Happy New Year!

Posted January 3rd, 2013 by Claire S

I love this time of year! The silly season gives way to some well-earned end of year relaxation and the weather here in New Zealand is at its best. After a long, dark and cold winter it seems as though summer as arrived with a bang! The pohutakawas are in full bloom, the Auckland harbour is sparkling and there is a renewed sense of positivity in the air!

At about this time every year for the past four years, I've promised myself I'd make a serious start on writing a book. I've spent countless hours thinking about said book, I've pondered over plots, created a few characters and have tucked away a few clever lines. Starting 'The Book' is one of the many things I want to tick off my 'to do' list in 2013. Actually, when I think about it, it's probably more like seven or eight years that it's been in the planning stages! I can't really put my finger on why I haven't started it. I love writing, I love reading and I love coming up with characters and plots. But there just seems to be a bit of a block when it comes to sitting down and actually starting! But this year, while the sun is shining and the days are long and beautiful, I hope to progress from 'planning' and actually start writing!

One of the reasons I love writing is because it's a nice little escape from some of life's more pressing realities such as budgeting, dieting, parenting and other such joys! I can create my own characters and give them a life of my choosing - triumphs or tragedies, joy or despair, passion or grief… or a roller-coaster ride involving all of the above! Wouldn't it be nice if we could we write our own story and decide exactly how our own stories would pan out? Hmmm… could be interesting?!

Of course, we can be the authors of our own story to some degree … with just a little careful planning along the way! And while getting that book underway is definitely a priority on my list for the year ahead, there are also a few other goals I want to achieve this year so that my own life story tracks along in the right direction! Here are a few of the key areas I'm planning to focus on this year:

  • Kill the credit card debt! For many years I was proudly able to state that we didn't have any credit card debt, mainly because I refused to have a credit card. But over the past year or so, for all the usual reasons, we have amassed some stomach-churning debt that has reached ridiculous levels. Hubby has cut up his card and we've paid it off this month, next month we'll begin tackling mine! I want it completely paid off by the end of the year. I've sat down with our budget and have decided that it is possible. It won't be easy, there will be sacrifice, there will be tears, there will be shops that will be wondering where I am… but it will be done!
  • Get the bathroom sorted! Approximately 19 years ago (I remember because I was pregnant with our son), we started renovating the bathroom. This year, the plan is to finish! It's laughable I guess, but it's just one of those projects that kept slipping down the priority list. But we are now at the stage where our bathroom is embarrassingly awful, I cringe when friends come over and need to use it. My goal is to have it finished by April. Again, it won't be easy… mainly because it costs money! We've had a few professional quotes and we simply can't afford to get someone to do it for us. So it's going to be a good ol' DIY jobbie!
  • Shift that last stubborn seven kilos! About six years ago I lost 25 kg. But I've managed to put about 10kg back on. I've slowly lost three kilos but the last seven are proving very difficult! But this year I turn 40 (in May), so I'm determined to get back down to my goal weight before then! And because I've spent enough money in my life on trying to lose weight, I want to do it myself without spending a cent. My plan is to start journaling what I'm eating and to make the most of the great weather by doing plenty of walking. Watch this space!

I think that's enough to go on for this year. All being well, by this time next year I'll once again be credit card-free, I'll be at my goal weight of 74kg and I'll have a bathroom that I won't be ashamed of! And maybe, just maybe, I'll have written the first three chapters of my book!

So what are your goals for the New Year? How will the next chapter of your life unfold? I'd love to hear what hopes, plans and dreams you have for 2013!

THIS MONTH'S QUOTE: Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

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January 2013