Most of you will know that I like to make lists. And that I like to set myself goals for what I consider to be personal growth. Personal growth will mean many things, to many people. To me it simply means, did I learn something new, go somewhere different, or do something that I haven’t done before. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then, I have achieved some personal growth. Even if the item is just to go to a restaurant I have always wanted to try, I like the sense of personal achievement when I get there.
No, I know that I don’t need an actual list to achieve this. But for me, having a list allows me to keep focussed on what it was that I said to myself that I wanted to achieve at the start of each year. It is my way of keeping myself accountable to, well, myself. And, I just like the satisfaction I get from crossing it off my list.
Some of the items are recurring, and have been for many years. The one item that is not actually on the list, but never leaves me, is the one where I tell myself this is the last year that I work in a corporate environment. Over the years I have become the “accidental project manager”. Without consciously choosing a career path, I have fallen into what I do now. I think I do it well, but that doesn’t mean it fills my soul with joy. Which has left the frustrated writer and traveller deep within me having to comply with the norms of working for large corporations. How, and when I will ever escape isn’t known to me. Yet. Until that time, I will continue setting myself goals to make sure I am filling the rest of my life, and my soul, with things that make me happy.
Here is what I wrote at the start of 2017:
- Do a yoga class – result: I didn’t get to do yoga, but did start doing reformer pilates, something I hadn’t even heard of at the start of the year. Reformer pilates classes last for 1 hour, and isolate parts of your body in slow, controlled exercises. Who knew it could be so effective? So much so that I have already pre-purchased classes for the month of January.
- See lots of Italy – result: I did see lots of Italy. I wrote this knowing we would be going on holiday to Italy, and we took 3 weeks to travel the length and breadth of that beautiful country. Along the way I brushed up on my rudimentary Italian, and tried quite a few Aperol Spritzs. Whilst in Rome we were lucky enough to be able to eat at Aroma restaurant, which overlooks the Colosseum. We had the perfect table, champagne (I am still scratching my head over the price), and fabulous food.
- Do a surf lesson – result: I didn’t get around to this so it will be carried over to 2018. What we did do was more stand up paddle boarding. Even if most of mine was kneel down paddle boarding. On a beautiful stretch of the coastline, in Rockingham, Western Australia, we hired a couple of boards and had a great hour paddling around.
- Drive from Perth to Broome – result: Due to realising that driving north would result in us slowly cooking like xmas turkeys in the campervan, we changed our route and went south from Perth, which was a lot cooler in the evenings. Along the way we discovered what I would confidently say are the best beaches in Australia. I also found the best fish and chips in Australia, but that will be part of another blog.
- Visit Margaret River in Western Australia – result: We did. This was included simply on the basis that we love tasting wine and visiting new wine regions. Margaret River has a great reputation for it’s wine. I can confirm that the wines are excellent. And I tasted (drank) a lot so feel confident in my assertion. Whilst in that part of the world we even got to another new wine region, the Swan Valley, just 30 minutes north of Perth. I won’t tell you how much wine we bought as a result of all our wine tasting, but needless to say we have had to sell all our furniture to fit it in the apartment.
- Learn basic Italian – result: I did, for the holiday. And through the 3 weeks there, managed to pick up even more.
- One thing that wasn’t on my list, as I didn’t plan it myself, was a hot air balloon ride. Something I have wanted to do for many years, since watching my Dad go off in one for his 60th birthday. A recent Saturday morning saw us meeting up with Balloon Aloft in Mudgee, at 3.45am, for a sun rise flight, followed by a champagne breakfast. All I can say is a big thank you, you know who you are.
I signed off the year another year older, and happy in the knowledge that I had managed to achieve most of what I set out to achieve, apart from the job. That remains a work in progress.
Now onto the list for 2018. What would be on yours?