Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Year - Don't make resolutions just make plans.

Happy New Year everybody!  I hope the year so far, all eleven days of it, is treating you well.  Here in New Zealand we live a topsy turvy life according to our northern friends.  Of course, to us, it is the good folk in the north who lead the topsy turvy life.  So while the northern hemisphere is blanketed in snow or suffering icy blasts we are basking on beaches and enjoying barbecues.  Because Christmas and New Year fall in summer here this is the time schools close down for 6 weeks, it is when  most people takes their annual leave and when  families head off to do what New Zealanders love best, holidaying at the beach.

Beach fun for my grandchildren
My family and I have just spent a blissful week at a lovely beach north of Auckland, Matheson Bay.  We swam, played with the children, gorged on fresh oysters and drank wine, barbecued hearty steaks and sausages, played ball games, loafed, read and admired glorious sunsets.  In short had a perfect holiday.
My son's a happy chap with fresh oysters and beer
Now back home my thoughts have turned to plans for 2017.  Probably like most people I'm hopeless with new year resolutions.  I've usually forgotten what they were after about a week 😞 What really works for me is writing a list of things I want to achieve through the year in a book  and checking it on a monthly basis to see how I'm doing.  I have done this for the past nine years and find that every year I achieve most things on the list.  Things I don't achieve are forwarded on to the next year, sometimes there is nothing to forward, or one or two items at most.
Making plans

These are the headings I use:

TO DO: this is usually things like staining a fence or getting power sockets repaired, tidying out the workshop or painting rooms.  At this time of the year I walk around the house and make a note of what needs doing and write it in my book.  It is a great incentive to get on with the jobs.  I always note the date jobs are completed and if the year is marching on and jobs are still to be done you should see my flurry of activity towards the end of the year!  It's a badge of honour not to leave things.

TRAVEL: as an enthusiastic traveler I like to write down some goals for travel for the year.  I have to be realistic about this, though, because, you know, money! Sometimes I will just go away for a couple of days to explore a place close to home or even take an inexpensive day trip ( I need things to write about, after all!) I  am often surprised at how much I have done over the year.

MAINTAIN FITNESS:  I  have a regular fitness regime, walking, exercising and playing golf but writing it down and checking the book regularly keeps me on track.

MAINTAIN FRIENDSHIPS: as a widow living alone this is important and I work at this, not that I see it as work, fun more like.  I belong to a few groups and clubs, keep in touch with friends for meals and coffee, organise a dinner group and spend a lot of time with my family.

OTHER: these are the additional bits and pieces like writing this blog, minding the grandchildren on a regular basis, maintaining my garden, growing vegetables etc.

LEARN A NEW SKILL: each year I try to do something different. I have taken a photography course, a writing course, learnt how to use power tools, researched the family's genealogy and completed the family tree, to name a few.

VOLUNTARY WORK: I have been involved with a few groups for several years now.  I feel it is important to do my bit and give back.  

I'm sure you can think of other headings.  Give it a go, it is very satisfying to end the year with most goals achieved....and good luck!  I hope you have a happy and fulfilling 2017.
Glorious sunset from our holiday home