Setting my Goal for 2016

south_bank_A.jpgI'm not really one for New Years resolutions however at the start of every year, I do like to put a lot of thought into setting myself a goal for the coming twelve months.

When Dan died from depression in July 2013, leaving me as a young, newly-wedded widow, my focus turned to just surviving.  

That first five or six months was a blur and when everyone around me was welcoming in 2014, I was still trying to get a grasp on what exactly had happened to my world.  There was no champagne, fireworks or kisses at midnight for me and the only goal I set myself for that coming year was 'healing'.  

This became my war-cry.  Every decision I made was based on that one priority.  I travelled from Australia to the USA to attend Camp Widow; I reached out and created for myself a circle of widowed friends here in Australia; I attended a national conference on suicide post-vention and worked hard with my counsellor to comprehend and process the trauma that I'd experienced.

As 2014 drew to a close I started to develop an appreciation for just how far I'd come and set myself a new goal for 2015: Happiness.

I needed to learn how to be happy in a new way, on my own, in the rubble of my former life.  So again, I trudged forward, often taking steps backwards but ultimately making progress.  

I travelled (a lot), including another Camp Widow trip (in Tampa this time) and to a yoga and healing retreat in Bali; I started socialising more with friends who had waited patiently until I had the strength and motivation to crawl out of my cocoon; I laughed more and I made an effort to live in the moment and count my blessings.  And looking back, it was a bloody good year.  

As I prepared to bid farewell to 2015 I found myself thinking about how far I'd come since that fateful day in 2013 and what I'd like to achieve in this next year.  I realised that while I've accomplished an incredible amount, my focus has been on getting myself back to a good place.  

While I've transformed throughout this time, in many ways, I've still been treading water - buying myself time to gain strength and catch my breath.  

But I'm sick of treading water, I want to start swimming again in 2016.  I want to propel myself forward and feel like my life is moving ahead again.  So this year I've chosen 'growth' as  my mantra.  

It took me a while to settle on this word, because grief obviously evokes a significant amount of personal growth and I've evolved in the past few years.  However in 2016 I want to let go of the notion that my life is in a holding pattern. I want to grow personally and professionally and end the year in a different place than where I'm starting it.

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Rebecca Collins
    commented 2016-01-09 04:39:22 -0800
    Grounded – I like that Sharon! What a brilliant word. Yes, Camp Widow really is amazing, I can’t wait for San Diego in June!
  • Rebecca Collins
    commented 2016-01-09 04:38:33 -0800
    Thanks Stephanie, Here’s to happiness in 2016 for you too xo
  • Sharon Wall
    commented 2016-01-02 20:26:19 -0800
    Growth – what a great mantra for 2016 especially with what you’ve been through. You’re an inspiration, Rebecca. I’ve never set a goal for an upcoming year until now, but for 2016 I’ve chosen grounded – whatever I do I want to do it from a place of being grounded. And isn’t Camp Widow amazing??
  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2016-01-02 12:13:54 -0800
    That was very inspiring. Knowing where you’ve come from in your grief, setting such positive goals – and actually going after them – is such a strong and important thing. Thank you for inspiring us all Rebecca. And here’s to growth – and happiness too – in 2016.