Getting into Gear

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At the end of last year, and the beginning of this one, I gave myself permission to take the time I needed to work out where I wanted to go, what I wanted to achieve, who I wanted to become in 2012. I threw aside the pressures to have it all ready on the 1st of January and gave myself up to the end of the month, at the latest, to fully refine my focus and direction.

Getting it into gear hasn’t been easy though. I’ve stalled often, amidst post-holiday cleaning, family priorities and sheer lingering tiredness. Then I’ve rolled forward inch by inch, only to lose momentum again and stall. As I try to get things into gear and figure out how to get to my destination, I keep reminding myself that I don’t need to keep up with everyone else, that I mustn’t compare to what seems like the myriad of posts about goals, plans and resolutions of people who seem to already have it altogether, that I need to go at my pace, that it’s my life to live and noone else’s.

I know some people don’t do resolutions. Actually, I don’t either. What I am doing for 2012 is to focus on words* or themes to guide me. The primary drive behind everything is that I want to become a better version of myself, for me and ultimately my family. I don’t want to be the same person at the end of 2012 as I have been in the past. As my next scary milestone birthday approaches all too quickly, I know I want to be able to proudly look back and say I’m not the same person as I was 7 years earlier. That change needs to start now.

Change choices today

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I know things won’t necessarily snap into place overnight. What reassures me, like it never has before, is that there is no shame in missing my mark, in failing. I just have to pick myself up, wipe the dirt off my face and keep going. On the days when I want to call time out, rewind the clock, and beg for a do-over, I remind myself that the day was not wasted and I have tomorrow to try again.

Two things I hope to be involved in to help keep me on the straight and narrow are 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life hosted by Deb from Home Life Simplified and 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Bron from Maxabella Loves. I’m already a little behind which is a great opportunity to practice what I’ve preached, brush the dirt off my face and work to catch up.

It’s all still a work in progress but I am determined to get there.

How have you found the first week of 2012? Do you feel pumped and energised and driven? Are you a little lost and feeling like a failure already? Or are you a person that just goes with the flow, whereever life takes you?

*Inspired by posts by Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids, by Debbie from Aspiring Mum and Jess from Diary of a SAHM.

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I’m linking with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

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27 thoughts on “Getting into Gear

  1. Great post Veronica. “…keep reminding myself that I don’t need to keep up with everyone else, that I mustn’t compare…that I need to go at my pace, that it’s my life to live and noone else’s.” EXACTLY!! We all need to do this. And I’m sure you’ll find that no-one has it all together. We all struggle with our own ideals and sometimes we might be doing okay, other times we’re not. And that’s okay. We don’t need to compare with other people – because we all have different lives and different circumstances. Don’t pressure yourself. Take each day as it comes and enjoy this year. Make changes for you, not because you feel pressured to.

    (And I know how exhausting it is with little ones who don’t sleep. It’s a season – live in hope that it will pass, because it does eventually.)

    • Thanks, Deb. It’s a daily exercise to get on with my own business and not compare but it has to be done. Otherwise, there is too much time drawn away from what I need to focus on, time I can’t reclaim if I waste it comparing or lamenting or any other such negative exercise. Here’s to little steps forward but steps forward none the less!

  2. Great post. I feel really energetic and motivated so far this week, but that worries me a bit as I am not sure I can keep it up. I would love to be able to. I totally get what you mean about failure, and love that you have feel that you are dealing with it. I am not there yet, but love the idea, and I am going to try this year to be less scared of failing.
    Maxabella and Debbie’s blogs have really inspired me this week too.
    Love the first quote you used, brilliant.
    x Sannah

    • Thanks, Sannah. I hope the energy you had a week ago is still there. At least from your blog, things are looking gorgeous through your family photos and posts. Overcoming the fear of failure is a journey but I feel it has to be done so I don’t keep carrying regrets for the things I didn’t do in years to come. Good luck with your journey!

  3. Great reflection here in your post. I, too, don’t write down official New Year’s resolutions. I kind of just go with the flow and in my head I may think about what I’d like to do this year, but it’s informal.

    • Thanks, Maria. I hope your new year has been travelling well so far and directions are shaping up ahead for you. I look forward to seeing what interesting things come your way through your blog….such as meeting Jessica Alba!

  4. I’m feeling like a bit of a failure already; I have been finding to tough to achieve everything I want.
    It’s freeing to know though, that we can just pick ourselves up, wipe off the dirt and start again.

