In these busy times we live in, it is helpful to pause at certain key points during the year and reflect on where you are headed and how far you have come. The start of a new year offers you the opportunity to start anew, to reevaluate your direction in life, and to provide yourself with some new challenges and, perhaps, rekindle some lost dreams.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of all that you have accomplished and to look forward and envision ways you would like to grow personally and professionally.
Without taking the time to get quiet and really think through, and document, where you have been it is very easy to overlook the wonderful steps forward you have made and only look towards the future at what is left to overcome.
Believe me, I know! When something great happens in my life, I am thrilled about it for an hour or two (at most) and then I am immediately looking at all the rest of the things I still want to get done or are not how I wish them to be.
So I am heeding my own advice and including a list of accomplishments for 2011 – not to impress you my dear reader – but to remind myself of what is possible with some perseverance, the ability to look fear in the eye and keep moving, and an amazing support system.
I read a quote today from a blogger I have been following much of this past year, Scott Dinsmore, that I just love.
Most people overestimate what they can do in one day but underestimate what they can do in a year.
That is so true! Each day I have a list of tasks to accomplish that I never get done. And each day I am frustrated with myself for not checking off as much as I had planned. And yet…when I look back on the entire 12 months of 2011, it surprises me what I have actually completed.
Accomplishments for 2011
- Made a major career change from IT professional to small business owner and personal chef (which I talk about more here and here)
- Taught cooking classes at a kitchen store, the local farmer’s market, and a local library
- Received press coverage in four newspapers
- Started a blog and created nearly 90 posts
- Met author and food activist Robyn O’Brien who inspired my Do One Thing series
- Created a Facebook page and acquired 208 wonderful fans
- Create a monthly email newsletter filled with recipes, tips, and advice and now have 138 subscribers
- Went to many networking events, small and large, despite my fear of walking into a room full of strangers and connected with many amazing people including the women from Philly Social Media Moms, Girls Lunch Out and NAWBO.
- Began work on a 3-part seminar series with my friend and professional organizer, Barbara Berman, called “From Chaos to Cooking” scheduled for release in early 2012. Stay tuned!
So what’s on the horizon for 2012?
At the beginning of the new year, everyone likes to create new resolutions….
“Starting now I am never drinking coffee again.”
“Today is my last day of overspending.”
“This year I am going to start running.”
Sounds familiar, right? And then January 3rd comes along and we have already fallen off the wagon. We’re back drinking coffee. We never made it off the couch to go for a run because it was too cold outside. We just had to buy that new iPad because, well, it’s cool. Oh well…so much for our resolutions.
Resolving to do something over the course of the next year assumes that it must get down regardless of changing circumstances, wavering interest, or other priorities. Resolutions are often vague, unrealistic and require multiple changes in lifestyle at once.
So instead of coming up with a list of things I want to give up or start doing, I like to think of this time as an opportunity to dream, to shut off the noise of the TV, email, day to day activities and just think about where I would like to go in the future.
It has been said that to improve the odds of getting where you want to go, you need to envision it.
So here’s what I am envisioning for 2012:
#1 A diet with much less meat
As I talked about in a previous “Do One Thing” post, I am starting to feel the desire to reduce my meat consumption again. I used to be a vegetarian many years ago and went back to eating it again while pregnant with my daughter. However, lately, I have begun to learn much more about our current methods for raising animals for meat production and the many wonderful vegan recipes and products now available and I want to start making the switch. Or at least to significantly reduce the amount of meat I eat.
#2 Improving my online network
This past year I met so many wonderful local business people, bloggers, and social media strategists who have been so helpful in spreading the word about my local personal chef services. In 2012, I would like to expand my circle by reaching out to those in the online world that have inspired me.
#3 Time to create a new online business
While I thoroughly enjoy cooking for my personal chef clients and coming up with healthy and delicious options for them, I am very interested in helping more people with getting back around the dinner table eating fresh, organic, affordable meals – people that may not be able to hire a personal chef to come into their home. I want to help people to become comfortable with cooking, to learn more about the importance of whole foods, and to make it easy and affordable to prepare dinners night after night.
This next year, I want to start crystallizing my thoughts and making some forward movement on this idea which will include creating a course, “From Chaos to Cooking”, which will address the barriers to cooking healthy meals.
You can help! Send me your thoughts on what obstacles you face in eating healthier. What prevents you from getting dinner on the table and resorting to restaurants, processed foods and takeout instead? What things have you tried that just haven’t worked and why? Feel free to leave me comments below or on Facebook or contact me directly.
So what surprises you when you look at what you accomplished in 2011? What do you have your sights on for 2012?
Wishing you a very happy and delicious New Year!