It started in the best possible way, with me and the partner in Disney world, the one place where my childlike excitement is right at home, a prayer and a lot of alcohol. It was perfect, dreamlike, at that very moment I felt like I was ready for everything the year had up its sleeves, bring it on.
Like most people I made a lot of plans, I was going to be better in 2015.
- Better with my finances – save more, buy less
- Better with love – listen more, fight less
- Better in my career – lean in more, say no less
- Better with family – give time more, judge less
- Better with blogging – write more, procrastinate less.
- Better with my health – Work out more, eat crap less.
Honestly I have had these plans every year for as long as I can remember. My finances are better, maybe not where I’d like them, but I definitely spent money better in 2015. There were less impulse buys, more meaningful investments; good vacations that have provided memories that would last a life time. I finally dabbled in stocks and got a puppy that is draining me financially with all her expenses but at least she pays in puppy kisses and fluffy snuggles.
Getting better communication skills has been my biggest lesson this year. I have learned, albeit through numerous failures, the value of expressing myself clearly and thoroughly. I know now when a filter should be placed on my thoughts and when I can let loose, especially in building relationships, whether in the workplace or in my love life or even with family. Open communication is so important.
I have always hated confrontations and because of that I keep so much in. I wouldn’t say I have magically overcome this fear of confrontations rather I’ve accepted it and understand now that I need to tell people how i feel to feel better, and feeling better beats being afraid of confronting them. This attitude has improved my relationship so much, of course it helps to have an amazing partner willing to listen and understand and share as well. I also attended the Dale Carnegie communication course to help shape communication for me at work and build my confidence.
I was a little marriage crazy between July and September, turning 27 and being actively involved in planning my friend’s wedding. I think I might have lost sight of what was important and what I actually needed. But eventually I found myself in November, grounded with a better sense of direction. Being a young single female over 25 is hard, living outside Nigeria definitely makes it easier and I’m learning all the subtle ways to ignore my parents’ jabs and allow myself be ready when I am ready, whether it is tomorrow or in five years.
I am very blessed to have a job I absolutely love, working with people I can more than tolerate inside and outside the workplace, a manager that listens and I can see is actively invested in my growth, a company that provides challenges and rewards dedication. My job wasn’t handed to me, I fought tooth and nail for it but still I am grateful. It more than pays the bills and provides an added level of extreme flexibility, amen to technology! I am ending this year actively trying to move within the company and hopefully by January I will have succeeded in this feat.
Canada officially became my second country this year, again extremely grateful for the opportunity the immigrant story provides in this diverse nation, allowing you to explore your dreams and make them a reality, no matter your colour or age. It isn’t a street made of gold and nothing is handed to you but there is something about knowing that nothing is impossible, might not be easy, probably wouldn’t be, but you know it’s doable.
My biggest failure I admit would be my struggle to build on my relationship with food. I found it harder this year to blog consistently or execute one of the million ideas I had for a business involving food, this will be my number one priority in 2016, to finally follow through on something and feed the artistic side of me that needs to build something for myself from the ground up.
Writing this recap was harder than I thought it would be, I deleted and started again more times than I care to admit. Reviewing my year made me really think, and realize just how grateful I am to God, how blessed I am to have wonderful people in my life, blessed to even have life.
I am ready for the new year, and of course I already made all my plans.
I am going to be better in 2016, better with my finances – save more, buy less; better with love – listen more, fight less; better in my career – lean in more, say no less; better with family – give time more, judge less; better with blogging – write more, procrastinate less. Better with my health – Work out more, eat crap less. Honestly I have had these plans every year for as long as i can remember.
This time I will follow through!!!
I absolutely enjoyed reading this story of self improvement. Do you realize just how far you can go if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank God for strengthening you, Alice!