2018 in review and 2019 plan

Time for my annual review of the previous year and a look ahead for 2019.  I made some changes in my goals in 2018 around the end of August so I am focusing on reviewing those rather than the ones I started off the year with.

Health matters: Know your superpowers and focus on feeling good

So I began September feeling very confident about this goal.  I had taken stock of my health, acknowledged some issues, reminded myself that I needed to focus on using the techniques to manage my conditions better, came off my medications, set up some physical therapy, had good body maintenance, and then…work went kabloo-ey.  And by kabloo-ey I mean I agreed to take on something I should not have, worked all hours to make sure it happened on schedule, and in the middle of everything my boss decided it was time to retire; I ended up off sick for three weeks.

Needless to say, the end of the year was not a successful outcome for this goal.  My health is still a little shaky – a lot of physical pain, I’ve put some weight back on and I’m stressed.  The problem is I say my health comes first but it doesn’t.  That has to stop.

Although, weirdly I have just noticed in my 50 plan (the plan mapping out the next five years to my turning the big 50), my first strategy for the future is financial not health.  Clearly, that’s more of an indication of my thinking because I always place financial security (which doing my job well is a factor) ahead of anything else.  Security is my priority.

Hmmm.  I definitely need to think about this differently in that context.  After all I won’t have security if my health becomes so bad I can’t work at all…OK.  So health is part of my security.  I need to start thinking that.

Overall though the strategies of making myself feel good about myself through better diet, weight management, and body maintenance; using my techniques to rest, get better sleep, control my pain and renew my energy levels are valid.  I just need to commit to them as a lifestyle choice and stop allowing myself to backslide when other parts of my life become challenging.

So…renewed effort in 2019: Know my weapons and feel good.

Money makes the world go round

Financial security is important and I do need to think about how my work plays into things.

As mentioned above things changed at the end of the year work-wise with my boss retiring, a new interim Director being appointed but then a line change into Planning.

It’s been frustrating.  And stressful.

I need to lead and manage my team through the change while dealing with the irritations and frustrations of the change myself.  I need to look seriously at how I’m going to manage myself through this and what I want from my own role and job over the next 12-18 months.  Whether my plan to stay at the University for the next 5 years is viable – not only professionally in what I enjoy doing, but also personally in respect of my health.

Essentially I’ve also realised in the last three months that I hate sticking to a budget.  Which I need to change if I’m going to complete the goal to be mortgage free by the time I am 50.  But then, I want to enjoy life and enjoy time with friends and family so I don’t want to give up on that.

A couple of things in 2019: establish a short and medium term plan for financial sustainability to enable me to do what I want to do, and secondly, be sensible about my money without being a Scrooge.  The overall strategy for recognising money makes the world go round doesn’t change.

Family and friends who matter; be the best I can be

I have prioritised family in the last month with Dad home and it being the holidays.  Prior to that I had to cancel a couple of friend engagements and with my health a little screwy it is time with family and friends which suffers.

Still, I’m not unhappy with the year of 2018 overall with this.  I think I have made more of an effort; have achieved time with friends and family as much as I have been able to do so.

This continues to be a focus for 2019 and again the fundamental strategies of spending time with the people who matter and doing the best I can in respect of my health both still apply.

Choice not chore

I really do like the University but as mentioned above, I need to ensure my professional life there is a choice and not a chore and to ensure I look forward to coming into work.

My long term plan of getting the doctorate, etc. fell to the wayside in the face of increased work pressure and worsening health – something had to give.  I deferred my Masters in Psychology.  In retrospect, I’m not sure this is where I want my career to go – I want the doctorate for vanity more than a career in truth.

I do need to think about improving my professional choices in the first quarter of the year – and consider my enjoyment is as important as the security that I put first in everything.

Writing did not happen in the last few months and it was sporadic before that.  I need to make time for this and find my groove again.

2019 is therefore going to focus on choice not chore and work to live as my core mantras here.

Overall, I think 2018 was successful: I did a good job at work, I spent time with friends and family, I did get my finances organised and I have thought about the next five years.  My health is the wobbly factor and sinking sand foundation though and I need to really focus and prioritise on getting this sorted – understanding what that means for every other part of my life.

I’m going to look forward to 2019 now and make the changes I need to make. Happy New Year.

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