Is this Good Enough? Resolutions and Results So Far

Is this Good Enough?

Realistically you probably haven’t given my resolutions for 2014 a thought since I wrote about them here in January. You’re probably too busy with your own life.

It happens. And what also happens is that we get so busy doing the non life-changing, but life-supporting things, like earning money, getting food on the table and doing the admin jobs that are part of our busy modern life that we forget about our bigger goals.

It’s not just that we get busy and forget about other people’s plans and dreams. We forget about our own.

So it’s time to keep you up to date with my resolutions in the hope that it will give us all a wake up call to remember and focus on our dreams and plans.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Much like my weight loss graph it will have peaks and troughs but if we really want to change we have to keep starting again.

Often we need to start over and over again because failure is normal, indeed multiple failures are normal as it takes time to create the change we want to see, or otherwise to accept that we are good enough as we are.

If you’re an email subscriber you’ll be getting my change series with more thoughts and tips. If not and you’re up for positive life changes sign up here now for free weekly updates.

I divided my resolutions up into body, mind and soul and here’s where I’m up to.


1. Resolution: Quit chocolate and replace it with 15 minutes of meditation after lunch and a ten minute nap

Results: I did quit chocolate but it was hard. So very hard. Then it got easier after a few weeks.

When it was hardest I used meditation and a tiny nap to see me through which helped. It was a great way to take a break after lunch at a time when I often don’t get much work done anyway and I realised that I’m really tired at that time. I get up at 5.30am so no wonder I need a little pick me up by lunch time – or lie down which is my new tactic!

I never planned to give up chocolate forever because it would be silly to give up something you love that much. So I have started eating chocolate again but with control.

Sometimes I only eat it at weekends and sometimes I just eat a small amount (100g) of dark chocolate after lunch but none in the evenings.

I’m actually surprised and happy that I’ve got my chocolate eating back in control and of course that’s helped me with the dreaded weight loss.

2.  Resolution: Maintain my fitness levels

Result: Absolutely. I had about two weeks off exercise during my trip to Italy and for a week after I got home because I was so worn out.

But I soon got back into and beat my running record, making it from my house to the end of Sunshine Beach in 27 minutes instead of the normal 30 minutes. That’s only 3.6km (2 miles and 400 yards) but I was surprised I’d got faster after two weeks of doing nothing but I guess my body enjoyed the rest.

I do that run once a week and power walk home so the total length is 7km or 5 miles. Then I do a  weekly bike ride, the killer stepsexercise DVDs, daily walks and I am still hoping to fit in yoga too one day!


3.  Resolution: Meditate every day and continue to incorporate mindfulness into daily life

Results: I probably need to change this resolution to regularly. I try to start and end every day by taking three mindful breaths as I lie in bed. It’s not much but it sets the tone for the day. Throughout the day I try to be mindful and aware of my thoughts.

I meditate formally on weekdays but often not on weekends when the children are around. For me the best thing is to meditate after I drop my daughter at school. I go to the beach to meditate and it’s a great way to gather my thoughts and chill out before the work day begins.

4. Don’t buy any new clothes this year

Results: I failed with this one but not by much. I bought this new Metallicus dress on sale for $49 reduced from around $140. But then I had to buy a $36 Marks and Spencers petticoat to go under it because that dress is totally see-through otherwise.

Queen Mary 2_19

Then I won a $120 voucher for Verily on Lifestyle Fifty and added $44 of my own money so I got two dresses, one red and one blue. My husband and kids are giving them to me for my birthday which is coming up soon.

All in all I think spending less than $150 in 1o weeks on clothes is a success. I am still trying to see the rest of the year out without buying any new clothes but temptation is everywhere.

I’d love to buy another Lola Australia dress when they go on sale and I’d still like a pair of white jeans. Preferably J Brand. As you can tell those things are definitely about wants not needs so I will try to resist.

A friend just handed me a bag of old clothes she’s fed up with so I got a fix of new to me things there.

I can see some of my resolutions were too black and white. I should have said by less clothes, not don’t buy any!


