Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As the year rolls to an end, let's consider what happened and what we want for next year. Ask yourself two questions. First, what good things occurred to you in 2016? Then, what good things do you want in your life in 2017? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

2016 turned out to be one of the best years of my life. That wasn't expected but occurred as the fruit of conscious choice. For decades, I've worked too hard at my job. Sacrificed too much. A year or so ago, I decided I want more balance in my life. Less work, more fun. Fewer chores, more adventures. So I set out to achieve that. I bought two new motorcycles, made ambitious plans and deliberately shifted attention from my job to the rest of my life.

The results were very pleasing. I took more than a dozen big motorcycle trips and they were all great fun. I made efforts to become closer to my friends by dropping into their towns and spending valuable time with them. I got more exercise, mostly by hiking in the woods and taking pictures. And I cooked more of my meals. Home-cooked food is always tastier, healthier and cheaper than eating out.

The very positive results of this shift make me want to continue the effort. I'm planning multiple motorcycle trips for 2017, hoping to convince my friends to let me visit them, and working on my health. For Christmas, I asked for and got new hiking boots which encourage me to walk more. I got new motorcycle gear for the same reason.

What are you doing? How was your year? What are your plans for 2017?

21 comments:

  1. You are so inspirational Ally.

    I do hope you're planning another visit up my way : )

    This year wasn't the best for me. Quite a few difficult challenges however I have managed to overcome them and believe I have learned a great deal and managed to come out a stronger person because of it.

    Next year like you, I hope to connect with more friends and make my health a priority.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I prioritize my best friends and you're in the top circle, so expect another visit from me!

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  2. I am so glad you made these wise changes. I can see you are happy, just from your facial expressions in recent post. You are inspiring, and we should all take note and learn.
    I hope to be working more on my health this year, and to be more cognizant of the good things around me.
    I have had a tough season with my health, so I am hoping I can reverse that. I also look forward to meeting Eugenia from the Age of Grace, and Greetje, from No fear of fashion.
    I might try to travel a bit... Happy and Merry!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

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    1. Greetje is really nice. You'll like her.

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  3. I'm glad you succeeded in shifting to add more happiness in your life. Work is all well and good, but what's the point if by the time you can enjoy retirement, you don't have the energy.

    There's a silly commercial that I think of often (some medication ad) that says "A body in motion will stay in motion", and I think of it sometimes as a more abstract concept than they were intending.

    That said, 2016 has been one of the hardest years to date for me. We had some good months, had some rough ones. This holiday season is panning out to be even rougher than the last. I'm still learning how to celebrate without my mom, and still have more important dates coming up (birthday, mom's death date) to face.

    However, I'm taking things baby steps at a time. If I can't, I step away. If I can, I go for it. Whether one week, one day, or even one hour at a time.

    I'm back off a mood stablizing medication due to bad reactions, so my mental health is pretty fragile. I'm keep-on keeping-on, hoping for it to improve

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    1. Annual events after a loved one dies are so hard: we grieve all over again at their absence. Hang in there, buddy. I wish you the best.

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  4. This fills my heart with so much happy :) I feel as though it was a really big year of positive change for you... and, as your friend, it's been a delight to see you settle comfortable in your skin and expand your horizons with your blog. I've also loved reading about your adventures and how much fun you've had on your motorcycles. I wish you nothing but the best for 2017--may it be happy, may it be healthy, may it be your sweetest yet.

    XOXO and love your new boots!

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  5. I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful year. Thank you for your card and hope you had a merry Christmas!

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  6. Nice post Ally, good to read you had a good year.

    Having selfishly spent so much money on clothing for my alter ego this year only for them to end up keeping the wardrobe warm, my plan for 2017 is to dress more drawing inspiration from how you just go for it and enjoy yourself. Thanks Ally, you're an inspiration to us all.

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    1. Thanks, Lotte. I hope you find a way to reconcile the conflict in your personal life. It's a struggle for all of us.

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  7. I have committed to live more for me now because life is short and we need to enjoy our time here. Now that my children are almost grown it is even easier. I commend you for doing this!

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    1. Thanks, Joanna. Like you, me and the previous commentor (Charlotte), this is a struggle for us. I wish us all a path to joy in 2017.

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  8. Good for you that you managed to turn around your life so it benefits you more, way too many people have a burn out or heart attack due to ongoing stress!
    My 2016 was pretty good, too, and I hope 2017 will just be like it!

    -Kati

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  9. Good for you to put yourself first, and learning to enjoy life to the fullest!
    I wish I could say 2016 was a good year, but I can't. Even though there haven't been any personal tragedies, and my life is pretty much the same as before, I'm really dreading what the future may hold. I'm of course talking about the political upheavals (some of which will undoubtedly also impact me and my family). So, if I have to say something positive about 2016, I might say that I've found my inner political activist (something I never thought was even remotely possible), and I need to find a useful outlet for my frustration...

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    1. The rise of despicable people to power means the rest of us need to take action to oppose them. We will... and we will defeat them.

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  10. Wishing you all the best for a very Happy New Year, Ally <3 Thank you for being a wonderful friend to me this year. You are the best.

    XOXO

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  11. So glad you feel happy about the changes you made in 2016. I'm planning on getting back on track in 2017 with healthier lifestyle choices. I derailed a bit last quarter of 2016...but I know I can succeed in setting things right again.
    A very Happy New Year to you, Ally! :)

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  12. Very wise choices. I have always made sure there was balance between work and play. Now I have to decide (for as much I have anything to say in the matter) to be made redundant (with severance pay) or to continue working another two years.
    Wish me wisdom. You don't need it, you are already on your way.
    Greetje

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  13. I realized something that I am so far behind on Reading blogs, but every time I see that you have posted it makes me smile. 2016 was a mixed bags of emotions, changing jobs which turned out to be for the best and having bubs. It makes me feel so lucky to know that I am finally growing up and hoping to be the best dad I can. This new will bring lots of challenges but I feel that I am finally ready to succeed and to be a better person. Belated Merry Christmas and I look forward to another year of blogs, coffee and now baby stuff lol

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