I am going to start my 2015 review, by reflecting on my 2014 review. At the end of last year, I was as close to burnout as I have come. And while I didn’t necessarily articulate in my end of year review post, I did state this:
From 2014 – Moving forward
The importance of an annual review like this, isn’t to give myself a hard time about what I didn’t achieve or a pat on the back for what I did achieve. It is about helping me determine what I want for the next year.
Looking over this review the things that make me most happy are:
- Achieving family harmony
- Spending time with good friends, including my beautiful husband and sisters
- Helping other mothers
- Running long distance
My list for 2014 was too long and at times I struggled with it. I go into 2015 knowing that I have in my mind a list as long, if not longer than 2014 of things I would like to achieve. But I also go into 2015 knowing that a long list can spread myself too thin and not allow me to focus on the things that mean the most to me.
My list for 2015 will be shorter. My want to do “all of the things” will not have diminished, but through a more defined set of goals, I will try to reign in my tendency to overload myself.
From 2015 – the one thing
I have made it to the end of 2015 in a much better place than I was this time last year and I believe the main reason for this was having one core goal to focus on through out the year. You can read how I went about setting my goal in this post here. While there is always room for improvement, I will use a similar process to create my goal for 2016, because for me having a sinlge focus provided me with both an anchor and rudder through out the year.
My goal for 2015 was:
Underneath it I created strategies to help me achieve it, but they were very much a secondary factor. Faced with decisions and dilemmas on how to allocate my time, I would come back to my goal of being a planned, patient and present mother and I would, most of the time, make the choice that would best help me achieve this goal.
Each month I reviewed my progress and you can see these posts here. The most important of these reviews to me was last month’s, where I asked the kids for feedback. I certainly didn’t get an A+, but there was definite improvement from 2014 and most importantly the kids noted they could see I was really trying.
Here is how I think I fared against the strategies I set out for myself:
|Strategies to achieve my one thing in 2015||Performance|
|Be in bed before 10pm each night||If I am tired, I lose my patience and when very tired I tend to vague out and am not fully present with the kids.||The best year for many years in terms of sleep. Regularly in bed at 10pm. Very early mornings though so still need to keep an eye on this one, in particular as it impacts so much on recovery from the exercise I do.
|Eat and a varied wholefood diet||I need to eat well to maintain my health and energy levels.||I am still a creature of habit and would regularly have the same breakfast and lunch for days on end. I am not sure this is a huge issue though. My lunches were still healthy and it did really help to have to make less decisions when trying to think about different meals for lunch,
|Maintian a regular fitness and exercise routine||Exercising is where I get some time on my own and this helps me come back to the family feeling mentally refreshed.||I have no issue sticking to a training plan or hitting my regular CrossFit classes, but I need to work on listening to my body a little more and making sure I am scheduling in adequate recovery.
|Practice gratitude daily||I want to work on improving my overall attitude as this affects how I interact with the kids. I have much to be grateful and need to remind myself of this.||This was a game changer for me this year. For so long I thought of gratitude as a bit "woo woo" and couldn't understand how it could make a difference, but it truly does and I highly recommend it to everyone. You can read more about my thoughts on gratitude in this post Monthly review – practising gratitude
|Pause and think before I speak||I talk fast and a lot. Sometimes less would be better and more thought put into my words so they have a positive impact on my kids.||This strategy and the next are where I need to work harder. So many times I said things then wished I had either said something different to the kids or not said anything at all.
|Make only positive statements (no complaining)||Towards the end of 2014 I found I was complaining a lot. I want to turn that around. This doesn't mean I accept poor behaviour or mess or have to love everything my kids do, but I need to find better ways to express how I feel about it.||While I certainly wasn't complaining as much as I did in 2014, I did still complain too much in 2015. I am disappointed with how I went with this.
|Expect good things from my children||You find what you look for. If I am waiting for my kids to do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing, then that is most likely what I will find. While they will never be perfect, I need to not be focusing on their mistakes and misdemeanours.||I had a much stronger second half of the year with regard to this and I think I have turned the corner on changing my mindset with the kids. It is something I will always have to be mindful of though.
Separate to my achievements related to my goal for 2015, there were some great things that happened in the year:
- I worked significantly less hours this year, which allowed me more time with the family.
- I ran the Boston Marathon.
- I visited New York City for the first time.
- Kikki.k included my book in their new book section at their brand new concept store.
- The Planning With Kids facebook page now has over 85k followers.
- The Planning With Kids blog had over 1.2 million unique visitors for 2015. Thank you so much for reading!
- All five kids had a great year at school and I could see personal growth in all of them.
- Mr I left a job he had been in for many years and commenced work at a start up which he is loving.
What is in store for 2016?
I will be posting my goal for 2016 soon. I always like to conduct my annual review first before determining my goal for the new year. In early December the general theme for my goal came to me and as I put together this review and the review from the kids on how I performed the following stood out:
- I am happier and calmer (a better mother) when I am not rushing from one thing to another.
- I was able to work less hours but still produce high quality and the appropriate quantity of work – I work well with deadlines and without them can spend way too much time on tasks.
- Slowing down in one capacity, that is work, has a positive impact on other areas of my life.
- The urge to speed up is something I have to manage. I need to learn to rest and recover more.
- As much as I love routine, I also love variety.
These will be key factors I will take into consideration as I create my goal for 2016.