Hello 2012, Year of Financial Freedom and Travel

Being the imaginative individual that I am, I feel it necessary to write a post on my goals for 2012; just the same as most other bloggers out there have done or will do. I’m not so much calling these resolutions as goals because there is still a degree of flexibility in what I am about to set out, these are not hard and fast targets. This year I’ve spent more time than ever thinking about what I want out of next year, mainly because a lot has changed this year and I want to continue along that path next year. What I’ve really contemplated is what makes me happy. I’ve always been led to believe that money and material possessions make me happy; this is what others around me have noticed. Whilst I agree, I have also now worked out that to a certain extent this is incorrect or by now I would be starting to feel pretty darned happy when actually I’ve been feeling like something is still missing. Until now!

I’ve worked out that with me, material possessions do make me happy, but only the ones I really enjoy, not the ones I feel I should have to be happy. My case in point here is my car; I started 2011 driving my beloved 2004 Mini Cooper, or Reggie as he was affectionately known. Unfortunately, Reggie was getting on a bit and needed more and more expensive BMW repairs so we had to part ways and Frank joined me. Frank was a 2002 Fiat Punto, (orange no less!) who filled the time when I wasn’t sure which car to buy next. He was basic but reliable and I appreciated him every day apart from the one when he melted the Easter Egg I had spent days making for my bf before he even saw it. However, he was a temporary measure and soon came Stanley, (or Seamus as the bf calls him) my 2008 Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Now Stanley is a ball to drive, his acceleration is immense and he’s so small I always nip into those tiny gaps everyone else is too scared to fill. BUT… I haven’t warmed to him. I want my Mini back. I rarely get to use Stanley to his full acceleration capacity and whilst he has more knobs and dials than Reggie, I haven’t even bothered to look up in the book what these knobs and dials are or how to use them; I’ve had this car for 5 months now!

The Beloved Reggie

You may be wondering where this is going and questioning if you really care that much about my car to continue reading but here comes my point. I bought a faster, more expensive, generally flashier car and it didn’t make me happy. A year ago I would never have imagined this could be the case but I have lived and learned and now know myself a little better. So this year one of the things I plan to do is sell Stanley and find myself a new Reggie – the replacement may or may not be a Mini but it will definitely be cheaper than Stanley. Then, I will use the money I save to start paying off my credit card – yes, I seem to have matured in the last year and I can’t quite believe it.

Here are my goals for 2012 in full:

  • Weight 9st7 (or less) by March – somehow have managed to reach 10st…oops!
  • Weigh no more than 9st at the end of the year
  • End the year with £3,500 credit card debt or less (fair chunk to pay off to reach that!)
  • Read 10 new books
  • Star in at least 1 theatre show
  • See 12 theatre shows
  • Spend 3 weekends away with the bf
  • Eat in 6 new restaurants
  • Leave the country 3 times
  • Exercise for at least 1.5 hours per week (up from 0 hours)
  • Make my eBay store self sufficient by June (i.e. have enough profit to buy next lot of stock)
  • Have a trip to NY booked in (actually have at least deposit paid)
  • Make and try 3 home made beauty products

Some of my goals are fairly ambitious but they are considered and I think they will lead to increased happiness so here’s hoping I’m right! Anybody got any suggestions or links they’d like to share to their own goals for 2012??? BIG LOVE, I’m super excited about 2012, it’s going to be a good one! x

How Do I Set Realistic Resolutions for 2012?

Like most people, at the end of one year I start thinking about the next and what I want to achieve over the course of that year. In the Western world at least, this is programmed into us from birth. Personally, I think a good starting point is reflecting on the previous year and what you have achieved to work out how you can build on that for the next. So here are some of my highlights from 2011:

  • Jan – moved out from the parental home into a room in a shared house
  • Feb – promotion at work
  • Mar – completed run of Teechers at Progress Theatre
  • Spring – sold my beloved Mini Cooper which kept breaking and bought a rubbish old Punto for cost savings (moment of previously unseen maturity)
  • Spring – started my Candida blog
  • June – moved back home for a month, before…
  • July – moved into a house with the bf
  • July – went on my first girly holiday
  • July – sold rubbish old Punto and bought sexy Corsa VXR
  • September – further pay rise at work
  • October – took bf away for a holiday, (our first one) though just in the UK
  • November – made redundant
  • November – started eBay shop
  • December – secured new job at big global company!

All in all, it’s been a pretty busy year and my bf was not wrong a year ago when he said 2010 had built the foundations for 2011. This year has been insane, so much has changed! However, you’ll notice a few steps backward along the way, as is often the case in life and it seems to be these that I dwell on. Despite having made significant progress towards my goals overall, I still feel like I have wasted my year and like I’m way behind my peers in sorting out my life. Now, I confess this is partly because I happen to have especially successful friends but actually, I think it’s mainly down to me.

The bf and I had a conversation about what we had achieved this year and he could clearly check off 2 of his 3 goals and has set similarly achievable goals for next year…as has my sister. These are both people who I admire for being “sorted”. I however realised that I never break down my goals, I simply have huge ambitions which I can never achieve in a year so I am left feeling like a failure when I don’t get there. The problem is that I’m so impatient that short of achieving all of my goals in one hit, I’m not sure what success for me will look like in 2012. How do I set myself some resolutions or goals for 2012 that I can actually achieve and still feel like I’m moving fast enough? What if I set the bar lower and still fail?

Is anybody out there good at setting personal goals and can offer me some advice or do most of us live this way? It’s a vicious cycle I’d like to break some I’m on the hunt for some advice from those who are in the know…I’ll let you know what I find! x