(image courtesy of Sean Seah)
I have been doing a LOT of reading of other peoples blogs lately . . . (I love blogs, aren't blogs great!! So many blogs for many different things, ideas, concepts, etc). There seems to be a common thread in blogs around this time of year, and that is goals! Goals for life, for work, for family, goals for crafting, studying, and sport, goals for love, friends, and socialising, so many goals, seemingly so much time (is it just me, but does time really do speed up the older you get???).
So I have been thinking about what I want in my life this year, and perhaps, forever more. You see, I have mentioned before that I don't do resolutions. New years resolutions appear to be so rigid, so dry and uncompromising. To be resolute is to be unbendable, and in your life you have to be "bendable" right? So for me its all about goals and the journey to that goal. Because a goal is about setting a point of change to strive for, whether it takes you a few weeks or a few years. A goal is about what you learn along the way to the finish point, what helps to stretch you out of your comfort zone in a flexible way. SO, what are my goals for this year????
1. Grow my business - flexible goal much!!! Yes, very flexible, but that is the point. My speaking business is still in its infancy, but I am learning everyday about how to improve, how to expand my understanding of business and marketing. So when I say grow my business, I want to get to the end of 2013 and be able to tangibly "see" the growth that has taken place, whether that be through finances, networking, products available, services provided.
2. Minimise and Simplify - get rid of the garbage, you know? That detritus of life that weighs you down, holds you back, and exhausts you. This goal is all about streamlining my life, making it more about being happy and joyful in everything I do, making my life less materialistic and more about experience. I am currently in the midst of activating this goal, I am "Spring Cleaning" my flat, my office, and my mind.
3. Revitalise my Health - As you may have read earlier in my blog I went swimming the other week for the first time in, like, forever!! It was during this swimming session that I realised just how unfit I had become. I admit, I felt ashamed . . . here I was, a former Paralympic swimmer and I could barely swim 50m non-stop. I need to get my fitness and health sorted. I am starting to focus on nutritious foods v empty calorie foods. What I am putting in my mouth is considered deeply, every meal time, every day. I am also challenging myself to do a physical activity at least once a day, whether this be swimming, pilates, yoga, a walk, etc. I want to feel STRONG again.
All of these are good goals . . . and in these rather grand, general goals there are lot's of little goals, that when achieved help to build the big picture. So here's a reminder for you - remember the big picture!! Remember that each little effort builds to create the life that you want! So whether it's the marks to get into uni, that promotion at work, or even bringing new life into the world, nurture those little efforts, and the big picture will work itself out.
Here are some blogs that have inspired me:
- Scoutie Girl
- Create As Folk
Do you get scared sometimes? About silly things, useless things, things you've done before? It's an irrational fear isn't it? Well, I met my irrational fear head on today . . . and it was a fear I didn't even realised I had!
What was I scared of?
Yep, you read that right. No need to rub your eyes and do a double take. I, a former Paralympic Swimming Medallist was holding onto an irrational fear of doing what I used to do the best. And there's the clue peeps - what I used to do the best.
Let me describe the moment I slipped into the water this morning - 'sitting on the edge of the pool, my left leg swishing through the water, I slowly slipped in . . . The water enveloped my body, even my head, and for a moment as I sunk to the bottom an irrational fear took over. Can I still swim? What about floating, will I still float? Can I still do tumble turns? Or dive? What if, after ten years of no swimming I have completely forgotten how to be a competent, good swimmer?????'
There's that FEAR.
Did I let that fear, those doubts, that crazy thought train take me out of the water, back into my jeans and jumper and out of the pool complex?
Instead I let myself remember the joy I had for swimming, the fun, and the passion. AND I accepted that I wasn't going to be the swimmer I was ten years ago!!! I am not an elite athlete now and I shouldn't put the expectation on myself that I can still swim like I used to.
So I took that remembered joy and I swam. This morning I swam; I swam front crawl and back stroke, I swam butterfly . . . for about two seconds! I kicked and splashed and had a WHALE of a time (pun intended). My main point is I had fun.
Fear will often take your joy and fun, it will take your will and drive, it will take your self belief and turn it upside down and inside out. Don't let the fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment or the fear of your abilities prevent you from being strong and joyful in "being" again. For me, this morning wasn't about going fast or strong, it wasn't about beating the man in the lane next to me, or being the centre of attention, it was about having fun and remembering how it is to "be" a swimmer.
So trust yourself, trust your ability, even if it's a new activity or an old activity you are revisiting. AND above all, remember to always be joyful, to have fun, to "be" in the moment, to LIVE.
(image courtesy of Angela Lumsden)