Thursday, 27 June 2013

What Have You Achieved in the Last 6 Months?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary to 'achieve' means to succeed in doing something by effort, skill, or courage.

What a lovely mantra for our daily lives.

What have YOU achieved in the last 6 months?  The reason I ask this question is because it's exactly 6 months since I began My Resolution Challenge.  Yes, it's a frightening thought but we are half way through the year!

So when I began this challenge 6 months ago, my initial aim was to complete at least one or two of the items on my New Year resolution list.  I would be happy to lose 8lb, I would be over the moon to run without the aid of an oxygen tank and I would be ecstatic to have one of my stories published. 

Oh yes, I remember it so well, drinking bubbles and brainstorming ideas for an outstanding 2013...but wait, hold the phone Batman, mange tout mange tout...I HAVE achieved those things, yay me!

What an amazing year I've had so far and thank you all for sharing my journey, I know from the messages and emails I receive that you are enjoying my crazy antics as much as I am.

Shall we cast our minds back...

In January I started my weight loss campaign, a clean slate with a fridge full of goodies, by February I was 10lb lighter but after my alcohol free month in April (where I replaced wine with Wispa bars!) my weight crept up again.  Della Galton and Peter Jones to the rescue with their book How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim and June saw me back on track and even surviving a meat free week.

My move more campaign in February tested my endurance levels with walking, skipping (not to be recommended if you are above a D cup!) cycling and wii fit.  I don't know about being fitter, I certainly slept well that month.

My favourite month was March as I got to unleash my creativity.  I made vision boards, looked at creative ways to fundraise and of course I got to write, write and then write some more.  Many of my favourite authors use the same mantra, 'if you want to be a writer, you need to write' so I did (and still am), so far I've had two flash fiction stories published, letters published in Writers' Forum along with a full page spread about my vision boards by the wonderfully talented Paula Williams.  My letter to Writing Magazine, about the use of cliches, caused the editor's post bag to overflow (yes I started a #trend!) and I've appeared in my local newspaper twice.  I also enrolled on a Creative Writing Course and continue to submit my short stories to competitions. 

On occasion my resolutions have overlapped; April was my alcohol free month and as I coped with an Easter break as a tee-total holiday maker, I found myself doing things I have never done before - which was meant to be my May's challenge.  This included being dragged up on stage and wrapped in sticky tape at the Circus by Paulo the Clown.  Of course this only happened after Douglas McPherson, author of Circus Mania, informed me it was World Circus Day when we were away - who can resist the Circus?

May's 'do something I've never done before' turned out to be a wonderful month of opportunities and challenges.  I made a fairy garden with my daughter, crafting queen Nicola Grice taught me how to make a quilt cushion cover and I had very girlie eyelash extensions by the gorgeous Ellie.  The most amazing challenge that month though was going into my local junior school to run a workshop on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).  This was to help the year 6 children cope with the stress and anxiety of their SATs.

May finished on a very high note when I scared myself to death my doing a zip wire.  My knees were knocking for days after that challenge.

In June I motivated an army of readers to de-clutter, grow their own vegetables and salad and to try the odd meat free dinner.

So here I am ready to begin the next 6 months and I couldn't be more energised and raring to go.  There are lots of crazy things coming up in the second half of the year.  I have to cope without television, Facebook, my car or black clothing in July.  I'm putting my travel writing head on in August and reporting from London, Cornwall and Warwick, York plus any other pretty towns I may stumble across.  In November I face the biggest challenge of the year - NaNoWriMo which is a competition to write a 50,000 word novel in one month (told you there were crazy things going on) and then in December I will be turning my hand to home-made gifts for Christmas.

Are you motivated to achieve something for yourself this year?  Are you wondering how to achieve?

Try to look beyond your usual routines.  There is a land of amazing possibilities out there so be daring, be creative, stand out and go where you've never been before (and I don't just mean Tesco instead of Asda)

Repeat after me - "This is the best year of my life!"

I'd love to hear what challenges you are setting yourself for the rest of 2013 or do you have an idea for next year?  Let me know what you're up to.

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