Happy New Year!

Did you have a good New Year? I love it – always so much going on, lots of buzz and excitement wherever you are

Sydney fireworks were spectacular! Had a great view from an unofficial vantage point in Rushcutters bay, we were sitting on the street with probably only about 100 other people so none of the craziness that happens in the city – it was very civilized!

In addition to having fun, a party or 2 and spending time with family and friends, there are 2 other things I like about New Year – the chance reflect on the year just gone and the opportunity to set some goals for the coming year – I don’t set resolutions! I don’t believe in them, but a well defined set of goals I find provides me with direction and motivation.

so what was the plan for 2011?

Well I decided that 2011 was going to be the year I changed direction. I wanted to get out of computer programming as a career – it just wasn’t challenging me enough, there wasn’t the people interaction that I wanted, it wasn’t utilising all of my skills.

I wanted a change of scene socially – I was fed up with just going out with the same people doing the same things that generally involved being in a bar/pub and drinking – having got myself into great shape physically I didn’t want to wreck it by sliding back into old habits. I wanted to get back into speaking Spanish, doing more photography, being more creative – maybe learn to cook or paint or sing…I’d really love to be able to sing

I wanted to get myself sorted out financially – tidy up the situation with my ex, get the properties into my name alone, get a mentor and build on that base.

I wanted to maintain my health and fitness – having worked so hard to drop 25kg, I wasn’t about to let it all go backwards, I was going to work towards Mt Aconcagua.

2011 was the year I put some foundations in place.

So how did it all pan out?

Well it all got de-railed right from the get go – the 1st 8 weeks of 2011 were shit. No other way of describing it.

There was the tax audit that arrived on my doorstep on dec 23rd and degenerated into an quagmire of nastiness and bullying tactics, which completely freaked and stressed me out – this was not helped by the flood in early Feb that wiped out my office and documents I needed. The flood was the 4th flood in 12 months in the apartment I was living in at the time and having to live with furniture piled up in your living room and courtyard whilst the house dries out is not fun.

In early Jan after an incident at a BBQ I realised that pretty much none of my friendships were serving me anymore. Deep down I’d probably known for a few years that I needed to assess who was really a friend and who I’ve been hanging out with for convenience, but its still a wrench when you actually face the fact that there are some people who you don’t need in your life and you need to let them go. That hit me hard and resulted in a lot of self doubt, questioning and I completely lost all my confidence. I disconnected from the world and retreated into myself.

I loathed my job with a passion – dragging myself into that dungeon of an office everyday was like putting my soul through a mincing machine.

Finding a lump in my armpit on the same day I got my tax audit result then going to the doctor and being diagnosed with depression – that was not a good day.

By the start of March I was just about functioning – existing is probably the word. I didn’t know who I could trust, or talk to, I was stressed and depressed and paralysed by self doubt.Β Β I was beginning to wonder what I’d done to piss the universe off so much, I couldn’t believe the crap that was going on in my life! The bit that was upsetting was the fact that having got myself into the best shape/health of my life I was now having biopsies on a lump in my armpit….that, to me was totally unfair.

Fortunately it turned out to be benign – it was just a perfectly normal lymph node lump (is there such a thing?). I call it Lance – after Lance Armstrong….

The one thing I did achieve in that time was to hire a personal trainer. Just 3 words to say about that…

Very. Smart. Move.

πŸ™‚

But even that almost didn’t happen! Unbeknownst to me, the friend who recommended Aiden, had also been telling him ALL the crap I was going through and, as people do, they add their own opinions and judgements to the telling…so much so, that Aiden didn’t want to take me on as a client as he was convinced he’d be dealing with a complete basket case!

Fortunately he was able to see through that and lets just say its worked out very well πŸ™‚

Easter was probably when Β I decided to stop being a victim – life wasn’t just going to happen to me anymore, the monkeys had been running the zoo long enough, it was time to take back control.

I revisited my goals – get out of computer programming into a job that allows me to talk to people as well as use my techincal skills, change direction socially – get more into arts, photography, learn Spanish, get creative, focus on my fitness.

First things 1st though – I wanted to acknowledge my effort on the health front in the last 2 years – after meeting Jamie Eason and Michelle Bridges at the fitness Expo in Sydney in April, I booked myself a photoshoot and decided to enter the Oxygen magazine covergirl competition! that was a totally way out thing to do for me, but why the hell not? it could be fun and it also gave me a focus for my training.

Next – the job situation. Fortunately I only had 6 weeks left on my contract and I had been contacted by a consulting company wanting me for a Business Analyst role. This company had originally contacted me in February, but due to a number of cirumstances the timing hadn’t worked out and much as I hated my contract I was not about to walk out on it – I’ve never walked out on a contract in 17 years of contracting, its an ethical thing. Anyway this consultancy company were back on the radar and I got a Technical Business Analyst role at CGU – a perfect blend on my technical and people skills!

