Another Year Grateful With a Vision

2019 is almost over and it is time for me to reflect upon my year gone by.  A mighty year I have paved my way through, including drought and personal growth.  In review, my vision board has been my regular guidance.

Did you reach some of the goals that you set out to achieve in 2019?

Some goals reached, others still a work in progress.  Overall I am happy with my own personal achievements and what I have been able to extend in doing for others.  I finally learned the importance of looking after myself, something very unfamiliar to me.

This year for me, was one for learning and expanding my comfort zone.  Personal growth was a priority in 2019 and I amazed myself and enjoyed learning in the process.  You just never know what you are capable of until you have a go.

My year started with the creation of a vision board and was used as a reminder throughout the year to motivate and inspire me.  A vision board is a collage of words and pictures to represent your goals and dreams.  It is used as a visualisation tool.

I enjoyed creating my vision board for 2019, as I used pictures, words and colours to personally represent my goals and to inspire my own success.

Vision Board for 2019

Well, how did I go?  Was I successful?

Success is not a destination but a journey. 

So YES I believe I have been successful to achieve and make progress on what is important to me.

OWN WHO YOU ARE!  This was my mantra or affirmation for 2019.  I made a choice to express who I was and love the person that I am, with faults and imperfections.  This is who I am, a unique individual finding her way in this world.  You are never too old to set another goal and dream a new dream.

My 2019 goals were to:

Write a Book – My talent had blossomed this year and my passion for writing has developed.  Through my words in this blog, I have been able to inspire and help others to shape their lives by making better choices and believing in themselves.  As an Author, my book may not be complete but it has progressed in some way.  For this I am grateful.  This goal has also diversified into 2 separate books that I want to write.  My blog is the basis of those books remaining within my mind.  I attended a workshop with a published Author at the Rural Women’s Gathering this year in Walcha and I have learned specific techniques for my writing to use in the future.

Public Speaking – I joined Tamworth Toastmasters to tackle my fear of public speaking and gain confidence in communication skills.  I have learned great techniques and met some great people that encourage me.  I also attended a Grow your Speaking Biz Workshop with Sharon Jurd Events and I now enjoy speaking to others with a specific message to inspire the listeners.  I have also had several opportunities to speak to community groups on agricultural issues, hypnotherapy, my business, anxiety and to inspire students at my former primary school.  My greatest fear has been conquered.  I still get nervous but more excited now. 

“Country Heart Spark” Blog – My unique way of sharing experiences, thoughts and motivation to inspire others.  Like a journal, but for the public to view, I can connect with people, encourage and support them through my writing.  To have found that something special in me and be able to share with others, is enormous.  I love to write and express myself wholeheartedly in the hope that someone really needs to read what I have written today.  The feedback I receive is what keeps me going and I love to know when I have helped someone in some unique way.

Improve Health – I have struggled with my weight, emotional eating and lack of self-care of myself over the years.  This year I have had a few tests with my doctor, had a diagnosis and dietitian advice.  Finally, food started to make sense with how my body was reacting to certain foods.  It was the first time that I actually made a connection.  I also participated in coaching with Katie Godden on Simple Steps to Better Health which was a great motivation and support.  Although limited by finances in this drought, I was able to understand my health issues and start making progress.  I had been eating much better, with more salads, vegetables and meats.  Unfortunately, over the festive season I have made some unhealthy choices but my body tells me when I forget to listen.

Financial Relief – Drought has been crippling us and business choices have been limited for over 2 years.  Whilst experiencing the worst drought in 100 years, we still have been making decisions, right or wrong, to sustainably remain in farming.  We did make the decision this year to sell part of our farming property, subdivided and put it on the market.  We are down-sizing and business will change and I will find off-farm income.  With this land sale, we will achieve some financial relief.

Design Website – I have now created 3 websites from scratch.  I love to be creative and design marketing material.  Self-taught with information online, I managed to create these websites to reflect the businesses using my good eye for detail.  However, I have even surprised myself with the results and how much I enjoy it.  Completed in style!

Spend Time with Family – As a mother of grown-up children, I miss not having dependants.  But our children are always our babies, so being there to listen, to advise when needed and to help teach them adult lessons… becomes a new task.  Drought has made time a huge limitation, but I have managed regular contact with my sons and family.  It was lovely to have both of our sons home for Christmas with their partners and to see their personalities shine.  In October, I also enjoyed a few days with my Mum and valued the one-on-one time I was able to spend with her.

Time-Out – I have been using a visualisation technique.  Visualising myself as a jug full of water, giving to others.  As I started to run dry, I realised I can’t be there for others if I do not refuel myself first.  When I learned to do this, my jug was full enough to share around and help others.  I now find time to write, to unwind and to express myself.  I also give myself time-out away from work, to connect with local organisations, volunteer my time and communicate with others.  During this drought with the mental and physical exhaustion, I still found a little time to relax, feel calmer and be happy in life.  Whatever it is that you love, find time to do it.

