2016 goals check in – what do you do when life gets serious?

I love setting myself goals and plans; this year, probably more than others, I feel like I’ve been keeping them in the forefront on my mind. I’ve set myself goals every year but often they slip by the wayside. What’s different this year, I wonder? Perhaps because I’d spent time thinking about them – they weren’t a last minute put together for the sake of new year’s resolutions on the 1st January. Or perhaps because I thought about what was realistically achievable and what would benefit my life and keep me happy. Have you been able to stick to your goals?

2016 goals check in - what do you do when life gets serious?

My goals were broken down into home, crafts, me and career and I’ve written a little summary further down in this post about how I got on. It’s so fulfilling to stop for a moment, step back and really look at December 2015/January 2016 me and remember what was on my mind and what I wanted to do in the coming 12 months.

… However, sometimes life has other ideas. I wrote at the beginning of January about my motto being not to take life too seriously. The 4th January had arrived and life got incredible serious. My Dad was rushed to hospital after suffering two strokes. I wrote a little about this experience and my fundraising for Stroke Association. While dealing with the aftermath of that and seeking ways to help him in any way we all could, while learning exactly what having a stroke meant, my Grandad’s health was slowly deteriorating and we were told on several occasions to begin saying our goodbyes. He left us in May this year and I have his wonderful knitting and childhood memories to help me through this time.

Never before has life felt as vulnerable as it does; I feel like I’m clinging on to my family and loved ones for dear life, almost scared of the next phone call and what news it’ll bring. On the outside I try to keep it together and push forward with life, knowing more about its fragility, and on the inside I’m waiting to collapse in a heap unable to take much more. But… I know this is the stuff that makes us stronger. I know that this will pass. I know that my Grandad is at peace. I know that he gave so much happiness to my childhood and is forever in my heart. I know Dad will fight back; his determination this past six months has made me prouder than I can ever describe.

So life might throw hurdles our way, but it’s convinced me more than ever to make the best of the life we have, to live as much as we can and to truly appreciate the ones we love in our lives. In Gretchen Rubin‘s book she references choosing “the bigger life”, the life that will enrich you and give you more. I love that. I am incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends and family. Stu, especially, has been my rock and shining star through all of this. Picking me up when I’ve struggled, making me and my family laugh when we’ve needed it and being pragmatic about what the future can look like. Thank goodness for him.

So there, life may get serious from time to time, but it’s opened my eyes to what’s truly important and for that I’m thankful. I should also add that it’s not all been bad. Far from it. I’ve crafted ’til my hearts content, watched my best friend and her husband welcome a baby boy into the world, prepared for my other best friends’ wedding (which is this weekend – yay!), been so incredibly inspired at Blogtacular, spent time with loved ones and Stu and I have a trip with friends to Greece coming up.

As I mentioned earlier, here are a couple of notes on some of my specific goals – which you can also read about here. I’ve put the updates in italic.

  • Finish our dining room. Done! We took a week off in a February and worked super hard to get this all done – so happy with how it looks. All we need now are new curtains!
  • Learn more about gardening and get our garden looking good. We’re slowly making progress on this. I say we, more Stu than anything. He’s been working hard on getting the lawn in a better position and, with the help of Stu’s Dad, helped us sand and repaint the decking. My Nan, Mum and Stu’s Mum are also helping us with plants and putting a border in, so we’re getting there. It’s a real learning curve and I hope to be able to learn more about plants through help from our family.
  • Frame pictures and prints. We still haven’t got round to finishing this. Must get this done!
  • Learn how to knit socks. I’m saving this for the autumn, when the weather is a little cooler and I have a bit more time.
  • Challenge myself to make a cardigan or jumper just for me. I haven’t even thoughts about this since writing it down in my original goals post, oops. I have a cardigan in mind so I might try and give this some more thought over the summer.
  • Enjoy The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ‘Let’s go on an adventure’ stitch-along cross stitch project. I am thoroughly enjoying this project and keeping up with it way better than I thought I might. I wrote a little about the first six months of the project too.
  • Enjoying the relationships I have with my friends and family. Pretty sure I’ve covered that above; I’m certainly not taking any of my relationships for granted this year.
  • Think about my health – my diet, how much I exercise etc. This is an ongoing one for me, I generally find the more I plan my meals the better I eat. I haven’t quite got there with doing that every week but I feel like I’m starting to make progress. Exercise wise? Hmm other than my weekly Pilates class, I know I could be doing more.
  • Read at least one book a month, as part of Circle of Pine’s a year in books. This has been one of my favourite goals this year and I’m currently on my 11th book, so averaging roughly two books a month. If you head to this page and scroll down you’ll see some of the books I’ve read so far.

I didn’t say too much about career at the time, but one of my goals was always to open an Etsy shop and last weekend I did just that! Wow, feels very surreal even typing that. It’s been (and continues to be) a lot of hard work but it’s been totally worth it; I am loving every minute of it and enjoying the learning process. I’m hoping for big things for Fred and Bell, so do pop over and check out my first collection of stickers. I have a few other bits and pieces I’d like to do this year, so watch this space.

As for the next six months, I’d like a bit more calm and a bit more happiness for me and my loved ones. Here’s hoping!

How have the first six months of the year been for you? I know I’m not alone in finding this year a bit rubbish so far, but I hope you’ve had some positive moments too!

Leanne x

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