January 15, 2012
So it looks like 2012 could be a pretty interesting year. Apparently there is a good chance that the world may drastically transform or even go down all together in December. While that sounds all exciting and is probably a once in your life time event to watch, it still leaves more than 11 months to make it one of the best years of our lives. And in case we survive the apocalypse, we can live happily ever after afterwards.
Interestingly enough, the United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. It has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Just another reason for me to work extra hard this year and help reducing Maryland’s carbon footprint.
Other than that 2012 is probably gonna be as busy and exciting as any other year. We will visit Germany in May, renovate our entire basement this spring (granted that I can find back into home renovation mode, I feel like last year’s efforts depleted my motivation completely), and Milo will start preschool in fall. We will be able to hire a house cleaner and pay off our car. And of course, we will keep you in the loop about everything on this very blog. I am not sure if I will be able to keep up the weekly post, but might just check in with a few smaller reports here and there.
What is your plan for 2012?
December 27, 2011
When I was in high school I had this thing going with a few friends when we would each write down our goals for the next year and at the end of the year sit together and see how far we got to accomplish them. Then for some reason I abandoned that tradition for a few years. Then I picked it up again for a few years in university just doing it for myself. Then I sort of forgot about it again. Until my boss came up with the same idea in summer this year and made all employees fill out a goal sheet for themselves (that we then shared with each other, cause we’re friends like that).
Surprisingly some of my most productive years were those when no official goal review was taking place, but it is still nice to have it all written down and official – makes you feel so much more accomplished when you can actually check things off a list. You know, like checking chores off a chore list instead of just randomly vacuuming and not receive the slightest reward (other than clean floors). And it’s also interesting to see how much of the goals actually became true or which ones got kicked off the priority list throughout the year and got replaced by others. Sometimes you find yourself not looking at the list all year and in December you realized that you have actually worked towards them all year. Sometimes you might want to pull out the list when you need to orient yourself or need another kick in the butt. I guess this kind of goal review is the same thing that some people call New Year’s Resolutions, but those have the connotation of being unrealistic and abandoned somewhere mid March. So let’s stick with goals and get them done.
The categories on our company provided goal sheet were: Career, financial, family, health, spiritual, personal development, big rocks. But really, any categorization or just a random unorganized list will work. These categories just help you think of all the areas where you might want to set goals. So let’s take a quick look at this year’s result for Nicola Tran. I don’t want to bore you with all the details, so here is just a quick summary:
Physical / Health goals:
Epic fail! I did not do 100 sit-ups every day, go to exercise once per week, take a dance class in fall, nor sleep 8 hours every night. Of course I have great excuses for all of those items and some are not completely in my hand. Admittedly this category was not one of my biggest priorities this year, especially since I am generally pretty healthy anyway. But for it to stay this way, I should really gear up and get my butt moving. The biggest problem is that I have not found a class that really excites me or where there are cool people I can connect with. I have never been a sport fanatic that works out just to work out. For me it is about socializing and having fun. Finding a sport that really motivates me is gonna be one of the big goals for 2012.
All other areas
of life have been going really well this year. We found an awesome house that we are slowly but surely making a home for our family memories. It also brought back some creativity into my life and decorating it gave me a hobby that I spend all my free time on. Now if only it was a hobby that I could enjoy together with others that would be awesome. But at least it gave me a good reason to revive our blog and practice my writing skills.Another great side effect that came with the house was moving into a real nice community with great neighbors and lots of kids. This is what I have always wanted and am so grateful that Milo has the opportunity to grow up here.
At work it has been going really well this year too. First off, this was the first year I have worked completely full time with no maternity break, only nine vacation days taken, and I still enjoy working. We landed a new contract with a local utility company that allows to install energy saving items in homes at no charge to the customers. It’s a really nice program that benefits the residents, property owners, the environment, and of course our company. Somehow I became the manager of this program and it’s a really diverse and fun job. We are growing rapidly these days and are adding more and more cool people to the team. My coworkers/bosses are some of my best friends and always there for me. Which is probably why they gave me an incredible raise at the end of this year that exceeds all my financial goals and will make our next year way more comfortable financially. Buying a house had a big impact on our finances, but we managed to scrambled through this year and I am excited looking at next year’s monthly budget with so many more possibilities.
Said raise will also enable me to fulfill my big rock on the goal list. This category is for something big that you always wanted and does not necessarily fit in any of the other categories. Since we moved into this big house my big rock has become to hire a house cleaner. I just spend so much time keeping this house clean that takes away from the few free / family hours we have. Freeing that time up and still having a clean house has become my number one dream this year and will be fulfilled beginning next year. Yay!
Happy new year everyone!