that happen this year.
- Volunteer. After stepping down from the board of a local civic organization and leaving full-time employment in the non-profit world, I want to find meaningful volunteer opportunities to keep me connected to the community.
- Make more time for friends and family. I tend to waste a lot of time at home, and at work I have a hard time making myself log off at a reasonable hour. But by managing my time and schedule more efficiently, I can be a better partner, friend and family member.
- Exercise patience. Patience is a virtue, but not one I currently possess in great quantities. I have terrible road rage. I fuss at the dog when he wants to go outside for the tenth time in an hour. I have been consciously trying to reign in my impatience, and will continue to focus on this goal throughout the year.
While 2012 leaves pretty big shoes to fill, I’m optimistic that 2013 will be full of new opportunities to achieve and improve. Author Neil Gaiman posts a New Year’s wish on his blog each year. Yesterday, he posted the following:
It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.