What Does Starting a New Year Mean?
For me the new year is not about new beginnings. It is about continuing to grow and learn from the life lessons and experiences of the previous year. I like to think about how I am going to approach and move forward so that I have positive change in my thoughts, beliefs, actions, experiences, success and happiness.
Looking back is sometimes the way to move forward. The three words I would use to describe 2017 would be:-
- challenging – physically, emotionally and mentally I lost my way and came to a complete stop because I didn’t have the mental or physical capacity to do anything. Feeling this out of control with my life was scary and I came to a complete standstill.
- unexpected – I didn’t see this coming. I was in denial about how I was feeling and had ignored many warning signs over a period of time. Accepting and admitting out loud to another person that I wasn’t coping was the first step towards regaining myself and my life.
- self focussed – I needed to step aside to give myself the time and space to focus on my own well being and healing. Making the decision to step aside and consider stopping my business was so very hard but essential to my future well being. I have mostly thought of myself as being invincible and able to bounce back quickly.
2017 wasn’t the year that I had planned but it was a year that I gave back to myself and learnt some very valuable lessons to take with me into the future.
Lesson 1 – Recognise My Vulnerability
- I can’t fix everyone’s problems but I can be there to support and help when needed.
- My emotional state impacts greatly on my back which then results in pain and not being able to function at the level I want.
- It is not possible to do everything all of the time – need to be more realistic.
Lesson 2 – What is Important to Me?
- Making a difference to myself and others life – personal and business.
- Planning time to be with friends and family.
- Being creative – gardening, collaging, sewing, styling, playing piano and flute.
- Continuing with my business.
Lesson 3 – What Does Self Care Look Like for Me
- My body needs to be taken care of differently to continue functioning as I move into my 60th year.
- Plan exercise – walking, pilates, bike riding into my week. (Remember you want to do a Great Ocean Walk next year.)
- Making personal appointments when needed and not putting them off – (hairdresser, beautician, physio, blood tests etc.)
- Play dates with my husband, family and friends.
- Panning and taking me time for creative play.
- Being in contact with others.
Lesson 4 – Giving Myself Permission to Say No
- I have realised that it is okay to say no and not feel guilty to invitations and events when the timing, energy or inclination isn’t there. This one is a big one and relates closely to my continued self care.
2018 – WORD FOCUS
A year equals 365 opportunities so I like to choose a word that will guide me towards making decisions, positive and conscious changes and establishing beliefs and actions that contribute to a successful year that is packed with laughter, love, fun, happiness and success.
My word for 2018 is EMPOWERMENT.
As you move forward into 2018 take this message with you.
You may like to read more about Choosing a Focus word:-
Creating Positive Change 2017
Where Am I Going 2016?
Which Direction are You Going?
HOW DO YOU APPROACH A NEW YEAR
I see a new year as an opportunity to REFLECT & RETHINK on how my thoughts, feelings, actions and accomplishments from the previous year supported my personal, family, home, work, business, social life and well being. Over the last 4 years I have established directions by choosing lighthouse word/s rather than making resolutions. I found making new year resolutions only gave me a narrow focus on a few actions that were usually not achieved. Choosing lighthouse words puts the emphasis on all aspects of my life and how I wanted to make a difference to create changes that impacted positively to all that I was doing. Each year that I have used this approach I have learnt so much about my self that has impacted positively on my life. The words I choose each year guide me to approach all the dimensions of my life in a certain way and provide me with a benchmark to assess how I am going as well as giving me the opportunity to make positive & conscious changes to my thinking, beliefs and actions.
The words I have used in the past have been:
2014 IMPOSSIBLE (translated I’m Possible)
2015 BALANCE & MOMENTUM.
2016 WORD – FOCUS
I have chosen FOCUS as my lighthouse word for 2016. After reflecting on my 2015 year I noticed that the times I lost my BALANCE & MOMENTUM and things seemed too overwhelming came about because I was not putting enough FOCUS into all of the different areas of my life. I have always had a tendency to get myself so caught up in one thing that I lose sight of the people and other areas of my life that are important to keep me being the person I want to be. Another aspect of this behaviour is that I tend to be totally consumed by my work and this leads to lack of energy but I keep pushing myself – not a very healthy behaviour. Due to my lack of energy I start to shut down inside and don’t take the time to be with others. Now being with others is necessary for me as I am an extrovert and others are my fuel. When I am not feeling and being balanced as a whole person I do not function well.
2016 is my year to maintain an awareness and FOCUS on my whole self and the many dimensions of my life which include family, friends, social activities, creative activities, exercise, interests, business & work as well as what I am eating. I am colour coding my activities in my diary so I can review over time to ensure I am taking the time to work, play and be healthy and happy.
Other valuable lessons learnt in 2015 were:-
- FOCUS on finding solutions to problems not on the problem itself.
- ASK FOR HELP. I am usually the helper and not the one being helped but some experiences from last year has shown me how much time and energy I used up by not acknowledging that I was having difficulty coping with my father ‘s decline due to Alzheimer’s, feeling guilty about being 3.5 hours away from my parents and not being there to support them more, pushing my own emotions back because I thought I needed to be strong and feeling out of depth with new aspects of my business.
