My 2010 Goals :-)

Family/Relationships

  • Reinvigorate my relationship with my wife
  • Enjoy time with my boys
  • More family trips away
  • Talk to my father more
  • Continue nurturing all my relationships with people I have met and yet to meet.
  • Continue to reach out to others to help them in their life journey

Fitness-General

  • Become fitter than I am today
  • Run 500km in 50 weeks (up from 250km in 2009)
  • Run once per week for the rest of 2010
  • Be able to run 5km in 25 mins/10km in 55mins

Fitness-Cycling

Fitness-Running

Leadership

  • Soccer Coach for my son’s U6 team
  • Volunteer more

Motorcycling

  • Riding4aCause – Cross-USA motorcycle ride raising awareness for Male Depression

Social/Economic/Other

  • Eliminate our mortgage as quickly as possible
  • Reduce our burden on the environment
  • Continue to look for simpler/streamlined ways of living
  • Look to expand my career into new opportunities, hopefully utilising my Learning & Development capabilities
  • Reduce, minimise or eliminate negativity

2010, the year of Streamlining & Resilience

I have begun approaching 2010 with 2 driving forces: Streamlining & Resilience.

Streamlining

Streamlining is the art of getting by with less, but not specifically shedding large parts of your life; It’s a case of doing it slowly & gradually, removing things that don’t contribute to your happiness or adding value to your life. Do you have a stack of unworn clothes in your cupboard? Books you’re not going to read? Possessions that aren’t being used or don’t suit your lifestyle anymore? Then you may find an easier path to ridding yourself of these items through Streamlining – a little at a time! Change Management practices show that typically, too many changes at once overwhelm us and send us quickly back to our comfort zone where we decide that there wasn’t much wrong with our life before. Net result is we become fearful and resistant to change. However, making small changes across time is an easier path to happiness and fulfillment.

I came across this description of Streamlining from Sarah Wilson’s Sunday Life magazine post, and simply adore it. “Streamlining, however, is gentle. It’s about shaving off excess, and perhaps steering the boat a little to the left, for a more flow-y ride. It’s a smooth, glide-y ethos for life, and an elegant aesthetic. No gumboots required. Yes, streamlining makes life better. Of that I’m sure.”

Give Streamlining a go and let me know how you go with it!

Resilience

re⋅sil⋅ience: ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. (from dictionary.com)
Dust Yourself Off

Resilience is the ability for you to mentally recover from some adversity; It could be something small, through to something life-changing. In any case, being resilient is the next step up from merely coping’ which aims to get you back to normal (whatever your level of normal is). Resilience is the ability to get up, dust yourself off, accept what’s happened and be able to continue onwards and upwards.

I began seriously exercising in 2009 (Cycling and running) and am continuing throughout 2010, and know this drive to be fitter & healthier is driving me towards being physically more resilient – able to absorb blows, illnesses and the like and bounce back. In 2010 I’ll also be working on what will make me more emotionally resilient as well, starting with my brain! I’ll be sure to document what I uncover as time goes by.

For more practical ideas to Streamline your life, check out the following:

For more reading on Resiliency and becoming resilient:

http://city2surf.com.au/

2009 in review

2009 was a watershed year for me, as I set out to break out of a slump of mediocrity and begin my journey to becoming better.  In 2009 I decided to start looking at my own development and let me to draw up the most comprehensive “goals” list I have ever put together.

Overall, 2009 was the year I rekindled my love for meeting & getting to know people. It’s no secret that part of this was due to Twitter, however this served mainly as the mechanism to be able to meet new and wonderful people (as mentioned here in my Connecting to People post, about my social-media-inspired trip to Melbourne). 15+ years ago I was using IRC to meet new people and arrange social gatherings, BBQ’s in the park, movie nights, trips away, etc. I really enjoyed IRC and the power it had to connect us to people we had not yet met, as well as continuing the relationships we had built up. Twitter does this for me today.

In order to capture the thoughts on 2009, here’s a breakdown of my personal 2009 goals with some commentary on each one:

1. Increase my volunteering efforts (First volunteering event was on 4th Jan)

The biggest volunteer effort of note was that I became the coach/manager of my 7yr old’s Soccer team. I was directly involved with the development of his soccer skills, and many times during the season he said “I’m glad you are the coach of our team, daddy”. You could not ask for more than that 🙂

2. Researching the Blanda name/family tree/how ‘Blanda’s’ are related (already begun)

Facebook has really helped me understand more about the Blanda name, and connect with many Blanda’s all over the world. I’ll continue the work throughout 2010 to not only connect with more Blanda’s, but also to know more about them & how we’re linked together.

