Looking back, moving forward

So, ahem. Yes, absent all of December.  I have no excuse.

Looking Back:

1. Get healthy (pretty much the priority if I’m going to achieve the rest) – VERY RED

I’m not well at all but functioning which is the main thing.  Hopefully my health can only improve in 2011.

2. Spend time with friends and family – GREEN

Very green in fact.  Still in contact with lots of people which is great and had THE most fabulous trip to Kendal for lunch with an old friend even if I did almost get hypothermia on the train on the way home.

3. Set-up the Coaching business – AMBER

Still AMBER although moving to GREEN.  I have done some networking in December and I am moving forward with a business development plan.

4. Focus on my Psychology study – GREEN

Distinction in my project work from the residential school.  Distinction in my last module (which had the exam which I felt went terribly).

5. Write something fictional every day – GREEN

I’ve done quite a lot of fanfiction and got a good plan sorted for my novel from doing NaNoWriMo.   

6. Blog daily – RED

Daily isn’t working for me – especially when I’m ill and half the time I forget or can’t form coherent sentences or my life is basically ‘I rested today.’

7. Have fun – AMBER

Definitely had some fun in there with the writing and meeting up with friends but it has been a tough couple of months.

– Overall, not a bad year!

Moving Forward:

Goals for 2011 are…surprisingly the same as last year with a few tweaks!  I’ve removed blogging as I’ll include it in the ‘write something every day’ and that may very well be blog-related.  I aim to find a regular pattern (maybe once a week or once a month).  I have set up the coaching business so now it’s about developing it and I really need to make this a priority for the working week.  And I’ve removed the ‘fictional’ from writing to allow for the fact that I am publishing non-fiction stuff.  Otherwise no change which could be seen as a good thing!

1. Get healthy

2. Spend time with friends and family

3. Focus on my Psychology study

4.  Focus on the Coaching business every work day

5. Write something every day

6. Have fun

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Third Quarterly Review

Well, I’m back after a month spent studying and recovering from studying, and thought I’d kick things off with a review which covers the last four months.

1. Get healthy (pretty much the priority if I’m going to achieve the rest) – VERY RED

Yep, this one is pretty much beyond red.  I do need to get this under control but hopefully two months of rest will help with that.

2. Spend time with friends and family – GREEN

Although visits and contact with friends did not happen very much in October what with the studying and exam, I have kept up contact and have seen people so I’m comfortable keeping this green.

3. Set-up the Coaching business – AMBER

Yep.  Still AMBER.  I had to give up on some of the networking stuff while I get my health under control but I’ve completed my Myers-Briggs certification, joined the Chamber of Commerces, and have updated the website.  There’s more to do obviously but it’s up and running – and I’ve even had queries! 

4. Focus on my Psychology study – GREEN

OK, so having given a whole month to studying just recently, I am keeping this green too.  I got my project work in on time after attending the Study School.  I’ve completed the mandatory module that I hated – and sat an exam which was tough and literally painful to get through.

5. Write something fictional every day – GREEN

Again, keeping this green as I’ve continued my published non-fiction writing and I have continued writing even when focused on study.   

6. Blog daily – RED

OK so I will pop this to red as I pretty much gave up for two months to focus on other things.

7. Have fun – AMBER

Hmmm.  The last two months have definitely not been fun per se even if they’ve been necessary.  The psychology school experience was tough physically (and probably responsible for the onset of the current levels of fatigue) but it was enjoyable working with other students.

All in all, I need to get my health sorted. Which is a horribly familiar refrain.

Second Quarterly Review

Yes, it is that time again. 😀

(Believe me this is so much easier than facing an actual quarter end).

1. Get healthy (pretty much the priority if I’m going to achieve the rest) – RED

Yes, still RED.  I am slowly making some improvement over the last couple of weeks.  I think much of that is down to more rests.

2. Spend time with friends and family – GREEN

No change here either.  Possibly after the holiday in Mauritius, it could be argued that I’ve spent too much time with family!  There are a couple of friends who I would love to catch-up with who I’ve fallen out of touch with but overall, I’m happy with this one.

3. Set-up the Coaching business – AMBER

Ah, yes. Still AMBER.  Well, the coaching business is getting there.  I have a marketing plan, I just need to actually, you know, execute it. 🙂  Hopefully, this will move to GREEN in the next couple of weeks as I am refocused now my exam is out of the way.

4. Focus on my Psychology study – GREEN

Change from AMBER.  While I could always be studying more, I think I’ve now get the balance about right.

5. Write something fictional every day – GREEN

As before something fictional doesn’t happen but it is GREEN-y.  I am writing something every day and I’ve now got three months of published work behind me so I’m relatively happy here although I would like to start getting more time to write which should happen now I’ve rejigged everything with the Getting Rachel Organised weekend.   

6. Blog daily – GREEN

Well, I’ve missed one day due to sheer tiredness and a few while I was away on holiday but I’m still going with GREEN here.

7. Have fun – GREEN

Definitely having fun although some days more than others.  The most fun thing in the last three months?  Spending a night at a five star hotel Le Touessrok for my birthday.  Wonderful food, wonderful room, wonderful location.  Picture says it all.

Again, not a bad report card.  And not for the first time: I just need to get my health improved!

Quarterly Review

As I’m not feeling 100% very well (and in fact am feeling distinctly unwell today), I thought I’d keep this brief and do a review of where I’m at with my New Year resolutions (apparently you can take the girl out of project management but you can’t take the project manager out of the girl).

So:

1. Get healthy (pretty much the priority if I’m going to achieve the rest) – RED

Definitely not doing so well on this one.  I’ve been battling my health for the last three months.  One step forward, two steps back it seems at times.

