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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Did IT!

I finally did it! After years of trying…

I figured out how to infiltrate the Good Ol’ Boys Club.
LOL. Don’t you just love this winter hat? I never know what’s going to come in the mail.

But I was fully convinced after the BeerMos arrived along with this hat, my husband has too much time on his hands at work.

Or in this case, a TeaMo.

Why a BeerMo? I say, why not? Let's face it... Who doesn't want a nice, full stache for the next big office party?

But all joking aside, January is the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the last year.

I used to approach New Year’s Resolutions by creating goals to address the areas in my life where I felt I was lacking.
1. I’ll spend my money wisely.
2. I’ll lose weight.
3. I’ll exercise more.
4. I’ll stop eating fast food.

The biggest problems with these resolutions are they can’t really be measured, and they don’t allow any room to be human. Besides, looking at my perceived flaws was a downer, and it was even more depressing when I broke one of my resolutions.

It wasn’t until I started working for my current employer that I began to look at things differently. Part of our evaluation and raise process involves a self-evaluation which begins with listing all the things we accomplished over the last year. Were we involved in a task force to improve communication? Did we complete all of our continuing education? Did we take on additional responsibilities? I always find I have trouble remembering what I did at first, but once I start reflecting on the year, many things come back to me. It’s a great feeling reading over the list of things I did well or new challenges I took on.

After reviewing our accomplishments, we are asked to look at what goals we have for the coming year. This seems like such a better system, because it helps me to be specific about what I want to do with my year, and it puts me in a better frame of mind.

Here are just a few things I feel went well this year:
* I met all of my deadlines for my publisher.
* I joined Goodreads and learned a little more about it.
* I met some really great people on Twitter and Facebook.
* I attended RWA in New York.
* I wrote a short story that I love for a Christmas anthology.
* We had all of the kids’ school supplies two weeks before school started.
* We had black pants ready for our son’s orchestra concert. (No running out same day to buy a pair.)
* I saved up all year for Christmas presents, so it wasn’t a financial strain.
* I baked Christmas cookies with my daughter.
* I took time off from writing to spend quality time with my family during the holidays.
* I bought a planner three weeks before the New Year, which I need for work. I use my iPhone for family stuff.
* Everyone in the family has been vaccinated against the flu.
* I regularly attend pilates reformer classes and my shoulder pain is gone!!!
* Skyped with my high school girlfriends and reconnected with them.

These may seem like small things, but they have made my life easier and/or more enjoyable over the last year. And it’s because of these small accomplishments that I’m feeling more confident about 2012 and the bigger challenges that lay ahead. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Samantha, Lady Whimsy

What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions? What are some things that went well for you this year?


  1. Samantha ~ As a rule, I don't like to do resolutions. They just don't speak to me the way they do other people. (And all you ever hear about is people talking about breaking them. If someone has made a NY resolution to do something or not do something and kept that goal the entire year, I would love to hear that story.)

    I do reflect, however. In a lot of ways 2011 was a fantastic year. It was so good, in fact, I'm a little worried that 2012 won't live up to my expectations. But, I'm making plans to hopefully make this upcoming year a wonderful one.

  2. Ava,

    We think a lot alike. I don't make resolutions either, but I do have things in mind I'd like to do. I try to make them realistic things, too.

  3. I am not a resolution person any longer. Well, I did make one this year - to keep the house clutter free. It is going great so far. I wonder if it has anything to do with my kids being gone for a week, hmmmmm. My 2011 exceeded all expectations. In fact, I accomplished things I wasn't even thinking about at the start of the year. I've already sat down with my planner with what I want to accomplish this year. This helped me a lot the second half of last year. With goals set for each month I stay better focused.

  4. Jane,

    I'm a goal setter, too. Most tend to be short term, like "what's my goal for today?" Well, I need to finish up my revisions and complete research for the first blog on my virtual tour coming up in Feb. I guess I better get busy!

    Hoping for a great year for you and Ava. :)

  5. I'm totally impressed with the black pants for the orchestra. That is the sort of thing that totally messes me up. Sometimes if feels like I'm juggling so many balls, and then something small like that comes along and woosh! They all hit the ground!

    I love the idea of reflecting on everything that went well! And planning for things to work toward. Way better than generic resolutions!

  6. Samantha,
    I don't make resolutions, but I do reflect over the past year and think about my goals for the next year. I love your attitude about considering what things have gone right for the year. I'm going to try this!

  7. Thanks, Deb! I think only another parent realizes what an accomplishment it is to have a pair of black pants at the ready. LOL

    Best wishes for the new year. :)

  8. Julie,

    I bet you have a long list once you start thinking about it.

    Here's to the best year yet!

  9. This is a great way to evaluate the year! Thanks for a timely and thought provoking post. :)

  10. Samantha! I love the idea of reflecting on what went right through the year! It's brilliant. I do make NY's resolutions but I take it a step further and have detailed it so that I know exactly what steps I need to make it work.
    For instance my NY's resolution is to get more organized in my real life (and not just my writing life.) I know where everything is that deals with my writing. I want my real life to be as manageable.

    So I broke it down: I need to get a dry erase board for my to-do list and place it above my desk on the wall. I have one for my writing that I check every day so I feel like glancing next to it will remind me what I else I need to do that day for the house and family.

    I need to get some baskets and shelving to organize my closets. (This will be a summer or spring project as I'm saving the money to buy these now) but hopefully by this time next year I'll have a very organized closet.

    I'm currently doing research on an easier way to organize my paperwork other than tossing it in a file cabinet. Any ideas -- feel free to toss them at me.

    I have too many things to list but I have also made a list of things I'd like to buy this year and I think getting one thing at a time and crossing it out will help me budget better. I have goals and can see them on paper so therefore I feel like I'm getting more organized already.

    Of course, this could go to pieces on me but we'll see how I do this year. Great post and exactly what I needed at this point in my life as I’m trying to put my life back together after this big move we made. Good luck with your goals this year! Here’s to making it work!

  11. I set goals but rarely look back at whether they were met. I think I'll fix that!

  12. Lily,
    This approach has really helped me to feel ready for a new year. :)

    I love how practical you are in your planning. I think that is a key element to success. I have no doubts you will reach all the goals you set for yourself this year.

    You definitely need to look back and celebrate your wins! Happy New Year!

  13. LOL, Samantha--Black pants that fit! There's the rub. At our house, when something like that comes up, we might have black pants too big or too small, but still have to scramble to find just what we need!