3. Improving the quality of my relationships, both personal & business, including visiting more people and having more people over for lunch/dinner/a drink or a chat (includes spending more time with my boys).

Here’s perhaps THE BIGGEST win for me in 2009 – As mentioned previously, I had neglected my love of relationships & people, and through Twitter, Facebook and Skype, I’ve found new ways of connecting with people that culminated in becoming a regular at many Sydney coffee tweet-ups’ including #escm, #nscm, #wscm and #coffeemornings. I’ve met many wonderful people at these tweet-ups, some of whom will feature prominently in my 2010 Goals!

4. Understand how I tick

This is one of the most difficult things any of us need to do – understand how we work. What we like, what we don’t like, what irks us, what makes us burst into flower and really succeed at life. During 2009 I began my research into the Brain and how it works, dabbling in anything related to physiology and psychology. This is a work in progress and has helped me understand what happens to me when I am tired. See Understanding Yourself & Taming The Ugliness (an apology).

5. Work out what I want to do with the next few years of my life

  • Getting onto Twitter has opened my eyes to a number of people who can help me answer this question (or at least assist by asking clarifying questions)
  • This blog is and will continue to be part of my journey through life.
  • The next few years will almost certainly involve Volunteering, People, Relationships, Storytelling, Exercise and enjoyable activities.

6. Become fitter: All of the below are either a part of or will be a result of becoming fitter:

  1. Participate in more cycling events (including completing the 90km version of the Gongride)
  2. Take up a martial art with the boys
  3. Participate in more walking/jogging/running events (including completing a Half-Marathon)
  4. Build a small gym in my garage
  • The second biggest win for me in 2009 was in the atrea of physical fitness. I did a lot more km’s on my bicycle than in previous years, including teaming up with some Twitter friends for the 90km Gongride. I also began riding to the coffee mornings to keep the riding up.
  • We did not get to take up martial arts as a family – we did not have the time/ability to include it in the schedule in 2009, and will be revisited in 2010.
  • I did complete the Sydney Half Marathon as well as the Sutherland2Surf and City2Surf runs.
  • The gym in my garage has a few dumbbells and punching bag. Couple this with the stepper and skipping rope, there’s more than enough equipment to keep us fit and healthy!

To Summarise 2009, I give myself a A- rating – I will build on this momentum when I publish my 2010 goals. I would like to hear your thoughts on my 2009 goals, OR to contribute your thoughts on what else I can add to my 2010 Goals (there’s still time!) Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

Blood…

For those that don’t know, I am very passionate about donating blood, simply because I know the benefits it provides and know that it’s a very small imposition on me to donate something which I have plenty to give. I recently received a medal for passing 50 donations (of whole blood – Apheresis donors can donate many more times per year) and recently made donation #57.

I believe that anyone who can donate blood, should donate blood.

However, I do understand there are many reasons why people don’t: some are medical, some are pathological. Consider the rise of cancers in the world today – more than a third of donated blood is used to help cancer patients. Do you know of anyone who has or has beaten cancer? I have heard many stories where people donate blood to help out a family member undergoing surgery, however your blood can also be used to help other people along the way. I like to look at people as I walk down the street and wonder if I’ve helped them in some small way. You can read the stories of many people who rely on blood donations, such as Georgio, Jai, Marnie or Sophia (in their own way these people have their own Inner Story)

Where does my donated blood go?

My Special Blood.
However, I have something special in my blood that I’d like to tell you about. I make regular donations 4 times a year like most others, but my blood is not used for transfusions. I am a member of the Red Panel cell donors, and in order to understand what this means, I refer you to an explanation from the Manager of the Red Cell Reference Laboratory:

The Panel is a project that has been in operation for over 20 years and continues with the support of special donors like Andrew. We currently provide three types of panels – Abtectcell II, Abtectcell III and the Phenocell A panel. Andrew is a part of the Phenocell A panel. The project involves the collection of donations which are sent to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Melbourne, where they are bottled and packaged. The product is then sent to hospital laboratories all over Australia and used to identify irregular red cell antibodies found in pregnant women and in patients requiring transfusion. By identifying such antibodies, we are able to give a patient blood which is compatible for transfusion.
Donors are selected to join this program based on their extended red cell phenotype. The blood groups of all of the donors in this program need to complement each other, and together they must cover all the blood groups that can cause transfusion problems.

