New Year New Dreams

End of the Year

Christmas is just over and I am already anxious to move on to the new year. It seems that at this time of the year most people reflect on the past year and tend to focus on what went wrong or what they did not do.  This feels so negative to me.  Many times you hear people talking about their New Year Resolutions which are often something very rigid and impossible to achieve, thus setting themselves up for failure within a few weeks like go to the gym every day and lose 20 pounds.  I don’t want to carry around that kind of baggage.  I spent some time the past few days thinking about all the glorious things that happened in the year 2010 for my family.  I thought about it as a blessing list.  I have lots of things I could focus  on that were negative but I am making a conscious effort not to, as that is just not productive.

I am not  big on resolutions, I am more about goal setting but this year I am more motivated than usual. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that I am having so much fun working on my Bucket List. Instead of weighing myself down with a heavy list of resolutions I am simply coming up with fun things I want to do this next year.  This morning while I was working on a nice cup of hot coffee I decided to review my Bucket List and see what I could tackle next.

Excuses

I have decided that I am no longer putting off some of these “things” I really want to do. It is so easy to put off the little stuff like take a self defense course, take a class on assertiveness or learn to paint etc. until we have more time, more money, more energy. The biggest lesson I learned in 2010 is that putting things off that we want to do and need to do for any of the above mentioned reasons is often just an excuse. Yes, I understand money is tight for everyone but what I am talking about is just a different way of looking at life. I have decided to look for opportunities to try new things and talk about what I am interested in doing, you never know who may be able and willing to help you and sometimes it doesn’t cost a thing.

I think many people, especially women, put off doing things they’d like to do because they think they have to sacrifice everything to take care of their family. I did this myself for many years and did not even realize I was doing it. No one was telling me I couldn’t but myself. Once I decided I could, I started to get creative about how I could. I was surprised how much I really could do. Most of the things I have written about really did not cost much, a few did but I just saved up for them making myself a priority at the same time. I can’t tell you how good it felt to get out there and do something.

I have talked to lots of women about this issue the past few months and I have come to the conclusion that many, many of us are doing the same thing. If I can do this, so can you. I challenge you to find one thing you want to do this year and then find a way to make it happen. I promise you it will feel good.

After reviewing my Bucket List it became evident to me quickly that many of my items revolve around travel, travel is exciting but it is expensive and with two kids in college a big European trip is probably not on the horizon for quite a few more years. Determined not to get discouraged I kept scrolling down my list and decided to pick out all the activities I thought I could do for free or at least for just a little bit of money. I was pleased when I saw how long this mini list was.

Time to Get Creative

Now that I had narrowed down my master list to what I thought could be done for either no investment or just a little I decided I had to get creative. Who did I know that might be able to help me with one of these? Were there any inexpensive classes I could take that might help me master a new skill or learn something totally new.  Maybe the library offered a class or I could find a business who offered a little workshop.

My friend Kathleen Bren, remember her she is the Life Coach who got me inspired to start all of this fun stuff, well a long time ago she had mentioned to me she taught classes at something called The Colorado Free University. I decided to look it up.

I was so excited when I found many different categories that covered many of my items on my list! Most classes only cost $39-$61 and were offered in various locations around town. Many of the classes were one night or weekend day only. Some went for a couple weeks but all seemed like they could fit in not only my financial budget but my time allowance also. I decided that I could cut back in some other area of my life and squeeze out an occasional $35 for something new.

In just a few minutes of digging I found:

Great! This is a wonderful way to learn and explore new things without having to make a huge financial commitment.

Recharged and ready for the new year I grabbed my calender and started plotting my strategy. This was going to be so fun! Come on New Year-I am ready this time!

New Year New Me

It is a New Year and in many ways I am starting it a new woman.  One who is ready and willing to take on a new challenge and test the boundaries that in many ways were self imposed.  I thought about it this way, “if I could climb to the top of a mountain and yodel, if I could jump out of a plane and if I could learn to drive a John Deere tractor last year, what can I learn to do this year?”  Maybe I’ll be having so much fun that I might just lose a few pounds too!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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