Lessons from the past, a gift for the present.

Hi everyone,

Light of life.I hope your new year is off to a promising start and you are optimistic, realistic and deterministic! Try not to be too pessimistic – a new year should not be a “reset”. It should build on the strengths of your past while addressing the challenges you faced along the way, step by step. It’s also a great idea to plan for your future – foresight is humanity’s greatest strength, after all!

For me this year will continue from what I learned in 2013, build a stronger set of goals for the year ahead and hopefully, lead to some bigger steps in life come 2015. You may have seen my blog post from last year and wondered where I wandered off to since then – you’re right in guessing that I haven’t kept to pace with blog posts like I wanted, but that will be addressed!

Indeed, 2013 – as seen in my previous goals, was full of change both fast, furious and fun. This post intends to continue the “tradition” of looking at my past resolutions and creating a solid set to further challenge and inspire me for the year ahead. I can’t continue without thanking the amazing group of friends of such breath-taking diversity and complexity around the world without which I would be far less fortunate and perhaps unable to reach the places I have come so far. My family of course plays a huge role, too – whether for better or worse, the daily struggles and rewards of life with family are a microcosm of my integrity and interaction with the world and the opportunity it provides. Never lose appreciation for everything you have.

Test time is over (literally). Below you will find my resolutions from last year, exactly as I wrote them in my January, 2013 blog post. I have given the “answer” to those 2013 resolutions, my best estimate of how far I got down my goal to set me up for – you guessed it – 2014! Below these past goals you will find my new list of resolutions for 2014, I hope it can inspire just a little if not motivate you to create a list as well!

2013 Resolutions and Results:

-Offset my carbon footprint through stewardship by atleast 100% => Realized I can’t conclusively prove or quantify this as trees need to be long-lived for the carbon sequestration to pan out, therefore this goal will be modified in 2014 to reflect progressive stewardship and reduction of carbon products usage, rather than offsetting (that is a band-aid solution, now that I think about it, like adding highway lanes to reduce congestion).
-Neutralize my transportation footprint => Same as above, I used a car less than 50 times this year, however, which I am very proud of!
-Eliminate OSAP debt => So close! Still have $2000 left as I had new finances to deal with…
-Get into a Masters program for Urban Planning => Yahoo, I got in! I am now a Masters candidate at the University of Waterloo studying in Urban Planning! :]
-Exercise with a passion => This goal didn’t stick, as it was poorly defined (my fault), I will give myself a targeted weekly goal of workouts instead.
-Double the backyard garden (again!) => Almost! While I haven’t measured it, I estimate my garden is now 1o square meters total, up from around 6 the previous year (this includes planting of 5 beautiful native shrubs!).
-Finish a half-marathon => Missed this one entirely, darnnit! Looking forward to trying again this year.
-Trip to Atlantic Canada and B.C => Wishful thinking, unfortunately! My budget isn’t ready for two big trips in one year just yet, the time will come but it’s a selfish goal!
-Read 15 non-school books => I thought I had aimed for 20 books so I nailed this one! Hit 19 fantastic reads – my top recommendation for everyone I know this year would be The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. A VERY thoughtful and at times, sobering, read.
-Reach 10 000 combined views on my 2 blogs (currently 3 400) => While my blog posts were stable for most of the year, the views didn’t come as I had hoped, this is mostly due to my lack of overall posts! I only got to about 5000 views total so I have a lot of work to do!
-Create an invention to support global sustainability and try to bring to market => Still working on it hehe, it will take quite a bit longer than one year, expect this goal to return in 2015!

Some other news from 2013: I got my first cellphone (and plan!), my first credit card, supported my first Kickstarter and Dragon campaign (both successful), had my photographs used on postcards in a fundraiser, celebrated my champagne birthday and met Chris Hadfield! My first action of 2014 was to join LinkedIn, hope it’s worth it!

My 2014 Resolutions:

-Plant at least 100 native trees and shrubs myself
-Eliminate my OSAP debt…forever!
-Support local research on climate solutions in the Region of Waterloo and, if possible the Region of Peel
-Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week (not including cycling)
-Increase the size of my total naturalized/garden space around my house by at least 4 square meters
-Create a naturalized/garden oasis all around my new Waterloo home
-Create an outdoor library where community members can share books at my new Waterloo home
-Run a half-marathon
-One trip outside Ontario this year!
-Earn $1000 that I wouldn’t have normally earned (this will be explained further if successful!)
-Read 20 non-school books
-Reach 10 000 combined views on my 2 blogs, as well as at least 40 new blog posts

Despite all these resolutions above, the most important thing is not to make a list, but to live your life joyfully while in respect of the world around you. Always try and find focus and peace in your life and stay positive, but don’t be afraid to show your other emotions, too! Use that most bountiful and renewable of resources to stay connected – in person especially – your network! Don’t let technology take over your life, community is where the heart is.

Thanks for being a part of my adventure, take every day and savour it! :]

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