Have you ever felt like your life was just slipping through your fingers and you didn’t have a firm grasp on it? That was the way 2019 felt for me and I’m determined for next year to be different. Granted, we never know what each day will bring but you should at least feel in control and able to handle whatever is thrown your way. In this blog post, I’m going to provide some tips for regaining control of your life.
1. Identify what is causing you to lose control
It is helpful to try and work out what is causing you to feel you have lost control of your life, in order to get a handle on it again. For me, one of the major problems was my weight, which steadily crept on in 2019. By not being in a fit state, I was unable to operate Anita’s Garden in spring, which really upset me. Another major disappointment was not being able to compete in the Swim and Run Series during the summer, after discovering that ocean swimming was not for me in November. All winter I had steered my training in this direction and the realisation that I had wasted my time training towards something which I would not compete in, instead of working towards competing in the YMCA 10k series as I had done last year, made me feel very down.
2. Acknowledge that sometimes things don’t go according to plan
Instead of ruminating on events which were beyond your control and which you can’t change, acknowledge that life isn’t scripted and go exactly according to plan. We all need to learn how to cope with whatever is thrown our way. Sometimes, we need to make the best of a bad situation. An example in my own life is the Boxing Day Sales. Every year, I look forward to sales shopping and use the opportunity to stock up on gardening products for the garden, which are heavily discounted. This year, I was unable to do any sales shopping except for some gift vouchers and credit notes we had for a couple of doors, due to the fact that I had recently helped my mother to purchase a new washing machine. For awhile I felt down about not being able to take advantage of the discounts available to shoppers at this time of the year but the more I thought about it, the more determined I became to look at it like an opportunity. One of my goals for last year was to cut down on non-organic matter in the garden and move towards gardening organically. Not purchasing any new non-organic products marks a major step in this direction. Try and turn your negatives into positives to stay optimistic.
3. How to get back on track
Goal-setting is one of the sure fire ways to put your life back on track again. Some people call them new year’s resolutions, I just call them goals as they can be set at any time of the year. I have already set mine for 2020, as well as a separate set of fitness goals, which you can read about here. There’s no point setting goals without devising a methodology for achieving them. I find it helps to identify some concrete steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal, otherwise it can all become too daunting.
If like me, you set goals at the beginning of the year, it pays to re-visit them mid-way through the year. You might find that you have already accomplished some of them, which will make you feel good about yourself. You may find that you need to revise some of them or even that you have things on your list that you no longer wish to achieve for whatever reason. Don’t be afraid to set new goals. As mentioned above, goals can be set at any time of the year. I tried to embark on a new health and fitness journey two weeks before Christmas this year in an attempt to get back on track. Many people would think that Christmas is the worst time to start a diet but I say there’s no time quite like the present! If left to linger on, I would only weigh more by the time the new year rolled around, making it even more difficult for myself.
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To be honest, 2019 wasn’t a great year for me. I struggled with motivation to exercise and suffered from numerous injuries which put me out of action. I also re-gained weight after losing 26 kg last year. I’m really hoping that 2020 is better. To help prevent injuries, we are taking wwoofers more regularly to stay with us and help around the garden, which seems to be the root cause of all of my injuries.
Here is a list of my goals for next year.
I am aiming to forge a new career path for myself and ultimately generate my own income stream. This is a long term goal. I have a few ideas on how I am going to achieve this and will update you as things progress. I’m keen on developing Anita’s Garden and creating a bespoke gardening business. I already have my first project. I will be assisting my former boss who lives in London remotely, with his large garden. I’m keen to remain active during the New Zealand winter period and seeking projects in the Northern Hemisphere is one way to ensure that this happens. Before I take on paid work, though, I need to ensure that it is possible to help people remotely. As I assist him with his garden, I will provide reports on my blog.
In the Circle
I plan to continue developing In the Circle, my online lifestyle magazine in blog format. This encompasses Anita’s Garden, the original gardening blog which In the Circle grew from. If you would like to contribute to my blog or want me to feature you or a project, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I intend to maintain the garden that I currently have. I will be replacing one rose which died (the first rose I have lost since I started gardening in 2012)
Health and fitness
One of my main goals for 2020 (and indeed the coming decade) is to continue on my health and fitness journey. Despite its ups and downs, I’m in it for the long haul. This includes healthy eating and tracking my calorie intake with the app My Fitness Pal. For exercise, I intend to continue going to Les Mills Howick as it’s a great gym. I now see my personal trainer every six weeks for a programme update and weigh-in as it was too much seeing her once a week and weighing every week. I also plan to continue running and swimming, which are covered separately below.
I want to continue running, focussing on 10k. I hope to join the second half of the YMCA 10k Summer Series at the Auckland Domain. If I’m well (ie I don’t have a relapse) and I’m able to get a place, I’d love to do the Motutapu 10k off-road race in March, but we’ll see if I’m fit enough to handle it. My old boss at Bell Gully who used to be an avid runner as well told me that it’s tough. I’m a bit upset that I missed the first half of the YMCA 10k Summer Series, which began in October this year, but you can’t look back. I’d also like to enter the Sri Chinmoy 10k races held at the Auckland Domain during winter to keep me fit. I’m still chasing Maureen, one of the instructors at Les Mills Howick who also does them and hope to one day beat her!
I’d like to continue swimming recreationally at the local pools year round. My goal during summer is to go to the pools every day in the evening, if possible, for a 45 minute swim.
It’s hard to believe that not only is this year drawing to a close, but also the 2010s. I’m going to be turning 40 next year. Yikes! Here’s a summary of major life events during my 30s.
I’m quite proud of myself as I feel I have a lot to show for the past ten years. They were certainly not without their challenges. Here’s to another good ten years!