2013 Annual Review

After the epic year that was 2012, I didn’t think I’d find myself saying this, but 2013 has also been kinda pretty huge for me. Losing my beloved Uncle at the end of last year set 2013 as a year of personal growth of a kind I haven’t experienced before. Losing someone so fundamental to my sense of self, someone who had been there from day dot, someone who was my go to for all things spiritual, left me not only reeling but questioning everything in my world. Perhaps because of this, 2013 has unexpectedly been a year abundant with answers. Here are just a few of my big moments from the last 12 months.

The highlights of my year

Paid homage to my Uncle by spending 10 days in retreat at a Krishnamurti centre in Hat Yai, in the South of Thailand. My Uncle was a huge fan of his work and it was important for me to explore why.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Stream Garden Retreat, Hat Yai

Stream Garden Retreat, Hat Yai

Lost £500 in rent and flights after deciding to stay in Koh Phangan for the summer instead of following my original plan of travelling to Borneo and Vietnam before heading back to Chiang Mai to move into the apartment I had already paid a deposit and first month’s rent for. In doing this I learnt a valuable lesson about doing what feels right rather than sticking with a plan that no longer resonates. My summer on Koh Phangan was worth far more to me than £500.

My paradise, Koh Phangan

My paradise, Koh Phangan

Completed an intensive one-month yoga course, consisting of four hours of yoga a day, six days a week and met some beautiful people in the process.

Graduating from yoga school

Graduating from yoga school

Lost 8kgs in weight from undertaking two 7.5-day detoxes and doing lots of yoga and running.

Made lots of new friends, several of whom I know that I’ll know for life and deepened some of my existing friendships.

New friends with beautiful souls

New friends with beautiful souls

Rescued was rescued by my first puppy and dealt with the pain of losing her only 8 weeks later.

Charlie and me

Snuggling with Charlie

Was invited to co-create (with the beautiful Katy Bullen) Inspire me to, a network of passionate and conscious individuals inspired by life. It will be a platform for you to share your most amazing experiences and discoveries so that others may too be joyfully nourished and encourage the magic of life and universal connection to unfold and manifest. Website coming soon in 2014.

Inspire me to

Ran my first race in 4 years and my first outside of the UK. It was a 10k run through the streets of magical Chiang Mai and I achieved my target of completing it in less than 57 minutes, crossing the line with my wonderful friend after 55.05 minutes, to the sight of several of my dearest friends (and the beautiful banner they made) having braved the cold before 7am to cheer us on.

Fellow runners and supporters

Fellow runners and our wonderful band of supporters

Decided it was time to start really living limitlessly and resigned from my very comfortable online job which has allowed me to live an amazing life for the past year, but that has unfortunately meant de-prioritising working on achieving my dream of becoming a full-time Life Coach.

Had the best Christmas Day of my whole life, consisting of brunch with some of my closest friends followed by four hours of giving free hugs to strangers, followed by a group dinner, followed by relaxing for the evening with someone I adore.

Free hugs with the girls

Giving out free hugs with beautiful friends

How I got on with my 2012 goals

1.   Become a life coach (to feel useful)

I didn’t really set any qualifying factors with this goal, so for example while I haven’t yet started my coaching qualification, I am currently coaching someone and seriously loving it!

2.  Find love (to feel loving and loved)

When I wrote this goal, I had romance in mind but as I sit here considering this goal, I can honestly say that, despite not being in a romantic relationship, 2013 has been a year over-flowing with love. I did have a beautiful but fleeting romance early in the year, which definitely blew away some of the cobwebs in my heart but I have also had a year rich with new, deep and fulfilling connections with some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met.

3.  Complete my manuscript (to feel creatively fulfilled)

I made no progress on this goal. I had considered putting this goal back on the list for 2014 but actually it doesn’t feel like a priority in my life right now and I’ll get to it when the time is right.

4.  Develop a daily meditation practice (to feel more mindful and still)

I can’t say that I have developed a daily meditation practice but I have done more meditation this year than at any other time in my life so I feel far closer to achieving this goal than I was.

5.  Develop a regular writing practice (to feel creatively fulfilled)

I have gone through periods this year where I’ve had a good run of writing 1000 words each morning but I don’t think I can claim that I have truly achieved this goal. The serious lack of published posts on the blog this year is testimony to that, but this is one that I’ll definitely be carrying through to 2014.

6. Save £10,000 (to feel financially secure)

I achieved this!

7.  Develop a daily yoga practice (to feel in touch with my body and mind)

Much like the goal on meditation, I haven’t achieved this in that I don’t do yoga everyday but I have done more yoga this year than at any other time in my life. I continue to enjoy yoga but where my body is concerned my true passion continues to be running, which I am now doing three times a week.

8.  Reach the peak of my physical fitness (to feel healthy and strong)

This was always going to be a hard one to measure but in my mind I saw it as exceeding my previous peak in 2008, the year in which I completed both a marathon and a half-marathon and got down to my leanest at 53kg. I’m currently 56 kgs (having lost 8kgs over the course of the year and in less than two weeks I’ll be running a half-marathon so I do feel as though I’ve made some serious progress, but I have not yet matched nor exceeded my previous peak of fitness.

9. (to feel open to possibilities)

I left number nine open to see what came up as a goal and in retrospect, I can honestly say that it was probably to resolve the question of why am I here and what is my purpose in life. I now know that love is the only real goal. To give, to receive and to be pure and unconditional love. Knowing it is not as simple as doing it, this is definitely my work in progress but love has been such a huge feature of 2013 for me.

Made with love by people I love

Made with love by people I love

My theme for 2013 was Quiet focus and I think my year reflects that. I did a lot of soul-searching and as a result feel a lot more at peace with who I am, why I am here and what I can offer the world. All in all I have nothing but deep gratitude for 2013. It had highs and lows but all in all it was a bloody brilliant year.

Normally I combine my annual review with my goals for next year but this year I’ve bought and printed out Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soulwhich I’ve chosen to read and work through tonight (New Year’s Eve). It was Danielle who first inspired me to incorporate how I wanted to feel in 2013 (hence the words in brackets after the goals above), but this time I want to spend much more time really digging deep, to identify how I want to feel in 2014 and therefore create some goals with soul for next year. Look out for my post on this next week.

How was your 2013? Have you stopped to take some time to review how it went for you? Have you had a think about what you would like to achieve in 2014 and more importantly how you want to feel next year? If so, please feel free to share because I’d love to hear about what you have planned. If you liked this post, please do share it by hitting up one of the buttons below. 

Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful Caroline! Made me happy to read this, you feel so open and grateful and free…and I’m sure 2014 will bring even more of the juicy goodness :)

    Happy New Year!

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