My 2012 Review
For me, 2012 was a great year for growth. I developed professionally and gained some skills I didn’t explicitly set out to conquer—but I am grateful that it all happened.
My main achievements were: learning more about fitness and nutrition, maturing emotionally, building relationships (personal and business), and recognizing that value lies in experiences and the intangibles—not material possessions. All in all it was a year where I discovered how to nurture my strengths and how to challenge my weaknesses.
This article will detail some useful resources I used to achieve these items, and my new resolutions for 2013. Let’s get ready to rock this year!
I’ve done my research on nutrition, have experimented what works with my body, and have gone to the gym consistently for all of 2012. Also, in April I ran my first 5k—something I thought I could never achieve because I thought I hated running. Our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds think we are. We are our own limitations.
Resources on nutrition:
- Eat less carbs/starches/white refined flours.
This includes pasta, breads, rice, chips, etc. Whenever I eat these, I feel really bloated. I eat way less now that I’ve made the connection.
- Eat more protein in your diet to help you feel full.
Most of the American population likely gets too much protein. I’m a vegetarian and have found that when I eat a little protein with every meal, I eat less and stay fuller for longer. Try it out if you don’t already eat enough.
- Stay away from processed foods.
It’s so easy to reach for a convenient bag of chips or cookies or even a frozen meal. Every time I do this, I don’t feel healthy, I feel really thirsty and like I retain a bunch of water (this is likely due to the sodium). Cut it out and you’ll feel much better, guaranteed.
- Cut out the sugar.
I had no idea sugar was in just about everything! It’s in sauces, packaged dinners, “health” food. Man, just stay away because the substance messes with your bone density, teeth, skin, and waistline.
- Understand why you are mindlessly eating.
After reading the book called “Mindless Eating,” I gained a whole lot of insight as to why we tend to overeat in social situations, and how to trick my body into thinking I’m eating more–or at least resist the temptation. If anything, this book provides some handy tips on how to beat your brain when it comes to overeating.
Resources on fitness:
When it comes to learning about fitness, I default to Youtube videos as my favorite source of inspiration. For a brief while this year, I was also lucky enough to get personal training sessions at my gym where I learned correct form for some heavy power lifts like deadlifting and squats.
Some of the people I tend to watch on Youtube include those that are extremely motivated and inspirational themselves. I would never take fitness advice from someone who didn’t practice what they preach in their lives.
- A chick with abs that is extremely strict with her diet and exercise routine–and she’s a mom.
- Another girl who is toned and flexible to boot.
My boyfriend taught me to break my workouts down into categories–targeting: arms/shoulders, back, chest, legs, and core. It’s important that you hit one of these categories HARD every workout. I also recommend working out once every other day or about 3-4 times per week for best results.
Petty arguments serve for nothing. I’ve had more than my share and can more clearly see when I have engaged in one. I’m now of the belief that my time is better spent on more important matters—like working on my fitness, or learning a new skill.
Spent time at family functions, gatherings with friends, and learned how to forge business partnerships. Working at a company where I get to manage those partnerships has also been great exposure to this side of business.
What I did to gain these skills
- Taking on a couple of internships during my senior year of college. Not only did I build experience, gain professional connections/mentors, but I also found out what I didn’t enjoy doing.
- Communicating at work—soft skills are extremely important for just about every profession. By “communication,” I mean writing emails, speaking to people, interacting in group settings, work functions, etc.
- Staying in touch with family: try texting/emailing/calling a family member every other day or whenever you think of them. Sometimes it’s as simple as texting them a funny picture that you ran across during the day that reminded you of them. Attending family functions is also a great way to automatically be closer to family just by gracing people with your presence.
This fits in with my goal of minimalism. At the beginning of this year, my hope was that I would be able to comfortably give something away without a second thought. That happened. Multiple times this year. I gave bags and bags of things away to Goodwill and took a few pictures of items for memories. I’m okay now. I don’t feel the need to buy excess things. A lot of the reading I’ve done this year of bloggers and people I admire is that money is time. When I know I can live off of a certain dollar amount per day, why would I spend it on something that I don’t really care about if I could instead have one more day of freedom to spend my time exactly how I want and with whom I want?
You can do this too. If you’re afraid that you’re a person who clings too much to material possessions and that it’s weighing you down or causing stress, you can follow these steps to help get rid of that stuff from your life.
- Take a picture of the item and place it in a bag to be given away. If you don’t need it within the next couple of months, you won’t miss it.
- Use psychologically persuasive points on yourself. Remember that someone else will cherish this item more than you can. It’s not fair to deny the other person of this possession if they could really enjoy this item in their life.
SETTING UP FOR THE FUTURE (2013 Goals)
In 2013, I aim to continue this trend of personal development. My main focus this year will be setting up my life so that I’m in a position to achieve my 5 and 10-year goals. At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I’m going to let you know that in several years I’d like to be married and have children of my own.
This inevitably means that I need the skills, network, and drive to be able to maintain a decent income even while working from home (my long-term future goal as of right now is to be a stay at home mom that is also an intelligent businesswoman).
I’m steering my life towards financial independence, and continuing to mature my professional relationships to make a name for myself in the consulting space by providing results to small businesses.
Learning more about business and how it works is a large goal of mine. This would include reading about the topic and applying my learnings in the field.
I definitely have more ambitious fitness goals this year. I’d like to be able to do a lot of the hardcore “dude” exercises that you’ll see guys doing at the gym—push ups, pull ups, dips, benching lots of weight, deadlifting, etc. Since I’ve built up the consistency of going to the gym, it won’t be hard to continue. I want abs and my goal is to have them by this summer. Be warned: If this happens, pictures will follow.
What have you learned in 2012? Do you have resolutions for 2013? Share them below in the comments!