Three Months in to 2012

I have just had a very relaxing holiday in Bali. I was there to meet up with a dear friend who I have known since my Sydney days. We had a super time shopping, eating delicious food, catching up and afternoon napping.

The only thing about all this relaxing is that there’s plenty of time for thinking. For those that know me well will be aware that I always have some sort of plan or project in my mind. I love to hear what other people do in their lives as it very often inspires me to make changes in mine. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate my life, far from it. I have plenty to be extremely grateful for, but I do have plans and goals and this holiday helped me assess where I am going with them. I also know I have a tendency to always be thinking about the future rather than enjoying the moment. This is something I need to work on. Perhaps next year’s resolution? I have not idea how to do that. If anyone has any tips on how I can do this, please let me know. ūüôā Perhaps a list of things to be thankful for each day? Hmm… Not sure of the best approach.

As it is 1/4 of the way through the year already (how did that happen?), I thought it is a good time to look at my resolutions that I make at the beginning of the year and see where I am going. When I first thought about this, I felt a little¬†despondent. I didn’t think I had made much headway in many of them. I felt sure that I had not done so well, however, after I looked at my list I haven’t done too badly ¬†after all considering a month was super busy with the 30 Day Veg Challenge. There are some that I really need more work on. The reason I have chosen to write about them on my blog is to hold me a bit more accountable to them. There are some that I find really hard to motivate myself to do on a daily basis.

Sideman, Bali

So, here are some of my goals for the year and how I am going so far.

1. Give up Starbucks / coffee- This is going well. I have lapsed a couple of times. I know a bit of coffee doesn’t hurt anyone, but it really is a waste of money and it is also loads of empty calories.I also managed to be black tea free for about a month preferring to drink white and green tea for their extra nutritional value. ¬†This is a HUGE achievement given my lifelong addiction to black tea with milk on rising.

2. Give up alcohol – Going very well. I’ve been drinking less and less over the past few years. Why am I quitting? I just hate hangovers and have a tendency to be completely paranoid the day after a few drinks. I spend the rest of the weekend worried that I have offended someone or just been a complete idiot. So, it probably isn’t a forever thing, but for now I am teetotal. Tick!

3. Use less toilet paper – Perhaps this is TMI?? I am VERY guilty of this heinous crime. I have a tendency to use great swathes of toilet paper. Living in Indonesia and being aware of where this paper came from, I decided that I needed to be a bit more measured in toilet paper consumption and change my habits a bit. It’s going well. Can be improved though.

4. Give % of income to the extreme poor – This is going to happen this year for sure as I have meaning to do this for a few years. I recently read The Life You Can Save¬†by Peter Singer. His argument that we all need to be giving a¬†percentage¬†of our income to the extreme poor is compelling. I can no longer NOT give this amount to the extreme poor. True, I don’t have a very big income, but there are certainly areas that I can budget more on to enable me to give. I intend to set aside my % of income to Vegfam¬†and keep that separate from other little charity donations that I give to other causes over the course of the year like Farm Sanctuary, Aids awareness, random charitable acts etc. I think doing this will give me much personal satisfaction as well.

5. Take my fitness to a new level – This is the one I need help with. I go in spurts. I can be really good for a while, but then the excuses start to come up and I don’t go (for example, this week, it was the barking, scary dogs that stopped me running in Bali). The thing is, I do feel so much better with exercise and really want to be not just moderately fit, but REALLY fit. I’d love to do long distance trail running. I also want to be much stronger than I am right now. I want to do it not only for myself and also to show others that you can be extremely fit and strong on a plant-based diet. I want to run a marathon this year and also be able to do 20 push ups. I have wistful dreams about being able to do some of the ultramarathons that Chris McDougall talks about in his inspiring book, Born to Run.To do this I will follow a marathon training plan and go to kickboxing at least twice a week. I hope to do a marathon when Seb and I go to the US this summer. I desperately want to LOVE exercise. Right now, it’s something that I do kind of begrudgingly. While I don’t want to be quite as muscular as this woman, I do feel inspired by her strength and endurance.In the long term I want to LOVE yoga. Right now I really don’t.

6. Lose weight – This is probably a bit controversial. I am sure most people who know me might think I have an eating disorder if I write this. I am certainly not overweight and most would probably say that I am quite slim (I have veganism to thank for that BTW. It wasn’t always like that. That’s a whole other ¬†blogpost in itself). The reason why I am keen to lose 3 more kg is because all scientific evidence shows that the leaner you are, the lower the risk factor you are for disease. I want to be that person. I don’t want good health, I want optimal health. I often lack self control, especially in delicious situations like I have been experiencing this week in Ubud. #muststopbeatingmyselfup

7. Learn Indonesian РI am a bit disappointed with myself with this one. When I found out I was coming to Indonesia I started studying. By the time I arrived, I really was doing well with the use of my Anki cards and the podcast Learning Indonesian I was able to communicate albeit in a limited way. Then around October, I slackened, got busy and I stopped. I am now very behind where I thought I would be at this time when I started my studies. I am trying to not be too hard on myself with this, but I do feel a little disappointed in myself. I tried to start my Anki deck again this week and felt so despondent when words that I recalled with ease, I had no idea about. My vocab has taken many steps backwards. I need to re-listen to my podcasts and do some of Anki everyday and start my language exchange afternoons again. I love speaking and connecting with people in the country I am in. Indonesian is a relatively easy language to get conversational in.

Where are my professional goals? Professionally, I am very happy where I am at the moment and don’t feel I need to set myself any more goals in this area. I am in a wonderful school that challenges and enriches me. I don’t feel like I am stale or cynical or the need to shake things up, I just need some time to consolidate everything I have learned in this new environment. I am terribly excited to be a classroom teacher next year. This has been a dream of mine for sometime. Since I heard that I would be teaching Grade 2, I spend ridiculous amounts of time ploughing through Pinterest looking at people’s classrooms, getting ideas and doing reading on how I want literacy to look in my classroom for example. I do want to pick up my Masters again next semester, but fear that it will be too much with the huge challenge of classroom teaching for the first time and all the other things I am so passionate about.


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