Last year I proclaimed it was, "The Year of Fun," and wow... what a year. Newly single, after a four-year relationship, I decided to dedicate 2014 to saying yes, trying new things and meeting new people. And I had so much fun that I failed to report back...
The Year of Fun in summary
Cole's notes -- my escapades included: trips to Australia, Austin, Vegas, Haliburton, and Montreal; volunteering briefly for a political party and withdrawing after I almost keeled over completing a 200-page media report; two community theatre productions; Tinder trial and error... heavy on the error, and some interesting dating experiences.
In summary, the year of fun ended in a drained bank account, a broken heart, and feeling slightly beaten down. Although the ending sounds like a massive Debbie Downer (insert wa wa wahhh sound effect), reflecting back it was an epic year and I wouldn't have changed a thing! With last year's lessons in mind, I'm embarking on this year's proclamation.
365 Days of Me
I recently watched 500 Days of Summer, one of my favourite romantic comedies, and it crystallized my 2015 declaration. Don't let the title deceive you -- 365 Days of Me may sound like another classic self-involved estrogen-infused RomCom, but it's not. The premise is scripted to be a dramatic tale of a woman's personal investment to become a better person for the people that matter most. Now, this may not sound like a box office best-seller, but knowing the lead, she'll find herself getting into (good) trouble, tumbles and fun, face plants and I'm sure even frightening scenes that will keep the audience entertained and wanting more.
There are several elements and famous film titles that compile the 365 Days of Me:
1. Moneyball - cracking the code on my personal finances
Not surprisingly, the Year of Fun was amazing, but expensive, so this year I'm going to make a conscious effort to better manage my personal finances. My finance expert (a.k.a. my best friend Kristen) has created a very workable budget to help me save a set amount each month. I've never been one to track every penny, so we kept the budget simple and realistic. We calculated all of my expenses and I have a set amount of cash to spend over two weeks. I'm also committing to bi-weekly personal check-ins to stay on track. The payoff? "A three-week trip somewhere outrageous,"...is what I would have said last year. This year I'll stick to saving and investing and reward myself with a modest vacation somewhere awesome, yet affordable.
2. Pay It Forward - giving back to you
As selfish as the year of fun was, one of the lessons I learned was how much I can give to someone else. Although I felt burned by this person at the end of the year, it opened my eyes to realize how great this can be. Thus, giving back to others is a cornerstone to this year's production. I'm starting with my family and friends, and I've committed to writing a thoughtful letter to someone I care about. A thoughtful letter goes beyond just the written word, but also includes a gesture. One of my best friends Erika, affectionately known as my Glitter Gal (side bar: to qualify this nickname, she is my community theatre 'bestie') received my first letter, which included a personalized (and obnoxiously sparkly) pin board.
3. Me, Myself and Irene - investing in me time
... because who doesn't love 'me' time? This year, I'm committing to taking a step back to think about my choices and keep tabs on how I'm feeling. It's so easy to go through the motions of the day and not check-in on whether you're investing time in the things that matter most. I've started keeping a journal and writing every day. I've never kept a journal and I'm surprised at how therapeutic it can be -- even just writing one line. It's forced me to carve out 20 minutes a day to think and reflect. I write about what I'm feeling, daily events, lyrics, and quotes that resonate with how I'm feeling... an Oscar-worthy idea.
4. Yes Man - Strategically saying yes
A key learning from last year that I'll integrate into this year's plot is picking the right things to say yes to. I have a natural tendency to say yes to everything and not really think about whether it's realistic. And now for a public confession: hi, my name is Megan Fielding and I have FOMO (fear of missing out). I get anxious or stressed when I think I'm going to miss out on something fun, and thus I say yes to too many things. Strategically saying yes will help me to a) be less flaky b) not over-exert myself and c) have more time for element three of the 365 Days of Me. I plan to say no to one event or invite per week. My anxiety is rising at the thought...
5. Coach Carter - Ensuring I follow through
The fifth element is simple. It's committing to stay the course on one to four. I've enlisted two accountability coaches -- one is a friend from work and the other is my best friend. I'm going to meet with them monthly and check-in on whether I've stayed on track. Full disclosure, I'm almost cut from the cast on number four (for those of you who have FOMO you'll understand why this one is challenging) but I recognize it and I'm working on it. My action items after my first check-in include: saying no to one activity per week, posting my blog and writing my second thoughtful letter.
So here we go: lights-up on the scene of February.