Ways I "Aspired" in 2013:
1. Lost (almost) 50 Pounds!
48 pounds to be exact- I'd have hit the 50 if it weren't for those pesky Holiday season treats! I took a look at where I was at and where I ASPIRED to be in life and realized there were several self-placed roadblocks that were making my other life goals harder to achieve. The extra weight I've been toting around for a decade was beginning to slow me down. I don't have time for that! I wanna live at warp speed for as long as reasonably possible. Carting an extra 80-85 lbs. around while doing that just wasn't working for me.
I also had an experience where I missed out on a big personal life goal because of my weight. Not acceptable. And so, it's gone- or at least the ugliest pounds are. I need it out of my way so I can really go after the big goals I'm seeking.
2. ASKED For A Raise and Promotion:
I knew I wasn't being paid to the level at which I was performing at work- I agreed to hire in at a lower level when I started with the promise that they would move me up when the budget allowed. I read a great book called "Ask For It" which claims that a big part of the reason women tend to earn less than men is that we simply don't ASK for raises. Upon hiring, 52% of men will negotiate the compensation package but only 8% of women are willing to do the same. If we are earning less, it's partly our OWN fault.
So, I prepared the comparables to statistically show the big boss how I was performing well above my pay grade and how others performing the same tasks in this market were being compensated. I didn't do the emotional "nobody appreciates me" martyr whine. Instead I sucked in my fears and ASKED for a raise. In a politically correct way, I explained that I either needed to be paid for the job I was doing OR I needed to do the job I was being paid for (substantially less work with much less responsibility). Recognizing that it was his place to decide the best use of my time, I asked which he preferred. I got a 25% raise and a title change that better reflected the work I really do. I aspired to improve my position at work and it worked!
3. Aspired To Be A Better Wife/ Mom
This one is less tangible. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I missed. One thing I've aspired to do this year is nag less and listen more. Instead of focusing on where my kids and spouse are falling down, I aspired to recognize where they are succeeding and encouraging that. I did pretty well in this in any topic NOT related to house cleaning or homework. I still nagged plenty about that!
My spouse has some of his own aspirations- chief among them to finally finish that Bachelor's degree he's been working on for years. Since I am not much help with homework (it's highly technical), I could support him by taking on other stresses so he didn't have to deal with as much of the everyday life stuff. He's almost done with school now. When asked what he plans to do with the new degree he answers "Pay off the student loan", but I'm sure he'll be excited to finally have that monkey off his back. Sometimes the most successful thing WE can do, is nurture the success of others. I always have so many of my own goals and ideas that I can forget that the people close to me do too and that I need to step back sometimes and help them succeed.
I love to surround myself with friends who help me aspire to become more than I am. I have met so many new people this year and have taken opportunities to help them push along their own aspirations. I prefer to spend my time with people who are passionate about doing great things and actively striving. I've been watching, learning and ASPIRING to be more like them! Which is why I selected my 2014 word of the year:
I've used my fat and my fears of not being good enough to hold me back on a big goal that germinated in my mind all last year. So many times I wanted to move that aspiration forward but was too paralyzed to try. I developed a fun little product and spent the year testing and trying and planning and aspiring how I would go about producing it. But I was too scared to make the leap. So scared that LOSING 50 POUNDS seemed to be the EASIER goal to tackle!
I don't want to be owned by the fear of looking foolish. So the freak what?!!! Even if I fail, I will win by trying. I will move forward anyway because the "what if" question is just not acceptable anymore. I have to know if it's a good idea or not and mostly I have to know that I had the courage to find out. The ultimate success or failure of the project I'm undertaking isn't the most important component, it's pushing myself past the fear of not being good enough. And I will!
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit around and think about it. Go out and do it!" -- Dale Carnegie
For the last year I HAVE sat around and thought about it and it's made me more scared to try, not less. This year I will not simply think about it but also find ways to act on it (within the bounds of risk I am prepared to take, of course, my word isn't FOOLISH after all)! Fearless refers to carefully researched and calculated actions but it still takes a leap of faith to start! This is the year to put the fears aside and simply do it anyway!
Weight Loss Update: Although I gained a lot in December , I do think taking a break (I planned for it to be 2 weeks of less-strict eating and it turned into 5, oops!) was good for me. I learned how quickly small cheats can add up. I gained about 6 lbs. over the holidays- though some of that was water/gylcogen returning with the carbs I was eating since I'm on a ketogenic diet. I did get back on the wagon on January 1st and now, 11 days later, I have lost the Christmas gain and I'm heading down the scale again. I have no idea what "week" I'm in anymore but I am pleased to report I'm still "in it to win it". Whew!