Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Blueprint for Life

I don't generally make New Year's Resolutions because I very seldom keep them. However, I use this time of year to evaluate where I am in my life, where I want to be and what I need to do to get from one point to the other. I look at several areas-- physical fitness, financial, family, career, writing, and values.

This year as I look at my physical fitness I see that I am making strides toward increasing my fitness. In October I set a goal for myself of adding one fitness action each week-- for instance, eat one fruit item daily, work out 3 times a week, cut back on sweets and sugar. The only one that I have been able to keep consistently is working out 3 times per week-- I've joined Curves, signed up for their computerized individualized Curves Smart program and go and subject myself to the torture chamber three times a week. The only week I missed was Thanksgiving week, but I planned that in advance as a skip week. I was really proud of myself for going back to Curves the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I don't do quite as good at adding an additional item every week-- I've tried to add things such as walk up the stairs at work once a day or add a vegetable serving but I haven't been able to sustain that.

Now switching to financial issues-- my finances are a mess. In the last two and a half years I've been unemployed, started my own business, had a daughter get married, dealt with medical expenses and had to purchase two new cars. My credit is in the toilet, and I barely am able to meet my expenses. It's an area that needs a lot of work, and I need to force myself to make it a priority. Unfortunately, since it is such a big mess, I just don't want to deal with it so I mostly ignore financial issues. That is not good so I am evaluating some ways to improve my financial situation and trying to come up with a plan.

As I look at family issues, my priorities in those areas have really changed over the years. My family has always been my top priority, but as the years have passed, we've found different ways of meeting their needs. As the girls have gown into adulthood, they no longer needed Mom to be available quite as much as when they were younger, so I was able to start focusing more on my career and my education. However, now that the girls have left home, my husband and I are rediscovering each other. That's an area where I want to focus more attention-- on enjoying life with the man I love.

As far as my career goes, I'm in a real quandary right now. I have a day job as an HR Manager in the public sector, and want to continue to advance in that field. However I get more satisfaction and joy out of my night and weekend job of being a publisher. I really LOVE being the publisher of Swimming Kangaroo and wish I made enough money at it to quit the day job. But there is still an ambitious part of me that wants to be a major decision maker in an organization. Perhaps being the Publisher/Owner/CEO of Swimming Kangaroo will satisfy that need if we get big enough. Perhaps not. I just don't know for sure.

So what I'm trying to do is sort out the factors that I want in a job, the things I like to do and the things I am good at and combine them all into my perfect job. This requires a lot of introspection and a lot of just plain hard thinking. Once I figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I have to figure out how to achieve that. I need to be more active in networking organizations-- but first I need to figure out which organizations will help me get what I need.

Then there is my writing, which I've been trying to pick up again after taking several years off to focus on family/education/career. I have lots of ideas for books and stories I'd like to tell, but time is an issue. And I'm actually finding that I derive more satisfaction from publishing than I do from writing. So I have a major conflict that I am still trying to decide how to resolve.

Now the Values area is a broad area that includes such things as public service, volunteer service, personal growth and self improvement. I try to think before I talk, try to be nice to everyone. I don't really have time to volunteer, and I'm not much of a joiner but I feel like I would like to serve on an advisory board or commission. I want to make a contribution to the world and I have to figure out how best to do so in the limited time and resources I have available. I also have to decide where to focus my efforts because there are so many areas of need. I have to decide which areas speak to me-- and increasingly the areas I am focusing on are animal issues and church/state issues.

So my blueprint for the upcoming is to continue to work on my fitness goals, to get my finances in order and to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I'll check in with you next year and let you know where I stand on each area.

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