    Good on you Veronica for taking a realistic approach. I’m sure you will be successful. 🙂

    • Hey Jess. Wash off the “failure” and start again. It’s tough at times. I especially found it hard years ago when I was in a youth group feeling like we all had to measure up to a certain image of “perfect”, “flawless”, “sin-free”, yet feeling like a failure over the same stumblings time and time again. It’s so easy, when everyone is *striving* to walk the straight and narrow, to forget how much abundant grace needs to measure into the fabric of our lives. It is only by grace and not merit. I am still worried I’ll get bogged down *but* I only have two choices; move forward and keep trying to make it through, or wallow in the guilt and paralysing feelings of failure. It has to be the former, even when I feel I’ve barely the energy to get through. I hope you’ll find the same too.

  5. I’m finding it hard to do everything and still sleep. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d be ok. Which is ridiculous of course. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone. Giving yourself permission to fall and the courage to get back up again… now that’s a resolution worth sharing. Thank you.

    • I totally understand what you mean, Misha. Sleep is what I forego and I suffer so much for it. Today, and a couple of other days since Christmas, I have made myself nap whilst the baby napped just because I knew I was really not functioning. I get a bit anxious knowing other things slide, like replying to comments on my blog in a timely manner (!) but I just have to choose what’s important at a given time and go with it, and try not to judge myself for it. I hope you find a way to balance the most important things and find the peace to let the less important ones fall back or drop off totally, if needs be. I hope the same for myself too!

  6. Lovely post 🙂 I don’t do resolutions either. Words give me more to work on, to better myself with. To make me feel like I have improved my life and my family’s.

    So far 2012 has been pretty good, I can see where my focus needs to be. And I’m pointing it that way.

    Happy 2012 lovely lady, I hope by the end of it you can take a deep breath and know you did achieve your wish xxx

    • I hope things are still rolling along fairly well for you, despite some bumps along your way. I’m enjoying my focus words and think I’ve almost locked in what I want to them to be. I still have a “to-do-list” to tackle of tasks and chores and wishes (like learn to use my camera properly!) but it’s not those things that change me and help me grow necessarily. They are just the icing on the cake of deeper changes that I hope the focus words and themes bring.

  7. I think the words instead of resolutions is a great idea and forgiving yourself when you go off track every once in a while. My goal for this year is to go easier on myself. Easier said than done as 90 percent of the pressur ein my life comes from myself and my strive for perfectionism. I am also working on saying no more often too.
    Good luck with you goasl this year xx

    • Thanks, Sonia. Words are easier to focus on daily than lots of detailed lists. I am getting close to my final list and it feels quite good, more achievable than resolutions, in a way. I hope you can let go of the perfectionist streak somewhat and find more peace in accepting “good enough”. It’s something I struggle with too but I can see how detrimental it is to try and be perfect. I’m trying to set deadlines and constraints and when I hit that, accept what I’ve done as enough. Perfection is truly is an illusive goal.

  8. I’m just taking it one (or two) challenges at a time! My blog helps me achieve the things I want to do. Whether it’s a challenge to quit sugar or something more simple like try and new recipe or tidy up the bookshelves.
    When it comes to resolutions, I’ve passed on them this year. I’ve decided my new word for the year will be ‘purposeful’. To do everything with purpose and make the most of my year!

    • I love your 2012 word, Laney – “purposeful”. It really helps focus what you do. I can see how it would help you say “No” to lots of things that don’t fit with your purpose. Look forward to following your journey in 2012!

  9. Reading your gentle and measured words have made me feel all calm inside. I so respect you for going at your own pace and really allowing yourself time and room to find your ‘gears’. I am inspired by your goals this year. I’ve also been thinking of ‘change’ – but perhaps in a slightly different way to you. And I’ve also been thinking of “that” milestone birthday (as I have it coming up this month!). Thank you – as always – for sharing your insightful reflections. xx

    • Thanks, Deb. It’s hard to go at a slower pace when everything and everyone (or almost all) seems to be zooming by. But I realise it’s pointless running fast when I’m not sure where I’m heading. It’s wasted time and energy. I have to keep reminding myself not to jump into the slipstream and get whisked away, unless it’s where I really want to go. I hope you find some time to think through the milestone birthday and year ahead. Every day should probably be a day for reflection and renewal but birthdays are always an essential time, in my opinion, to do that too.

  10. You know, I had dinner with Denyse Whelan when she was on her road trip, and she said many many wise things. But, the most important thing she said was: Daisy, you need to run your own path.
    Just thinking about the concept of it has changed so much about the way I think of blogging and life in general!

  11. My husband often quotes Einstein’s definition of insanity – “Insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    Smart man, that Einstein fellow 😉

    The first couple of weeks have been mixed. I feel as though I’m failing because I’m not using my time efficiently and in that respect, I definitely need to do things differently.

    • Thanks for sharing the Einstein quote. I have heard it before but it is good to hear it again as a reminder. We need mindful moments to remember, reflect, take stock and adjust. Three weeks into 2012 and I am still trying to find a day where I feel I really used my time efficiently! But keep trying one must. I hope you get there too.

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