Our performance is so much better and we are much more productive when we acknowledge that we are worth it.  We need to take the time to meet our own needs, nurture ourselves from the inside and embrace our capabilities.

Take time to reflect on your own year, your own goals and your own achievements.  It is surprising, in our review, that we have been very successful and made mighty progress in our lives.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve festivities.

Take care, Karen.

“Starting today I need to forget what’s gone,

appreciate what still remains,

and look forward to what’s coming next.”

~ Author Unknown




Happy New Year and Days Gone By

Another year has gone by and here we are, smack bang at the beginning of 2019 already.  We have all celebrated New Year’s Eve last night in some way… whether it be a quiet night at home with the family, dancing the night away or the fascinating “big bang” with live fireworks.  Who knew all the words to “Auld Lang Syne”?  Or did you just mumble along like the rest of us… joining in with the traditional folk song to signify the start of the New Year?

New Year’s Eve is the largest global celebration… with men, women and children celebrating through rituals galore.  In Australia, celebrations are held across the nation… popular family events, dancing, entertainment, fireworks, concerts, the list seems endless.

How did you bring in the New Year?  For me, it was a quiet night at home with family, enjoying a delicious meal together, a quiet drink, playing a board game Cattle Baron, good conversation and laughter, thinking about my other family members afar and watching the televised midnight fireworks in Sydney.  I know…probably sounds boring to those of you party animals that celebrate into the wee hours of the morning.  But for me… I really enjoyed my night at home in relaxation mode, surrounded by my loved ones.  With the burden of drought consuming me at the moment, this was the perfect way to bring in the New Year.


New Year’s Day provides us with a chance to celebrate that we have made it through another 365 days, our unit of time where we keep chronological order of our lives.  The day we profoundly shift from one year to the next.  At the stroke of midnight, we wave goodbye to the year gone by… and reflect on the achievements in our heart… and share the love with our family and friends.  We also signify a fresh beginning at this ritual in time.  Many people dance, eat, drink and watch fireworks to mark the start of a New Year.

If you have a birthday around the end of September or the beginning of October… well alas… you were probably conceived on New Year’s Eve.  A time when our love for one another is profoundly displayed.  Lots of hugs and kisses and gratitude are thrown around… a sight we are all so familiar with.


I remember when I was young, I used to attend family dances in country towns, dance the night away and upon the countdown to midnight… sing “Auld Lang Syne”.  Historians have called it “the song that nobody knows” yet we have all tried to sing it.  And most of us, not that well… but that doesn’t stop us from joining in.

“Auld Lang Syne” is based on a 1788 Scottish poem by Robert Burns and is typically sung on New Year’s Eve around the world.  The Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” translates to “old long since” and basically means “days gone by” which is an appropriate toast for the New Year.  So when everyone sings the chorus “for auld lang syne”, this translates to “for the sake of old times”.  The song also reflects love, friendship and nostalgic memories.

Thankfully in Australia, the lyrics we sing today are a more modern version of the Scots poem.  I have included a video with lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” for you to practice so you won’t need to mumble along in the verses next year.  I for one tend to hum along nowadays for the failure of not knowing most of the words.

Video Credit ~ YouTube and “Christmas Songs and Carols – Love to Sing”

Now we will be armed and ready for next year… we can sing to our heart’s content.  This folk song is also sung at funerals, graduations and is a farewell song at other occasions.

Sometimes our rituals do change as we get older, have children, move locations or just need a change.  When I had children of my own, fireworks become our favourite New Year celebration.

We were living on the Mid North Coast when my children were young, so we would go into town, buy a seafood basket and sit on the riverbank at Taree, eat our platter together and then watch the fireworks.  I remember the kids waiting for the fireworks… and they would create their own fun by rolling down the hill and playing on the riverbank.  I loved these times and the feeling of contentment and relaxation with my family.  We have also joined family and friends at Tuncurry/Forster to watch fireworks in later years.


New Year resolutions have also been contemplated, agreed to and some broken already.  We all seem to view a New Year as a fresh new blank page in our book.  A book where we can write our own story and start afresh in a New Year.  We are excited and enthusiastic to make resolutions to stick with for 2019.  What are your New Year resolutions?

A year of bitter-sweet memories has unfolded with the drought in our farming communities and we have seen the drought support sprawled across the nation by so many truly wonderful people.  My wish for the New Year is that I hope we have a better, wetter and more prosperous 2019.  As the New Year emerges, I hope we all find new joys to discover and lots of reasons to be grateful.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with beautiful moments and treasured memories within your own heart.

Take care, Karen.

“Begin and end each day with a grateful heart.”

~ Andrea Reiser