Happy 2020 – a new year, a new decade.

Welcome to 2020, a new year and a new decade.

A friend of mine told me her word of the year is exhale. I thought about what mine would be, and what my goals are for this upcoming year.

My word is consistency. I intend to be consistent in my thoughts, behavior and actions.

I want to be consistent in my thoughts; to reduce the anxious thoughts often racing through my head. And I want to find the best strategies and tactics to help me manage this anxiety.

I want to be consistent in my actions, and live congruently with my values.

“Ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer” – from a sign seen posted in a store four years ago.

Here’s what is really important to me:

  1. My family – our marriage, our dog, my parents and my sisters, my extended family.
  2. Health – not just mine, but everyone’s. Especially my loved ones and my friends.
  3. A just and fair society.
  4. Animals and the environment.
  5. Helping other people achieve their goals.
  6. Finishing my book.
  7. Staying in shape – contending with the reality of middle age – the inside and the outside.
  8. Financial stability.
  9. My friendships.
  10. Experience- travel, day to day life.

So, this means is that I have decisions to make.  

I know what I value, so the question I ask myself is: how am I going to live my life?

I am going to give time, love, support, respect, patience, humour and dedication to my marriage. I am going to offer to take the dog for a walk when my husband is tired or just not in the mood to walk Frank.

I am going make dinners for us, and not bring junk food into the house. Although he has already asked me to do this on a couple of different occasions, I always disregard this in favour of wanting to bring him (or us) a treat. In respect to both of us, I will not be bringing junk food home. That’s it.

My family is important to me – I need to spend time with them. That’s it. It’s about time – that’s all we have.

Financial stability. This means before I buy something, I truly need it, not just want it. I have to think honestly and critically. If I really do need something, I need to be able to donate something I already own – one thing in, one thing out.

A just and fair society. I need to focus on what I can do to help – if there is a protest or rally or something to attend, I will.

Finishing my book.

Sigh.

That is probably the most difficult thing to do. For almost 25 years I have been writing my book. I am nearly finished it, but something is keeping me from completing it. I thought I had figured out a strategy to finish it, but I still am somehow procrastinating and not finishing it.

I just finished reading Jenna Fischer’s book “The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide”, and she included a few quotes that made me think:

“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake” – Meg Whitman

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it” – Maya Angelou

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” – Confucius

“A lot of people give up just before they’re about to make it. You know, you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one” – Chuck Norris

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another” – Walter Elliot

“Done is better than perfect” – Sheryl Sandberg

Jenna writes : “Another important milestone that came from my self-made movie: It was the first project I’d actually finished. Over the years I’d started many creative projects but failed to finish a single one of them. Once I finished my movie, I knew I could finish anything. And, I have. Here’s the trick I used to help me get through: Whatever you decide to make, tell yourself it’s going to suck. Want to write a script? Good! It’s going to be awful. Want to film a web series with your friends? Fantastic! It’s going to be dreadful. Whatever you do, know that it is going to be a disgusting mess of awfulness. And then, do it anyway. Something awful is better than something incomplete. Because the only way to improve is to finish something, look at it, learn from it, and then start something new. The new thing will be better. And then the thing after that, and the thing after that. But you can’t get better if you don’t finish anything.”

Like Jenna, I want to be a finisher.

So, I am going to spend this year figuring out new strategies, focusing on completing the book and making the necessary sacrifices so that I finish it.

This means making sure I write at least an hour per day, and even when I am tired, I have to make the sacrifice.

One of the things that I need to include is self-care. For me, this means making sure that I am not eating the wrong kinds of food, drinking a lot of water, taking time for myself and not spreading myself too thin. It means that I need to clearly schedule my time more effectively so I don’t wear myself out.

Self-care also means getting the proper amount of sleep. If I want to get up at 6:00 am to take our dog for a morning walk, it means that I need to be in bed by 10:00 pm and asleep by 11:00 pm. No questions asked, and no exceptions.

I want to help my Puddle Jump Coaching clients to reach their goals, and excel in my position as a mentorship facilitator. The more I focus on helping others, the more meaningful my life will be. This means I need to be consistently in posting a monthly blog.

Travel also adds meaning to my life, and I am thrilled to be planning our next European Extravaganza from May 26th until June 21st. We are going to Krakow, Prague, Budapest and then Cavtat, a little place outside Dubrovnik. It is only five months away, and I am very excited!

I know this next decade is going to be challenging. I have already noticed how crazy it is being a middle-aged woman with hormones that affect pretty much every part of my body and my life. I know that in 10 years I will be turning 60 – yikes! And I want to make sure this upcoming decade is the best ever.

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