Monday, December 31, 2012

Thirty and Thriving

I'm going to take a bit of a break from belly dance this week and focus on goal-setting. If that's not your thing and you want to stop reading now, no sweat, just join me again in February, as I have a BIG interview currently in the works.

For those of you still reading, let's dig in!

I'm a big believer in goal-setting and I think the end of the year is the perfect season to buy out some time to reflect on how the last year went. It's a multi-day process for me that first starts out with reviewing and releasing the year that's just transpired.

Thirty and thriving. That was my theme for 2012. Each year I always pick a word or short phrase as my defining mantra for the year. For 2012, it was about starting out this new decade of my life with vibrance. Looking back, 2011 had been a year filled with external, measurable accomplishments.  In contrast, 2012 was about the internal. Sitting back and enjoying the culminating fruits of a number of years of hard work.

Reading through my goals I set in January 2012 compared to the actuality of the year, here are some highlights of how it all played out:

Professional & Personal Development - Twenty-twelve ended up being the year of certifications. I attended a week-long, Tamalyn Dallal belly dance retreat. A picture of me and the amazing group of ladies who attended the retreat is included above. At the end of the retreat, in addition to a wealth of new knowledge, I walked away with a new belly dance certification. I also got certified to scuba dive, which was a check off the bucket list. And finally, in pursuit of one of my life-long passion of holisitic health and wellness, I obtained my nutritionist certification.

Health - Speaking of nutrition, focusing on health was a big part of my year. I experimented with various eating regimes, including temporarily giving up alcohol and going gluten-free in the quest to improve my overall well-being and energy levels. In fact, my new year's resolution was to start a habit of actually taking a lunch break at work, which I now do more often than not. I also really focused on pushing myself in my workouts, which included making sure I competed in some type of athletic-based competition. In September, I ran the Athleta Iron Girl 5K and ended up finishing 44th of our 1,675 participants. Not too shabby for a non-runner! And probably most importantly, after having somewhat of a potential cancer scare from early diagnostics, I have been declared to be, at least currently, cancer-free.

Relationships - Being engaged, I had hoped to get married this year, but given a number of different factors, this has been postponed until next year. On the plus side, after waiting literally a year for the two bedroom apartment we wanted, it became available in December and we just moved in last weekend. I have to be honest and say I had some reservations about sharing my space after living alone for 7.5 years, but so far I'm just blissed out about it. Twenty-twelve was also a year for making some great new friendships, as well as reconnecting with old friends. Which I am so grateful for, as these really helped to fill some of the void left behind by severed family relationships stemming from religious differences. Most definitely a sad and low point for 2012 that required its own grieving process. But then sometimes true family isn't the family we are born into.

Finances - I knew that for 2012 I would have quite a bit of disposable income. And I also knew that in the near future I will have quite a few expenses (hello wedding and house down payment!), so I wanted to make sure that I was utilizing this reprieve from bills to stockpile for the future. In that light, I was able to save approximately 25% of my pay from my day job. I was also able to really grow my belly dancing business. My final numbers aren't quite in yet, but I'm projecting that I had a 190% increase in my belly dance revenue.

Vacation - The past three years have been big for vacations. Big as in Italy, Greece, and Egypt big. International travel wasn't in the cards this year, but instead I set the goal of going on a retreat. I ended up doing this in October when I attended a Kimberly Wilson yoga retreat in West Virginia, followed by a few days in NYC. For pictorial highlights, check out the blog post.

Overall, in going though this download, I'm feeling pretty content with 2012. The one goal that I had originally set out to accomplish that didn't occur, was write a book. In part because it was later replaced by the pursuit of my three new certifcations already discussed. So I'm at peace with that. But you better believe it's being recycled to 2013!

But enough about me. The point of sharing all of this publicly is hopefully to encourage readers to do their own goal review and planning. So your turn! How was 2012? What worked and what didn't? What are you ready to celebrate and what are you ready to shake off?

And stay tuned for the next post as I map out my 2013 goals. Happy New Year!

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