2. Spend time with friends and family – GREEN

This was going well through Jan-Feb but I’ve had a less successful March on the friends side (mainly due to having to cancel a couple of things because I’m tired) but still did include seeing family.  I have things scheduled for April though so that should definitely pick up again.

3. Set-up the Coaching business – AMBER

The marketing piece which is the missing piece is starting to come together and I do hope to have the business up and running for a soft launch in April with a more focused launch come September.

4. Focus on my Psychology study – AMBER

I really need to focus more.  It’s not going badly by any means (my grades are good) but because I’m tired my concentration levels are all over the place sometimes.  And studying now is very different to studying when I was in Uni.

5. Write something fictional every day – GREEN

Hmmm.  Well, no that doesn’t always happen.  But I am writing something every day and I can now say I am a published writer.  I have also written some original fiction in the last three months not just fanfiction so I’m pleased overall.   

6. Blog daily – GREEN

Yay!  Something is going well.  This blog has been going for 3 months now and I haven’t missed a day.

7. Have fun – GREEN

That I am doing although some days are certainly more fun than others depending on whether there are chores.  I have to say that probably the most fun thing in the last three months was the photo shoot.

Overall, it’s not a bad report card.  I just need to get my health improved!  Although maybe the fact some of the others are GREEN and AMBER explains why its RED…hmmm.

Hello world!

Hello world seems to be an unapt title given this is my first blog and yet will probably be read by no-one bar my cat who sits beside me as I write this.

Unoriginal in the extreme, attempting a daily blog is my New Year’s resolution.  One I have already failed at given today is 2nd January and ideally I should have tried to do something yesterday.

Still, better late in the attempt than never.

Now that I have a shiny new blog, I’m not sure what to do with it.  It may become nothing more than a place to put my ramblings.    But I guess that’s the point of a blog.

A short introduction then: who am I?  And isn’t that the question that plagues us all, along with the more apt one in my case of what do you want to be when you grow up?

This is the first year in a long while that I have not begun the year as an IBMer.  As I said to friends when I left the company with whom I shared 13 years, (many of which I usually began with the words ‘this year I’m leaving IBM’) I don’t really want ‘a great IBMer’ to be my epitaph.  It is a good company to work for and I love the people with whom I worked (IBMers are generally really lovely people), but it was never my life’s ambition and being good at something doesn’t necessarily make it an ideal job or career.

So, here I am no longer defined as an IBMer.  Career-wise, at this moment, I am currently an aspiring personal coach looking to be self-employed and open for business within the next few months.  I love coaching.  Helping others define their goals and work towards the achievement of them is incredibly satisfying for me.  If I can make some money from it, so much the better. 

Long term, I am looking to add psychotherapy to my business.  I’m currently studying for a Diploma in Psychology with The Open University.  So far, the study has been interesting and the assignments challenging – nothing like going back to school to test your cognitive function and mine isn’t so great these days.

The career change in part was triggered by worsening health.  Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to be exact.  I seem to have spent 2009 lurching from seriously ill to better than I have been for some time to seriously ill (ie my current state).  I spend my time wavering between denial of my illness (which ultimately ends up with my being more ill as I try to be ‘normal’) and periods of acceptance (when I actually make some attempt at the lifestyle changes required to manage my illness with some success).  Hopefully, 2010 will see the beginning of a recovery for me along with the still-depressed world economy.

My battle with health and fitness aside, I do try and enjoy myself.  One of the things that I did achieve in 2009 was attending a Writer’s Holiday which provided me with lots of wonderful new friends and the realisation that while I would love to write and publish a book, ultimately I don’t want to write for a living: I enjoy it too much to place that kind of importance on it in terms of monetary security.  As a result, I’ve kind of realised that while I should (and will) try to write more original fic, my playing in the fanfiction arena for fun and enjoyment is OK.

The fandoms I play in are two of my favourite TV shows: Airwolf and Stargate.  Both focus on tortured heroes in fantastically tight-knit teams saving the world and the universe.  Something which I guess appeals to my inner geek.  I also have a love for NCIS and Star Trek (all series) but I haven’t yet been tempted enough to write fanfic for them.  Stargate is probably the fandom in which I’m most active and one of my achievements in 2009 was winning a Stargate Fan Award for one of my fanfics.

Reality TV is a guilty pleasure, mostly The X-Factor but Great British Menu, Come Dine with Me, Project Runway, American Idol and America’s Next Top Model are very addictive, possibly because they all fall into TV slots where I require viewing while I eat.  Other than that, I tend not to watch a great deal of TV.     

I love reading.  I have fairly eclectic tastes: I love Nora Roberts for romance, her JD Robb books are equally excellent with a nice futuristic twist; I love Mercedes Lackey for her Valdermar series.  I’ve read Agatha Christie’s entire works and love Ann Graham’s novels.  I love Carol O’Connell’s Mallory books.  And if I need an action fix Vince Flynn and Lee Childs both provide great heroes.  For laughs, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books usually have me laughing out loud.

My tastes in music are also fairly eclectic although my favourite song ever is Every Breath You Take by The Police.  Otherwise, pretty much everything from Il Divo to Snow Patrol gets at least one song on my playlist with the exception of heavy rock and rap music.

And I think that’s pretty much enough about me for now – possibly anything I’ve mentioned above may appear again on the blog.

As you can see, the blog is definitely going to become something of a ramble-fest for me (and hence the title). 

To finish, this year’s goals:

1. Get healthy (pretty much the priority if I’m going to achieve the rest)

2. Spend time with friends and family

3. Set-up the Coaching business

4. Focus on my Psychology study

5. Write something fictional every day

6. Blog daily

7. Have fun