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

 

 

 

Rural Reflections #21

Tired, exhausted and distracted with life… that I have neglected to write for you and for me.  That underlying passion that sparks my soul when I use my thoughts and words to connect with my life… it has been simmering beneath the breeze.

But I am back, still tired, still distracted, but ready to reflect once again.  I have been busy with farming, business life, new business ventures, voluntary activities and now my health has taken priority.  Why is it so hard for women to put themselves first and value their own health status?  Usually, it is when our health fails us, that we decide to make it more of a priority.

Another sinus surgery to follow-up from last year, has left me feeling tired, as my office work started to pile up.  Starting to get back on top of it, yet distracted by means of too many roles to participate in.  I have been reflecting on the important things in life.  My health, my family and my passion.

I look back over the years… proud of success, learning from failures and connecting with many people, making a difference in this world.  Success comes in so many forms.  But so many people focus on success being an overall goal.  This is so untrue and can leave people feeling unnecessary disappointment.

Success is all the little things that you do throughout every day of your life.  Success is teaching your child good manners.  Success is ensuring your partner feels loved.  Success is bringing happiness into someone else’s life.  The small things that good people just do without a conscious thought… that is real success.

So rather than focusing on the happy marriage, the new car, the dream home or the ideal job that you will get one day… focus on those little successful events throughout your day.  And remember that disappointment or failure is just a lesson to teach us there is another way or something better around the corner.

So today I share with you a photo taken in 2010 from another farming property of mine.  A farm that holds many memories of my sons teenage years.  A farm called “Kokoda” between Inverell and Glen Innes NSW.

A farm that brings me joy when I reflect… but also sadness for a time when my husband had broken a vertebrae in his back as a result of a Quadbike farm injury, only 4 years ago.  A serious injury that my dear husband has now thankfully overcome.

Life happens, injuries happen… but it is how we get through it and how we move forward that is important.  It is during this very stressful time that I realised how lucky I really was.  Lucky to have a loving husband and lucky to have 2 sons to support us through this tough time.

Life will always have ups and downs… for each and every one of us.  This photo that I share is a reflection upon times gone by and a reminder to just appreciate the beauty and tranquil surrounds.

Rural Reflection #21…

21 Times Gone By at Kokoda

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I love this photo for the good memories it arouses in me.  The beautiful natural green pastures with a sprinkling of white clover.  The memories of our Hereford cattle beneath those trees chewing their cuds.  Memories of family mustering and enjoying each others company.  Good memories stay with us, wherever we are.

So as life moves on, our memories are retained within, and we pursue new chapters within our lives.  When you reflect on your life… you really can see how successful you are every single day.  Cherish those experiences and enjoy what life brings your way.  You never know what is around the corner.

Take care,

Karen.

“Success is not in what you have,

but who you are”.

~Bo Bennett, Author

 

How To Be Successful In Your Life?

Society tells us that we go through childhood, get an education, follow a career, add a family and life is successful… in that order.  NO… this is certainly not true, as life does not fit inside that small perfectly-shaped box.

Everybody is different and has the ability to pave their own path and make their own successful journey.  Tackling life in the correct order… making the correct choices… as to how we live our lives.

“Correct” in who’s eyes?

Sometimes we need to approach life with a different perspective… do things out of the ordinary… as a means of living up to our own standards and not those of everybody else.  Be unique and follow your own purpose in life.

In our early years of childhood, we were unique individuals and free to explore the world around us… without inhibitions or feelings of inferiority.

Then FEAR sets in… with the pressure of our peers and our need to fit in.  We question ourselves and the barriers are formed.  These limiting beliefs are then carried with us into adulthood.

The toughest walls are those we put in front of ourselves.  When we realise this, life can change dramatically.

Rather than stepping outside of your comfort zone… look at expanding your comfort zone.  This thought seems to give me a feeling of not being exposed and being in control of my own choices.  I can take baby steps or a great leap… but I control how far I am willing to expand my comfort zone.

It is never too late… to try something new… and give it go.  Many people are discovering their talents, later in life and that is OK.  We pave our own path and are capable of making our own choices.

I admit… my aspirations at 18, was to get married and have 2 kids… as family was more important to me, than a career.  This did not fit in well with my Careers Advisor at high school.  But I did work in the banking industry, got married at 19, first baby at 20, then another 18 months later.

I did what I wanted to do.  I raised 2 great sons now living independently in their early 20’s.  I have been married for 25 years this year and I wouldn’t change a thing.

My point is that each of us follow our own path and believe in what we do… living with purpose.  But it must be our own purpose.

Now as an empty-nester, I concentrate on the next phase of my life.  I just started a new business, separate from the farming industry.  I offer freelance writing & administration services.  And I also have this blog for conveying my inspirational messages in writing.

I didn’t achieve success in the correct order according to many people… but it was correct for me.  We just have to believe in the choices we make, take the responsibility when things don’t quite work out and then move on.

Inspiration surrounds us every day bringing us great opportunities.  We hear about famous people bringing inspiration into the lives of many.  But you don’t have to be famous, we are just everyday people making a difference in this world.

Look around you… there are people in your circle… family, friends or colleagues… that will inspire you.  Be that person that inspires others… by being true to yourself and showing kindness and compassion to others.

We all bring something special to the table, possibly without even realising it.  We are not famous, just everyday people, inspiring others in an extraordinary way.

We never stop learning and our personalities will evolve through time as we continue to be the better person.  Strive for personal growth and you will see the success reign upon you in many aspects of your lives.

Work hard for what you want, for what makes you happy and what makes you feel whole.  Being true to yourself is where the success starts.  So hold your head up high and walk proud.

Take care, Karen.

“Success is the result of perfection,

hard work, learning from failure,

loyalty, and persistence.”

~ Colin Powell

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How To Have Courage In Public Speaking and Succeed

Courage is the commitment to begin something without any guarantee of a successful result.  But courage also allows you to fail and learn a powerful lesson… therefore you don’t really fail at all.  If you never courageously take a risk you will never accomplish anything in life.  It is my time to challenge myself and to confidently learn public speaking skills with my local Toastmasters International club.

I took a risk tonight and stepped way out of my comfort zone, delivering my first structured speech at Toastmasters.  I was nervous but excited… ready for the challenge and looked forward to suggestions and improvements from my fellow Toastmasters.

I joined up only last meeting and was keen to step up and give it a go tonight. Courageously I stepped up to the lectern, delivered a 5 minute “Ice Breaker” introductory speech about myself and what I am passionate about.  I felt relieved when finished, but I also felt a sense of satisfaction, that I was courageous enough to speak in front of a small audience.  This was an achievement in itself.

Proudly I accepted an Award for being voted the Best Speaker on the night.  Secretly I thought I may have got a few sympathy or encouragement votes for being a “virgin” speaker.  But I did feel my passion and words were from the heart, and was very content with my first speech.

The beauty is other members give you feedback with an evaluation of your speech.  This includes detailed commendations and a recommendation for improvement.  I still have so much to learn, skills to develop and confidence to be formed.  But I am on the right track and have found the right place.

My favourite part is the support and guidance that fellow Toastmasters give you.  It is with their positive reinforcement that I have been able to have faith in myself and believe that I can do it.  There is no such thing as failure, it is all a learning curve.

Success is having the courage, determination and perseverance to see something through.  If you have the courage to begin, you will certainly have the courage to succeed.  Believe in yourself!

Take care, Karen.

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.”

~ Earl Wilson

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