Dear 2017,

My word this year is ‘Push’.  You will hear this single word when you try to slow me down.  I will push back if you try to trip me up.  I will push to stand up if you try to knock down.  I will push a little harder if I feel I am out of fight.

I.  Will.  Push.

I’ve worked hard the last two years.  2015 was my doorway.  2016 brought me beauty.  I have put so many things in place.  2017 will be when I will push to cross off the big items from my list.  It will be the year I push the boundaries.  It will be the year I push myself to overcome challenges.  It will be my year to push.


How To Create a Great Development Plan

Continuing with yesterday’s topic development plans, I did a bit of research on how to make them a more useful and successful tool.

Lifehacker has a great article on how to write a personal development plan.  Read it here and here

Great Leaders by Dan McCarthy has an article on writing one, even if you don’t plan on moving up the ladder just yet.  Check it out here.

And if you aren’t feeling that motivated, Tiny Buddha has an article on how to get there.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I actually finished this book last month, but it has stuck with me and inspired me till this day, that I feel I need to honour it with its own review.

I fell upon this book through the Todoist blog and borrowed it from my local library that night.

At first, I’m not going to lie, I thought it was fluff and a silly self-help book.  Gretchen is a full-time writer, has more time, resources, and it would seem money, to throw at her project than I would, but it is still none the less inspiring.  I will not be going full-scale like she did, but I did write my own 10 Commandments list, and feel this book lead to my epiphany to do what I want, and write.   The lesson she learned on earning gold stars is something I myself am working on and can see in others more now.  I will reread again to gain another dose of inspiration and happiness injection and recommend this book to those who feel like they’ve lost something, but can’t quite put their finger on it.

To the 2014 me…

old journal
old journal
Dear Amanda,
As you head into 2014, I’d like to give you a bit of heads up of what is to come.
January is filled with a creeping desperation that will make you suddenly wake and sit straight up in bed.  Your plan B won’t work out and even though you find a foothold, it doesn’t lead where you thought it would.
February and March turns you around and forces you to head back the opposite direction you want to go.  Put on a brave smile.  It gets better and the lesson is coming.  Sleep whenever you can.  You’ll be tired.
In April you’re going to drink so much that you nearly fall down a flight of stairs, black out and puke.  A lot.   Do not repeat.
May and June bring more job loss, an old monster will make another appearance and secrets will be told.  The house will be quiet.  Secrets will be reoccurring theme for the rest of your year.  Listen close and you’ll pick them up.
July brings a surprise wedding and more secrets.  Smile.  The credit is going to be stolen from you, but it’s ok.  Pay attention and you’ll see someone needed it more than you.
August is full of loose threads and each one you pull only leads to more confusion.   I wish I could tell you that the light at the end of the tunnel was coming but I can’t.   You’re just going to have to shine it on a bit longer.  Ok… a lot longer.  Go get a tattoo.
September gives you a few days of freedom, which reminds you that you are an individual.  It doesn’t solve anything, but being reminded that you are in fact still standing is just as good.  Go get another tattoo.
October brings the lesson I foretold in February.  You are good at what you do.  You have strengths that are not utilized.  You have talent.  You are creative.  You needed to start back at the beginning to see this.
November brings more bad news; foreboding, clinging, heavy news.  It’s not going to be ok this time.  Be strong.  Slow down.  Shut up.
In December, you’ll come across a small thing and it will shape and motivate you.  It hasn’t solved anything yet, but it did turn the spotlight onto things you don’t want to see.  It will force you to recommit to yourself, and see the destruction before you.  Stress arrives with baggage this month, and you’ll hear more secrets.  Keep Visine in your purse.  Breath deep till the tears stop.
You will make it through this year, and you will be scarred and bruised.  This year will feel as though it has lasted ten.  It’s a long journey, and even though you still won’t have all the answers by the end of the year, you will at least have a plan.  You will have perspective.  You will learn more about yourself.  You will begin to create what you have destroyed.