6. Resolution: Make sure I catch up with a friend at least once a week

Results: I did really well with this for the first two months and I’m still going. I’ve manage to drag a friend along to my killer step sessions and I found someone to join me for a midweek movie this week.

I’ve also reached out to new friends. I find the organisation and the risk of rejection hard work but it’s fun to see people and it definitely helps me feel more connected and happier.

This resolution is forcing me to do something that’s good for me.

7.  Resolution: Make time to enjoy my family 

Results: Still working on this one! I’m trying to get my teenager to come for a weekly walk with me. He protests but I like to think he enjoys it in the end and I enjoy being able to talk properly to him without any interruptions.

I love reading to my daughter at night so she’s getting individual attention. My middle child Max misses out a lot but this week I made one on one time with him to help make a puppet. He’s very arty.

One on one time with my husband is harder to organise. I need to work on that too but we usually have a short walk together at least once a week.

There’s still plenty of room for improvement but I’ve made a start.

7.  Resolution: Complete a book

Interestingly my burning drive to write a book has died. I’m not sure if it’s laziness, the fear of failure or just the realisation that, although I love writing and think I’m an okay writer, I’m don’t have the focus and determination to write a book right now.

Only a few weeks ago talking or writing that would have caused me a lot of emotional pain but now it feels right. I’ll see if the desire to write a book goes away for good or if it pops back up again.

I think I’m really feeling the need to stop focusing on my own creative endeavors and to start focusing that energy on earning more. That would bring a different sense of achievement and fulfillment as well as creating a practical way for me to treat my family to some fun outings together.

My work motivation has slumped which is bad when you’re self employed. I am craving more company and the thought of full time employment, a regular income and working with other people thrills me, even though I know how much freedom I’d be giving up.

Either way, maybe my career and income is where I need to direct my energy instead of into writing a book. There are other creative writing endeavors apart from writing a book like blogging which I still love.

So that’s me. Those are the resolutions I made and the results so far.

Sometimes I think this isn’t a good time for me to make big changes in my life because I’m still busy working and living with a house full of kids. But part of me worries that I’ll always be busy and if I don’t do things now they’ll never happen.

I guess the secret to feeling like you’re getting somewhere, without killing yourself in the process, is to be realistic about how much you can achieve given your family, work and  health circumstances.

It’s not about trying to be better or do more, but being realistic about how much you can do and realising that maybe, just maybe, you’re good enough as you are.

Is what you’re doing good enough? If not what areas would you like to improve on?

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  1. Debra Eve March 10, 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    So inspiring to hear of your successes, Annabel! We have many of the same resolutions in common! I’m not a chocoholic, but I do have my own sugar bugaboos.

    As to writing that book — I’ve put writing my Later Bloomer books on hold for over a year because I really wanted to explore what it means to be a creative late bloomer myself. Recently I’ve felt the call to return to them.

    For those of us who consider writing just one aspect of our lives, I think the impulse hits when we’ve truly worked through what we want to share. I have a feeling yours will return at some point!

    • Annabel Candy March 10, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Hi Debra,

      Lol, I’ve never heard the word bugaboos before :)

      I hope you’re right and I think that’s why I’m not too bothered about it. Either I’ll get fired up about a book again in the future and get onto it at last or I won’t :) Maybe the time just isn’t right now.

  2. Barbara March 10, 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Annabel, let me just say, you look awesome in that dress! I so admire your get up and go attitude. I would like to think I would be more inclined if I lived in a nicer year round climate like yours, but I doubt it.

    It’s really hard to commit to something full time when you have kids the ages of yours. I remember those days being so difficult, and I was fortunate to have my own biz to manage flexibility.

    Eventually I went to work full time and it was a nice change of pace, for a while…not to mention the regular paycheck! But in the end…I am a born entrepreneur, and I believe you are, too.

    You’ll figure it all out in your own time and fashion. I just really hope you never give up blogging. I would sorely miss you!

    • Annabel Candy March 10, 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you! It’s true exercise is easier here because it’s warm. But I have to do it at 5.30am or it’s too warm!!