And now I’m Technical Product Owner at Medibank Health – well its everything I asked for – challenging, people facing, uses my technical skills, strategic and best of all…its to do with health and Fitness!

job goal for 2011 achieved? check, check!

Next – the house situation. I wanted to live somewhere that didn’t flood and I had a view – daylight would be nice…and in May my tenant in my Southbank apartment decided to move out! Perfect!

In june I moved back into my southbank apartment…with my Bay view…on the 11th floor…

No more Floods!

WooHoo!

Next creatvity – well that was a little vague – I went to the mind, body, spirit festival and had a lady ‘read’ my tahitian black pearl that I wear everyday. She told me I needed to ’embrace my feminine side’ and my new friends were waiting for me to call them…hmmm…spooky.

in a funny sort of way, deciding to compete in a figure competition has really accomplished all of that. Writing my blog has been great fun – I’ve totally found a creative outlet that I didn’t know I could do.

Coming up with my stage look has certainly been an education! I now know more about hair, makeup, fake tans and nail care than I believed possible – and sparkly bikinis and stripper heels – I never, ever…ever thought that would be me! but it is – and I love it πŸ™‚ can’t wait to see what Jo comes up with for this years comps!

best of all I get to train hard – like the guys do and still be a girl about it πŸ™‚

I’ve met lots of new people, been helped and coached by some wonderful people, and look forward to meeting many more – my experiences in the bodybuilding world so far have been overwhelmingly positive – the cameraderie backstage, the generosity of people with their time and knowledge has been brilliant.

In a strange sort of manner I’ve got back into photography… although I never thought it would be at the other end of the lens as the subject! :-p

how many photos are there of me now??? and damn I look good! πŸ™‚

so, change of direction socially goal for 2011? check

being more creative in 2011? check

maintain fitness in 2011? check, check check!! definitely overachieved in that area! πŸ™‚

Next – finances…hmm..not done so well here. I still haven’t started the process to tidy up assets owned jointly with my ex, I did get a property investing mentor, but I let it go when I got into my figure comps – I just didn’t have time or money to do both.

finance goal achieved for 2011? no…

so in hindsight, has 2011 been a good year? I would say yes…its definitely been a year of change – which I did set out to do – I’ve achieved things that I wouldn’t even have dreamed of at the beginning of the year.

The fact that I am in a permanent job for only the 2nd time represents some form of stability – something that has been noticeably lacking in the last 2 years! potentially I now haveΒ a solid foundation from which I can progress.

so whats on the cards for 2012?

Financially – same as 2011. I MUST get assets separated. I want properties in my name alone so I can move on. I’ll get my property mentor again in June so by then I need to be viable by myself.

Health and Fitness – well thats going to take a bit of a battering for the next few months. I have my 2nd shoulder op in 2 days which is going to prevent me from doing the training I want and need to do for comps. From what I gather so far, it could be as long as 6 months before I’m allowed to do any overhead lifting/pressing – if thats the case, then my 2012 comp season is probably already over. I don’t want to contemplate that, but it could be my reality and if it is then I’m just going to have to stay strong and focus on 2013 (!!) – or maybe I’ll switch to mountain climbing training and do Mt Aconcagua this year instead…after all I’ve still got my Educador volcano climb trip booked, its just been deferred until December..I could piggy back Aconcagua after that trip…hmm…Plan B? I Β like it! πŸ™‚

options…always good to have options! πŸ™‚

whatever the situation, my health and fitness remains my number 1 priority. I’m going to try and find a sports rehab specialist – one of those people who get footy players back on the field within 8 weeks of a knee reconstruction – that sort of thing.

I will do whatever it takes to get back as soon as I can.

Social/Creativity/Study – lots on the cards here!! If Plan B is activated then Spanish will become a necessity – I’ll sign up at the Vocational Language Learning Centre on Queen st – I learnt spanish there years ago and got so good I could chat to people when I went to Cuba! That was awesome.

if I do ANB comps this year, then learning to dance would be a really good idea…2 left feet on a bodybuilder? not such a great look!! πŸ™‚

still want to do more with my photography – if I’m grounded at comps I’d love to be able to take some great body shots – like Melita, or Gary Phillips or Charles Lowthian

I’ll also help out backstage at comps and get to know more people in the industry.

Given that diet is such a critical part of my life now, studying nutrition with a focus on sports performance is definitely an avenue I’m going to go down – and have already started work on.

and of course, I’ll still be writing my blog πŸ™‚ Β I’m curious to see how I’ll handle rehab…patience is not my strong point!! but by the end I may be a zen master….

so 2012 is 2 days old and I’m feeling very optimistic about it….exciting things are in the pipeline, I have the big picture in my head, I know what steps I need to take to pull it all together…

so what are your goals and plans – think Big and just do it!

I’m going to ponder mine over some nice clean kangaroo fillet with beetroot, rocket, pine nut salad.

Happy New Year!

πŸ™‚

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