learning to trust my own opinions and expertise
I am pretty happy with the way 2013 has turned out. Scratch that. I am very happy with the way 2013 turned out. Big things happened, like finding and falling in love with our most perfect new house, and making the seaside lifestyle work for us. But it is a lot of small things that really made the difference.
I didn’t plan to take this past year on in such an enthusiastic manner. I didn’t make a decision to challenge myself more. It just kind of started happening, and I went with it. Time and again, in 2013, I did things that scared me. That is the best way that I can describe it.
I started Crossfit, and every time I turned up I was scared: because I didn’t know anyone, because I didn’t know what I was doing, because it was so hard and I was terrible at it.
I started a blog and the journey was a scary one, as I realised that no-one read it, and then because some people read it followed by people I knew reading it.
I bought a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board and I was scared that I would look like a goose, every time I went out on it.
I got a 2IC at work and the change in dynamics was scary: because I lost control of part of my team, and because I felt her strengths showed up my weaknesses.
I competed in Crossfit competitions (3, count ’em) and frankly it doesn’t get too much scarier than knowing you are outclassed by 99% of other competitors, and being judged (quite literally) for your performance.
I presented 3 times at a Conference, where I had to hide my fear of being found out as a fraud who didn’t really know what I was talking about.
I promoted my Crossfit blog posts near, far and wide and it was terrifying: because I was telling people that my writing was worth reading, when maybe it wasn’t really, and because people I knew might have thought I was being up-myself or seriously deluded, or even worse, WRONG.
At the moment I have a reasonable sized scar on the bottom of my shin. I got it rope climbing (yep, Crossfit again), and for a good few weeks it was an impressively unpleasant scab. I haven’t had a scab like that since I was a kid, and it made me think about how children get covered in cuts and bruises and scabs because they live life to the full, embracing fun and excitement, and looking for joy in new skills and experiences, and in doing so, get knocked about a bit. I feel that in a small way, I have lived life like this in 2013.
And now it is time to look forward to 2014. I have never written down goals before – they usually swill around vaguely in my head, with no particular action plan, and no particular action taken. Now, of course, I have a blog in which to articulate my goals, my action plans, and to record my progress, so I am excited to be finally doing this. I wonder how it will go….
Let’s get the cliche out of the way first: This year I am going to lose weight. 12kg to be exact. I am going to be 65kg by the end of the year, if not well before. I will be able to lose this weight because I have the knowledge and experience to do this: I lost a similar amount of weight to get to where I am now through clean eating and regular exercise. I will lose 12 kg by continuing with Crossfit 3 times a week as well as additional running, and living an active lifestyle. I will kickstart my weight loss by following a very strict clean eating plan, and then I will use my knowledge to make good food choices and save temptations for “cheat days” rather than continual indulgence. I will focus on protein sources and lots of veges, so that I don’t lose muscle. I will work together with Justin to organise our meals – have good food in the house and spend the time needed to ensure that our breakfast, lunches and dinners are appealing and healthy. When I slip, I will pick myself back up, and continue on my weight loss path.
This year I will continue to enter Crossfit competitions, for the fun and for the challenge. At the Crossfit 4017 competition mid-year, I will place in the top half of the beginners category. I will achieve this by working hard on my cardiovascular fitness through running and rowing on non-Crossfit days, and this will improve my speed and endurance during WODs. I will continue to work on my mobility, with stretching, rolling and standing and bracing. At Crossfit I will push myself to safely increase my weights during lifts and during WODs. I will challenge myself, and push myself, and I will see noticeable improvements in my confidence and performance. I will not hold myself back by thinking that I belong in last place, I will compete in every single workout – I will catch the person running in front of me, I will scale back to where I need to, not where I want to, I won’t keep anything back.
At home, I will enjoy being with my family. I will leave screens alone on weekday mornings and afternoons so that I can engage with my children. I will teach my children – demonstrate new skills for them, encourage their first attempts and supervise their progress until they are ready to go solo. This doesn’t mean that my children will dictate what is required of them, but that my expectations will be guided by their abilities and experience. I will put aside my anger because it makes me an ugly and unkind person, and my family are undeserving of it. I will listen openly to Justin when he tells me what he hears coming from my mouth, and I will seek his support in changing my behaviour. I will love my husband with the unreserved joy and make sure that he knows, every day, how I feel.
At work I will speak my mind with confidence, knowing that I am a good manager – fair and compassionate, knowledgeable and experienced. I will shape the Client Relations team so that the Career Mentor Scheme and Real World Placement Program are strong, innovative and effective programs at the forefront of QUT Careers & Employment, and with a national reputation for excellence. I will do this by listening to the advice of the program experts, being willing to put in place new strategies, and making sure that all Client Relations team members understand their contribution to our success. I will work with the Counselling team, but I will not let members of that team railroad my programs. I will raise the profile of my programs with senior staff by seeking out opportunities to interact with and brief the Registrar, Faculty leaders and DVCs.
On the blogfront, I will write an Opinionated Manager work-related post every month. I will use this blog to showcase a variety of my thoughts, experiences, writing and projects. I will promote worthy posts on twitter, Facebook and any other avenues, to increase their visibility. I won’t let fear of what people might think hold me back, because I am proud of this blog and my work.
So, a fair bit of work to do, but nothing unattainable. The goals are pretty clear, mostly measurable (I might have to think a bit more about how I will measure my at home and at work goals), and I have the know-how and action plans to achieve them. Better get to it, hey?!