2012: A Much Needed Recap

Christmas Day may only have ended 48 hours ago, but it might as well be 48 years ago once you hit those ‘in-between’ days of December 27 – 29. No longer Christmas but not quite New Year; what else is there to do but ponder one’s resolutions from the past twelve months? My second year in Vancouver has been even busier than my first, and has succeeded in being one of the best and most challenging of my 25 to date. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked back over my nine goals for 2012, as I achieved much, much more than I’d remembered.

Resolutions I did achieve in 2012 (well, more than not)…

1. Keep a Diary. I will start off by admitting that my initial efforts did begin to tail off slightly half way through the year, but I definitely did keep a diary for at least 50% of the year. The beautiful Cath Kidston diary may have provided a little extra motivation when needed. I haven’t read it back so I can’t comment on the relevance or coherence of the entries, but I tried.

4. Ski/Snowboard more. I achieved this goal 100% by investing in my very own snowboard, boots, helmet, Grouse Mountain season pass and weekly lessons. I went from 4 days on the snow in early 2011 to 15+ in early 2012. I enjoyed my ladies only snowboarding lessons so much that I’ve registered again (this time for January AND February), and I’m feeling even more optimistic about continuing my goal in 2013 due to the number of fellow snowbirds I’ve gotten to know this year. The icing on this year’s cake would have been if I’d made it to Whistler (or at least any other mountain than Grouse) but there’s always time in 2013.

Testing the new board at Grouse Mountain

Testing the new board at Grouse Mountain

5. Have a targeted approach to work. My goal for 2012 was to be more strategic with the time I spend on particular projects to avoid running myself into the ground, and I’m proud to say I achieved this. 2012 was an interesting year when it came to work, and I learned much more through unexpected experiences and challenges than I ever thought I could in twelve months. Being aware of my goals helped me through some difficult periods, and I’m  (just about) looking forward to getting back to the office in 11 days time.

6. Donate to Streetohome Foundation.  I ummed and ahhed over whether to put this in the pass or fail category, but decided to give myself the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t quite manage a donation every month this year, but I did support two very worthy organizations. One of them was Streetohome Foundation as originally planned, and another was the Union Gospel Mission; in particular their Christmas appeal which funded hot meals for the homeless in Vancouver. I don’t feel quite so bad because I did achieve goal number 7…

7. Volunteer. A monetary donation isn’t the only way to give to charity, and I was very excited to start a long-term volunteer role as a Study Buddy with Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland; another organization close to my heart and my values. It took a few months to complete the relevant recruitment/training process, but on October 1st I met my ‘little sister’ for the first time. We meet once a week at a library in Vancouver and I help her complete her homework and study for tests. It’s only been a couple of months but so far so good, and I’m looking forward to getting back into our regular meetings in 2013.

8. Be a better pen pal. My pretty Cath Kidston stationery was worth it’s weight in gold this year as I did engage in more letter writing with friends in the UK. I did also learn that in order to be a good pen pal you have to be matched with someone who shares the same goal, so I’m looking forward to kicking my friends back into gear for 2013 so I have some letters to reply to. You know who you are…

Resolutions I didn’t achieve in 2012 (well, less than hoped)…

2. Travel. Herein lies the lesson on NOT writing SMART goals. Yes, I travelled, but no, I didn’t travel to The Rockies, or really anywhere else within Canada, as was my initial goal. Because of that I am counting this goal as a ‘failed to meet’, though it is worth celebrating a fantastic summer road trip down the Oregon Coast and to Portland; two places I hadn’t visited before and absolutely loved. I also made it back to San Francisco where I spent a day touring Vineyards in Sonoma County for the first time. I’ll be re-stating my Canadian travel goal for 2013 and hope to make it to The Rockies this time.

The Oregon Coast...it doesn't get much more beautiful than this.

The Oregon Coast…it doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.

3. Save Money. Hmmm. The less said about this one, the better. It’s not that I didn’t save any money, it’s more that I spent a lot on an amazing summer vacation in Oregon, two trips back to the UK, two weekends away in Squamish, my first ever Skydive, a snowboarding set up and a Permanent Residency application. No regrets on any of the above, though this goal will also be featuring on my 2013 list.

9. Use my Apple One-to-One membership. I’ll openly admit that this was an all out fail. I purchased the One-to-One membership alongside my new MacBook Air in January, and even though I love the laptop I haven’t been to a single One-to-One session. I’ve spent my fair share of evenings and weekends in the Apple Store complaining about faulty Apple products (when will they spend less on fantastic customer service and more on making products that don’t break in the first place?) so never had the impetus to visit for any other reason. This won’t be on my list for 2013 as my membership expires in January, but oh well. You win some, you lose some.

And one last thing…

I was determined that none of my resolutions for 2012 would involve dieting or fitness, but this post wouldn’t be a recap of 2012 without mentioning me running my first ever half-marathon in 1:52:33 back in June. It wasn’t something I planned to do at the beginning of the year, and I still don’t know if I’ll repeat the experience, but it’s one of my greatest achievements to date (second only to moving countries in 2011) and a fitting way to end this post.

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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

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