      You’re right about my entrepreneurial ways but I love using them to help other people grow their businesses as well as my own. That works either helping people with digital strategy through my own business, through a larger agency or as the marketing manager for one business. That would have to be for a product or brand I really loved but anything to do with travel, health or food fit the bill :)

      I can’t think that I’ll ever stop blogging. I love it. If things got crazy busy hopefully I could still write here once a week, fortnight or month. It’s become my favorite way to keep in touch with people and really share in a way that doesn’t happen on Facebook.

  3. Hello, lots to think about here. I am in awe of the regular early start, I am not dicsiplined enough though if I live nearer the sea maybe I would… did do the 7am ocean swim on Sunday. But as a basis for good living, that exercise is marvellous.

    I do need to see some friends as I feel terribly lonely sometimes- more this year than the last few. Like you I am sometimes thunking an office would be fun BUT I’d never do it permanently… and not even yet whilst kids are still at primary.

    It sounds as if you have a lot of energy in life and also balance too… and lots of being in the moment ie really living life. Good to read and emulate.

    • Annabel Candy March 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Seana,

      The blogging life can be a lonely business. Sounds like you need to get out more too. I spend most if my time organising the kids social life and mine falls by the wayside. I bet that’s the case for you and many other mums.

  4. Sandra Pawula March 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Wow, I can’t believe you get up at 5:30 am Annabel! No wonder I get so little done, but I doubt I’ll ever be a convert to early rising.

    I’m impressed. I think you’ve done amazingly well with your resolutions. You’re so methodical. I also looked back at mine recently. Movement is an important one on my list. But, in contrast to you, I just waddle around in the big hot pond a bit. I’m a wimp in comparison. But, I’m so happy for your energy and good health.

    • Annabel Candy March 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      Well the early start doesn’t help me get more done but it does get me out and about which is good! I like the sound of that waddling a lot!

  5. Johanna March 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel! You look fabulous in the white dress and I think it’s good to treat ourselves every now and then (even to Salvos or similar) because a new outfit is such a mood booster (well it is for me!). Thank you for the shout-out to Lifestyle Fifty – I can’t wait to see you in pics of the dress/es you won :) Your goals and resolutions are remarkably balanced … and you’re doing great with them … you make a lesser mortal quake in her shoes :) And 5.30am, well I try, but it doesn’t happen very often. You’ll come back to the book one day – but I think it’s so much healthier to say you’re putting it on back burner than (like me) to beat yourself up almost daily that it’s just not getting done :( Keep up the great work and NEVER stop blogging :)

    • Annabel Candy March 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Johanna,

      Thank you! Yes I hope to share photos and love my new dresses. You’re right that clothes can boost our mood.

      Let’s agree to beat ourselves up no more and I need to tell everyone that I have to go to bed at nine (sometimes earlier!) because if the early start but that’s just what I’m used to now and the good part us I catch all possible daylight :)

  6. Kathy Marris March 11, 2014 at 7:26 am - Reply

    My new year’s resolution was keep my fitness up as we are currently on a six month trip around Australia in our caravanning. However, although we have been doing a lot of walking, the yoga mat that I threw in the van has not been used once! I was going to do some pilates and yoga every day. Mmmm – epic fail!

    • Annabel Candy March 11, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Hi Kathy,

      It’s never too lat. Try the 5 minute trick. Just unroll that mat before breakfast every day and do a couple of poses. You can do it! And hopefully you’ll enjoy it too. Sounds like a fun trip.

  7. Linda ~ Journey Jottings March 11, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Have you tried making your own cacao chocolate Annabel?
    Its soooo good to eat and sooooo good for you too (full of anti-oxidants) with no guilt attached nor the dreaded refined sugar!
    We’ve recently had friends staying who took over my kitchen on a few days and introduced me to cacoa foods – vegan cacao “cheesecake”, cacoa date balls, no-cook cacao brownies – Delish!!! :)

    And re the book – some tasks we set ourselves are because we ‘think’ we should not because we really want to.
    You’re not going to get any pleasure from forcing yourself to write a book – and I doubt it’d be that readable if your heart wasn’t in it!

