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winter wonderlandbeach

So apparently it took me about as long to recover from NaBloPoMo as it did to complete it. Now that I’ve also recovered from the holiday festivities and travels, I hope to be back here on a regular basis. Whatever that may sort out to be.

I hope you were able to take some time to rest and reflect these past few weeks. I was lucky to visit with friends and family and enjoy beautiful scenery on both the east and west coasts (dubbed “Winter Wonderland” and “Secret Beach”). As I usually do this time of year, I spent time reflecting, looking back, looking ahead, and making lists. I do love to make a list. I don’t like to make New Years Resolutions, per-say, but I do like to regroup and refresh my “Action Plan” for the year. This is a technique I picked up at one of my first jobs out of college. Although at the time I thought it was lame and awfully rigid for them to force us to create these plans, I’ve learned to adjust my thinking and make it work for me and now I really enjoy this process. I’ve even enlisted Mike and we do this planning process together every year. Then throughout the year we check in on our “Action Plan” and see how we’re doing, what things can be crossed off, edited or updated, and what things we want to refocus on or bring to the front for the next few months. I’ve learned that I can focus on a few extra things at a time, but if I try to do too many things, it doesn’t work.

Take blog posting, for example. I am capable of posting every day, but that means other things get pushed aside. So I can choose to post every day and make it my focus for a time, but then eventually other things will rise to the top of the list out of necessity or desire, and the daily posts fall by the wayside. And that’s okay because I’m addressing a new interest.

Throughout all of the lists, tasks, ideas and activities for the year, we like to have a bit of an overarching theme. Last year we focused on family and friends, making sure to prioritize visiting people and social activities throughout the year. This year, although not neglecting family and friends ;), I’ve decided to concentrate on reading and learning. I read a lot through online sources – news, blogs, websites and magazines, but find that I seldom finish a book because of all of these other distractions filling my limited available time. So I’m going to try to focus on reading books, alternating between fiction and non-fiction. To keep things unstructured and attainable, I’m not giving myself a specific list of books or quantity of books, but am just going to try to adhere to this idea of reading more books. This is also in line with what I’ve been reading and reflecting on lately related to de-cluttering, downsizing, focusing, clearing and calming your mind, and creating more time for self.

I hope you have some goals or themes for 2015 that you’re excited about, I’d love to hear what they are. And please share book suggestions for my reading year!

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