Andrew’s extended red cell phenotype is:Group O; cDe, C-, E-, CW-; K-, k+, Kp(a-b+); Fy(a-b+); Jk(a+b-); M+, N+, S+, s+; P1-; Le(a-b+); Lu(a-b+); Co(a+b-)

Andrew’s Rhesus phenotype is found in just 2% of the population. When combined with his antigen negative status of some of the other blood groups, this makes him an especially valuable member of our program.

Why am I telling you this? In some small way it makes me feel special to know my blood is used in a way to ensure other units of blood are compatible before donation. You could say with the special bits in it (in no way am I going to use the language from the above text as I am not an expert and don’t claim to be) my blood is an enabler – in a way, similar to my view on life – to be an enabler to help others achieve their goals.

Perhaps you have something special in your blood and don’t yet know it? Let me know if you have any questions about donating blood by leaving comments below! (Please Note: I am passionate about donating blood but am not affiliated with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service)

Half Marathon

I am excited to be running my 1st half marathon (as part of the Sydney Running Festival) in less than 2 weeks. For someone who had not done more than a few hundred metres at a time back in May, I think it’s been pretty good going. Some people (notably friends through Facebook and Twitter) have asked why I’m doing this and what preparation I’ve had.

My lead-up to this was the 11km Sutherland2Surf, as well as the 14km City2Surf. Each week I’ve been going to 2 x 1hr Aerobic Kickboxing sessions and a 10-13km run on Fridays. I am not taking this so seriously to be locked into a training regime as my initial goal is simply to get fit! 🙂

This is one of my 2009 Goals which I had decided on back in January. I believe that pursuits such as walking/running rely less on technology and more on your own ability. Most other sports rely on other objects (balls, other players, equipment, etc.). Running really does force you to rely on yourself to get through. I am aiming to complete the Half Marathon in under 2 hours.

I decided that as I am fit and well, I’m going to see how far I can push myself whilst I have the capability to do so. It will help me understand who I am (in a physical sense) and provide me a mechanism to get fitter and relieve stress at the same time (I find running and cycling quite therapeutic 🙂 I’m also working in other ways to expand myself in the realms of thinking, creativity and relationships – I’ll share those thoughts with you soon.

I have not yet chosen my next ‘big’ goal, but will be looking to complete the goals I have set for myself for 2009. Let me know of some of your goals, or if you will also be running in the Sydney Running Festival!

My 2009 Goals

Originally written on Monday, January 12, 2009 at 3:14pm as a Facebook note. To link up to me through Facebook, add me as a friend!

As a follow-up to my Musings of 2008, here are some of the goals I will be aiming for in 2009 (I won’t call them resolutions – I ‘resolved’ to do some of these years ago! 🙂

For me:

  1. Increase my volunteering efforts (First volunteering event was on 4th Jan)
  2. Researching the Blanda name/family tree/how ‘Blanda’s’ are related (already begun)
  3. Improving the quality of my relationships, both personal & business, including visiting more people and having more people over for lunch/dinner/a drink or a chat (includes spending more time with my boys).
  4. Understand how I tick
  5. Work out what I want to do with the next few years of my life
  6. Become fitter: All of the below are either a part of or will be a result of becoming fitter:
    1. Participate in more cycling events (including completing the 90km version of the Gongride)
    2. Take up a martial art with the boys
    3. Participate in more walking/jogging/running events (including completing a Half-Marathon)
    4. Build a small gym in my garage

For the Family:

  1. Reduce the amount of electricity we use in the house (underway)
  2. Pay off the mortgage quicker in 2009 than we did in 2008 (underway)
  3. Continue looking for ways to simplify our life and reduce the need for material possessions (ongoing)

What are some of yours resolutions, goals or ‘want-to-achieves’ in 2009?

Mid-week exercises to keep me healthy

I signed up for a Soccerfit exercise session in that went for 1 hour a weeknight for 8 weeks through Feb & March. I really enjoyed it, and it prevented me from sitting ‘idle’ at least one night per week! Since it ended, I’ve lapsed into a non-exercise routine…and with the temperature dropping, exercise at night seems to be a silly thing to do…in the cold.

Well, in order to keep up the momentum, I’ve signed up for another nightly session of exercise…but this time 2 nights a week! (Because I must enjoy it – others will think otherwise! 🙂

The session is called “Aerobic Kickboxing Fitness” and is run through the St George & Sutherland Community College. It reads: “Join our unique and motivating classes using Martial Arts techniques. Overall body shaping and fat burning, great cardiovascular workout. Non-contact Kickboxing moves with the energy and vigour of an aerobic class. Great motivating music. For all ages and fitness levels.” (taken from: http://www.sgscc.nsw.edu.au/course/23576DMN

Bring it on! 🙂