Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 - Year In Review

Another year has zipped past, and mostly we think about where it went, and how it happened so fast.  I love the end of each year, it is a time to take stock of what just happened, to dream about what is going to happen the following year, and then create a new action plan to achieve.

Business and Career Goals

2012 saw some bigger career goals start to unfold, it was a year of putting the right foot forward at the right time.  Although it is never just about a lucky year, but rather a sequence of years that have built the foundations for success.  I completed a couple of courses, one of them in my field and one a leadership course mandated by work.  The leadership course was more than a dud, but I did manage to meet a very exciting person who I have subsequently engaged as a personal business coach.  As the most introverted member of my department, I also managed to find the courage and present at the annual leadership conference to some 180 peers and senior executives.

Financial Goals

The financial goals this year were actually not a focus like years prior.  The emergency fund was maintained, superannuation goals achieved, mortgage goal achieved, incremental growth in the investment portfolio and most importantly a large increase in the net worth figure.  At this stage in the cycle, things are generally on auto pilot and ticking along with minimal intervention.  I am enjoying a more balanced approach with opportunities to explore travel options and continuing to landscape my property.  Financial Independence still feels like an eternity away, but I am still on the right track.

Health & Fitness

This year was another disappointing effort in this category.  Not for the want of trying, between work and an underlying auto immune disease the energy levels did not replenish sufficiently to be able to achieve all of my intended fitness sessions.  I have however sought out a new auto immune specialist to assist with some different strategies, which I suspect will involve changing diets.  But as with each year I understand the importance of looking after yourself, so I will continue with the same level of goals next year, but also reduce some of my lifestyle goals to free up some more time for fitness, in the hope that I feel well enough to do some.

Family Goals

Maddison's academic improvement plan was underway this year with much work on her confidence levels.  A child psychologist assisted along with her year 1 teacher and we made some definite progress.  Although she is still shy, she now takes herself from after school care down to the pool and does her swimming lessons all by her big self.  Her confidence in the water is amazing to see.  We had a false start in the athletics carnival, but scored our first ribbon in the first swimming carnival.

All of our weekend kid sessions were completed with a host of col activities such as barramundi fishing, deep sea fishing, farm stay, steam train ride, local show, movies, hiking, ten pin bowling and bike riding.

Our family dinner tradition on Sunday night's continued, and we cooked our way like Master Chef competitors through a stack of recipes with my sister and niece.  Our weekly grocery budget of $100 managed to come in at $85, however we did have $30 per week of dining out (A concept born in 2010, historical post to follow).  But then our our family numbers did change for 6 months of the year with an extra 2-3 around.

We managed a few weekends away to Mooloolaba, Fiji (managed to survive the cyclone) and the Gold Coast.

Personal Enjoyment Goals

Each year I have a top 5 list of "things" which are purchased without guilt.  For some it would be designed to reduce consumption, but for me it is to actually encourage me to spend some money.  I did purchase a delightful new digital camera which takes amazing shots, and both Maddison and I love it.  For the landscaping projects we bought a trailer for our ride on mower which means we can move more stuff with less effort, and a water pressure cleaner which is also fun when you are six.  We did have to replace the dishwasher and our cd player which were running repairs, but not essential household items.

The 2012 vision board was completed, and it is time to start the 2013 one.  I caught some movies, went to the AFL, and international soccer match and the Wallabies.  Concerts were for Delta and Roxette.  Cultural goals included Jersey Boys and my first comedian Kitty Flanagan.

Landscaping continued with the front lawns finished, retaining walls and fences for next phases in the pool over haul project.

Contributing to Others

I continued on with the Gratitude Journal concept that was started in 2007 with a daily top 5 things I am grateful for.  I also continued on with the theme of getting rid of 100 things in my ongoing efforts to have a more minimalist life.  This of course does not seem to fit well with the hoarding nature of children.  I did all of my random acts of kindness goals, and failed to even make a start on the electricity and water consumption concepts.  Perhaps due to some larger financial concerns such as tank and solar installation desires.

Personal Growth Goals

Speaking of tanks, this area certainly did!  I didn't actually do enough of the sub goals I had planned here, but I am going to cut myself some slack in that the Business and Careers Goals did take many steps forward in 2012, and it certainly was a year of personal growth.

Adventure & Holiday Goals

The list of 100 things to do had a couple more items ticked off.  A work trip to KL and India saw a visit to the Taj Mahal and an amazing visit to the KL Bird Park. 

I also got a swanky new tattoo of my "Balance" logo, and am now safely over any future desire to put ink on the skin.

So I know where the year went, it was a blast and I look forward to 2013.