    • Annabel Candy March 11, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Hi Linda,

      I have been baking with cacao – my favourite is a chocolate chia seed cake (gluten and sugar free) so I’ve found a way to get the chocolate in a healthy way and since I don’t bake much I don’t eat it often either. I want to try the things you mentioned. Recipes please?!

  8. jenny@atasteoftravel March 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    This is more than good enough Annabel! You’ve conquered some hard battles and are gaining a new lifestyle along the way. Success all the way! As much as working full time sounds great for a number of reasons, there are a lot of other things that would suffer along the way. It’s a fine line to tread!
    Oh…and you don’t need to lose any more weight…you look great in the white dress!

    • Annabel Candy March 12, 2014 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Hi Jenny,

      It’s always a juggle and things change all the time – keeps it interesting :) Thank you!

  9. Frenchie March 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel,
    Great effort to get ontop of that chocolate craving. Great post to remind us all to slow down enjoy the finer things and find the ‘joie de vivre’ not always easy – hmm must get me some of those Lola Australia dresses – am the opposite to you – time to update my wardrobe and get out of my comfort zone black… Look forward to the next update.

    • Annabel Candy March 12, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Hi Frenchie,

      The white dress above it by Metallicus. You can see my Lola Australia dress at the bottom of this blog post: I absolutely love it. It’s silk, gorgeous blue colors and so easy to wear – by which I mean comfy!

      I had to stop wearing black a while ago. I definitely feel more cheerful when wearing cheery colors :)

  10. Frenchie March 12, 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel, you are right the blue dress looks amazing …hmm one day.
    Yes the black is a tough one, especially in winter in Melbourne – goes with the mood – But agree that you feel so much better in colour..

  11. Katie March 17, 2014 at 3:22 am - Reply

    I don’t believe in making resolutions as per the New Year thing … continually make goals and re-assess … good luck in achieving yours!

    • Annabel Candy March 18, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Hi Katie,

      You’re right about goals and reassessing things. I think I’m doing that just using a different word – thank you!

  12. Sue March 17, 2014 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    It sounds as though you’re making a lot of progress on most of your resolutions. I would be inclined to gently encourage you to ditch the judgmental/evaluative “Is it good enough?” element of assessing where you are and opt for an appreciative inquiry approach.

    I ditched the resolutions and contrived affirmations/visualizations this year and tried a completely different approach. I got all fired up about Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. Danielle takes the view that usually when we set goals (or resolutions), what we’re really seeking is a particular feeling that goes with reaching that goal, so why not just identify the core desired feelings then figure out what actions generate or support those feelings. Another piece of the puzzle is figuring out who we can call on for support when we’re struggling to regularly engage in the behaviours/practices that generate our core desired feelings. For me, I find it works better and is more inspiring to focus on core desired feelings and have a support team that will gently ask, “Is this activity serving you well? What can we do to help you generate those core desired feelings.”

    • Annabel Candy March 18, 2014 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Hi Sue,

      You’ve got a good point there – I’m hard on myself :) I love your ideas and the sound of that support team. You and all my blog readers are a huge support to me and I really appreciate that.

  13. Mel Sweet March 18, 2014 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Hi Annabelle,

    New reader, and very happy to be here! You are so much better off than I. I didn’t really put together resolutions this year, I don’t really do those any more at all. I am terrible at resolutions. (So thank you, Sue, for the suggestion above on The Desire Map.) My main “goal” here at the beginning of the year is to launch a blog and explore my creative soul in more detail through it. It has been in my head for a while, so I got it going and am loving the whole creative process to learn everything that goes into it. But I only have a few posts, and find it hard to have the time and drive to sit down and write. So, my next goal is try and post twice a week and focus on learning about design.

    I love that you are so brave to post resolutions and any progress! I admire how honest and true to yourself you are. Let’s face it, no one stick to resolutions 100%! They are more like an attitude changer for the New Year- a sort of “LET’S GET THIS YEAR STARTED RIGHT!”.

    • Annabel Candy March 18, 2014 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Hi Mel,

      Great to see you here. Posting the resolutions (goals if you like!) is certainly a good motivator. Love the sound of your blog and hope you can get that going and started right too.

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