I look forward to all that 2016 brings and moving forward with all aspects of my life.
How do you approach packing to go away?
Do you like packing?
Do you take too much or not enough?
Packing can be a pain in the butt and a real chore.
I am presently packing for my holiday week in Melbourne.
Yes I am excited (not about the packing but going to Melbourne).
I am not a packing expert but I do know that my packing
is much more succinct and thought out then it used to be.
This post outlines my approach to packing. Before I start to take clothes out of the wardrobe I think through the following aspects.
LOCATION – This is your starting point. Where you are going will determine the types of clothes (hot or cold weather) you will need. I have checked out the weather temperatures for the next week and have made my decisions on being able to layer my clothing.
HOW YOU ARE TRAVELLING – I am travelling by car so I do not need to consider excess weight which certainly helps when you need to take coats and jumpers.
PERSONALITY STYLE – Your Personality Style plays an important role in whether you like to have choices and variety in the way you look. This is so with me. I don’t like to look the same everyday and I like the option of choice according to how I feel. This means I need to spend time in the week prior to going away thinking about which combinations of clothing items will allow me the versatility to create different looks. What is important to you?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING? The type of activities you will be doing will dictate the level of refinement you will need in your clothing from very casual, casual, smart casual to even formal perhaps. My clothing needs for this trip falls into casual to smart casual. The clothing I take needs to be able to be styled up or down. I do this through different accessories such as jewellery, scarves and shoes. It is important that your clothing selection coordinates for mixing matching as this will generate more outfits from fewer clothes.
- TRY EVERYTHINH ON: There is nothing worse than getting to your holiday location and finding that something doesn’t look or fit right.
WHAT AM I TAKING?
PANTS – black leisure pants for travelling (super comfortable) + dark denim jeans + patterned tights
SKIRT – patterened straight skirt + black stretch skirt
TOPS – 2 black long sleeve tops +grey 3/4 sleeved top + pink long sleeved top +2 black sleeveless tops to layer
OUTERWEAR – long black sleeveless vest which can be styled about 4 ways, + long line grey cardigan + plum jacket
SHOES- red flat ankle boots + black loafers+ black boots + black wedged shoes
(always find it hard to take less shoes because I LOVE THEM and I am not able to wear the same pair everyday because of a back problem)
ACCESSORIES – belt + necklaces + earrings in a variety of colours (grey, red, teal & plum) + 3 x scarves in red, teal & plum
OTHER: track pants + sloppy joe for lounging around at home, toiletries & underwear
THE PACKING PROCESS
I usually stockpile selected clothing onto the spare bed and take time to see how the colours and styles go to together. Usually I start with too much and then cull down (except for the shoes). I make a point of taking at least 3 things away from my selection before I pack.
- I try on the outfit combinations with shoes and accessories to ensure that I am happy and all coordinates and fits.
- I usually roll all my clothing. I put the shoes on the bottom and rolled clothing around them. I also utilise the inside of shoes for placing my jewellery which is put into zip lock bags according to colour. This saves on trying to find what I am looking for in a tangled mess. This time I have placed my loafers inside my boots.
- Put packed suitcase into car and enjoy the journey.
Would love to know if you have any favourite packing tips.
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HANDBAG
There comes a time when you need to declutter your handbag.
- Are you frustrated with the state of your handbag?
- Do you have difficulty trying to find anything because everything is in the sea of clutter at the bottom of your bag?
- Do you become annoyed when you change bags and realise you have left a needed item in the other bag?
Any type of clutter can become annoying, frustrating and even stressful at times.
These are the very simple steps that I took to make my handbag clutter free.
- Emptied the contents of my bag onto the bed and was amazed with what was actually in my bag.
- Sorted the contents into piles such as make up, hearing aid stuff, rubbish etc.
- Purchased some make up bags on sale at Target & put items into the make up bags. Long case holds essential daily make up items, pen, band aids and the smaller bag contains hearing aid bits and pieces such as remote and batteries, band aids etc.
- Crossed my fingers and packed everything back into my handbag. Yes it fitted and looked much tidier. Phone and colour swatch went into bag pockets.
- Jumped for joy when it all actually fitted.
- I experimented with a couple of my favourite bags to see how this new organisation system would work. Jumped for joy when it was successful.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DECLUTTER YOUR HANDBAG?
- There is a system which means everything has a place and can be located with ease.
- Setting up the organisation bags means that the tendency to just throw things into your bag is reduced.
- Items have a home where they belong and can be located easily.
- It is very easy to change bags without leaving important items behind in another bag.
- It is much easier to keep your bag clutter free because anything (like a shopping docket) that may be put into the bag is easily identified and can be taken out.
- This did not take much effort or time but certainly reduces frustrations of finding items in your bag.
Let me know your tips for how to declutter your handbag.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH A NEW YEAR?
I stopped making New Year Resolutions 3 years ago because they didn’t make any difference to how I was living my life. My resolutions came from what I had not achieved in the past year and had a narrow focus on individual activities such as ‘get fit’ or ‘eat healthier.’ These resolutions made very little change to my life and definitely didn’t contribute positively towards motivating me to make changes that impacted on my life in a positive way.