Here we are again, that lovely week between Christmas and New Years when you can’t help but look back at your year as you start planning for the one that is coming. The years seem to go by faster and faster as you get older, but I’m glad to say I’m at least keeping up and seem to have a lot to show for it. 2014 was an especially full year for me, with a lot of big events and big decisions and big changes. All of them, I might add, were for the better.
I’m struggling a bit at the moment trying to find the right balance between keeping my writing up and yet also living in my moment and enjoying the fact that I am traveling. It is easy to sit and write for several hours a day, but when you’ve got a strange new city in front of you, sometimes that isn’t what I want to be doing. I’m not looking for excuses to be lazy, but I do want to honor my time and make the most of the opportunities I have to explore where I am.
The realization that 2014 was almost over came as a surprise. I love my life, but sometimes I can’t believe just how fast everything seems to move sometimes. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to express gratitude for my amazing year, and acknowledge the work ahead to make sure 2015 is just as good. But I’m going to accept the reality that this years written review on the blog is not going to be as detailed as last years. I won’t be shirking my goal-setting responsibilities to myself (I’m not crazy), but I’m not going to take as much time writing about them here. I just have so much to see, and in two days I’ll be packing up once again.
Looking back, here are a few fun facts about my year:
Number of States visited: 21
Number of Countries visited: 9
Conferences Attended: 2 – Pioneer Nation (about starting a business, more on that soon) and the World Domination Summit (about living the life you want).
Bugs eaten: 2
Musicals seen based on the movie “Beaches”: 1
Airports traversed: 21
Number of Guinness World Records Broken: 1 (The World’s Longest Yoga Chain, and yes, it is official!)
Weirdest Food Eaten (besides the bugs): Coagulated goose blood
I had set some pretty steep goals for the year, and with a lot of work, got most of them done. It wasn’t always easy, but the goal to leave and go travel was so big it was easy to stay focused. I knew what my priorities were. I wasn’t perfect, and some of the goals had to be modified (and even dropped) along the way, but I’m satisfied with my results.
As it comes time to look to 2015, I’m feeling a bit more overwhelmed, as the bar has now been set so high. But even if I am still riding the wave from 2014, I’m pretty sure that a readjustment of my priorities and goals will only help me continue to make progress towards the deliberate life I want to lead.
My number one priority for the first few months of the year is, unsurprisingly, travel. Our plans remain purposely fluid and open to suggestion and serendipity, and I want to continue to make the most of it. We have tickets to Hong Kong in a few days and then on the Philippines, with stops in Thailand and Cambodia planned for early February. It is anybodies guess what happens after that, because there are still a lot of places I want to go. Burma. India. Mexico.
My business goals will remain mostly behind the scenes for at least the first few months of the year while we continue to focus on travel. But I imagine by springtime I will be ready to launch a new business that I am very, very excited about. We will likely continue to travel, but in a more structured way to allow more focus to be given to the business goals.
I continue to be a little frustrated with my health and fitness goals. I’m generally pretty aware of my health and by any reasonable standard I am doing just fine. But since when have I been content with just fine? I know I could do better if I would make this the priority for a while. But once again I’m forced to admit that I don’t think 2015 is going to be that year. My travel, business and financial goals are going to continue to take precedence, at least for a while.
For the first time in years, I’m having to let go of having my financial goals be in the number one priority spot. I mean, until I start having income again I can’t contribute to my Roth, and without a hospital job I have no 403(b). This is a little scary for me, especially after making such great progress in recent years. I’ve cultivated that habit and I’ve loved seeing the results. But what I can do is continue to stick to the travel budget, and honor that choice by making it the best adventure I can. And hopefully as the new business goals reach fruition I can start once again start saving for my future.
Really at this point, everything is dominated by the traveling. But at some point next year, things will start to shift, and new goals will come into focus. With so much in flux this isn’t a year I can plan out completely in advance, but I’m not too worried about it. Travel is a great motivator for me, and I’m very excited about the business ideas as well. I’m so excited about the business in fact, that I’m having to force myself to slow down and remember to enjoy the places I’m traveling to, and not just hole up in my hotel room writing on the computer. There is a time for everything, and I’m trying to remember to enjoy each moment as it comes, and not just spend all my time planning for a future moment. The future will get here soon enough, but today I am going to see a giant Buddha, a Confucius Temple, and a big local market. And that’s important too.
I’m being a lot more vague about my actual goals here than I was last year, but rest assured I am still being very specific about them with myself. Having vague, undefined and unmeasurable goals is a recipe for disaster. A good goal is specific and time-limited, and the more specific you can get, the more likely you are to achieve it. But forgive me if instead of writing about that right now, I get back to planning my trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. Oh yes, that is happening. This week. And my inner child is totally freaking out about it.
So how about you? Was 2014 a success? I’d love to hear about your favorite experience of the year in the comments below, or maybe about a goal you achieved. Let’s share our wins with each other!