Taking Inventory for 2010: What's in Stock for You?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  92 comments   :  25,559 Views

Last year, I shared with you my New Year's ritual: taking inventory of my life. Unlike resolutions, which to me are about changing things that are wrong with your life, an inventory is about making sure you're on track to meet goals you've already set and evaluating your station in life.

My greatest fear is waking up one day and realizing I've wasted time, energy or potential. I try to live each day to its fullest, taking pleasure in the moment, and removing unnecessary stresses. I believe in the Power of Now, and I try to keep myself from dwelling on the negative or painful aspects of life. I try to move forward, looking back less and less.

To me, an inventory is a chance to check in with my goals and gauge my progress. It's a chance to reflect on what I want to do with my life and to ensure I'm on the right path.

I don’t want to wake up in five, 10, or 20 years, my heart heavy with regret, trapped in a life created by indecision and fear of change. So I take inventory.

In 2009, I had ideas in mind:

  1. Be more diligent in my yoga practice. Focus on the spiritual aspects as well as the physical aspects of yoga.
  2. Be as controlled and responsible about eating when out with friends and on weekends as I am during the week.
  3. Ride my bike 500 miles over the summer. (Not all at once--spread over a few months!)
  4. Ramp up my strength workouts so I am able to do more "fun" poses in yoga without fear of losing balance or falling on my face. (Mini goal: Achieve bakasana.)
Outside of nutrition/fitness:
  • Remember my friends' birthdays more often. I am terrible with birthdays. I wait for Facebook reminders that birthdays are arriving, and I never remember the actual date once it passes. This year I'll try to send a card or a call (not a text message) to my friends and family on their special day.
  • I want to continue to study languages, at least twice a week for two hours (French, and a bit of Italian, Korean and Spanish) to not lose the linguistic abilities I've worked so hard to amass.
  • I have a list of books I want to read in 2009. My list is on my SparkPage.
So how did I do? Fairly well:

1. I earned my 200-hour yoga teacher certification this spring. I would still like to practice more often and for longer periods of time, but I feel strong and confident in my yoga practice.

2. Not bad. I don't always limit myself to one meal out a week, but I have set a specific limit on dining.

3. FAIL! I rarely rode my bike this summer, but I had a good excuse! (See #1 above. I was always at yoga class.)

4. Score! I am working on the Hundred Pushups Challenge, and I am able to hold more fun poses than I could last year. For some reason, I still falter in Bakasana, but my Parsva Bakasana is stronger. This is an on-going goal.

As for my other goals, I sent more birthday cards, studied languages a bit and read plenty of books (all of Kingsolver's book, plenty of Coelho's work, and countless travel memoirs).

Now on to 2010:
  • Buy a house. My boyfriend and I are just starting the process of buying a house. It will be long and difficult, but it will be exciting to have a place of our own. For years, I've been fighting the urge to flee. I've never really had roots, and I thought that settling down meant settling in life. I feel at peace these days, and I'm ready to stay put and carve out my (our) niche in the world.
  • Keep up my yoga practice and studies. I want to find time for a few workshops, and I'll keep working on my inversions. Yoga is more than just fitness to me. It centers me, calms me, and helps me through tough times in life. I love sharing that feeling of peace with others, so I will continue teaching yoga and growing my practice.
  • Planning and saving for my travels. In July 2010, a friend and I are going to Turkey, where we'll visit another friend, who has been traveling the world since Jan. 1, 2009. Then, in May or June 2011, to celebrate my 30th birthday, my boyfriend, sister, brother-in-law and I are going to Italy. As I'll be the group's interpreter, I plan to pick up my Italian studies after I return from Turkey. Travel is a big priority in life, one that I'm willing to sacrifice for.
  • Make a new vision collage. In our spare bedroom/yoga studio/music studio hangs a collage I made a few years ago. It's mostly a collection of items from my travels. There are Metro stubs from Paris, Korean newspaper clippings, a brochure from the Cinque Terre in Italy, Japanese prayer cards from a shrine in Tokyo, and much more. The collage covers a large Eiffel Tower from college, and there is still plenty of blank space. I often meditate in front of this collage, thinking about my life and where I want to go. I realized a few weeks ago that this collage is mostly about my past. I need to think more about my present and future. I have been adding to it slowly, and I plan to keep adding to it as new goals arise.
  • Write more. I started my career as a copy editor at newspapers, then an English teacher. Later, I became a reporter. When I switched from editing and teaching to writing full time, I noticed that my journaling and personal blogging lagged. Now, I write short, superficial posts a few times a week--nothing too creative or in depth. I miss spending hours a week writing and reflecting. This year, I'll be spending more free time on personal blogging, along with journaling. I need to flex my mind!
  • Giving back. I feel really good about my life and where it's headed. I am incredibly fortunate. I have a strong relationship, a healthy body, and a job that makes me happy. I have love and energy to spare. In addition to mentoring a teenager, I want to find a new volunteer project, perhaps one that involves yoga.
As this decade draws to a close and a new one begins, take a look back at your life, then look forward to the life you envision. Are you on the right path? I was a freshman in college in 2000, and today I'm a woman who has traveled the world, changed careers, survived depression, had her heart broken, fallen in love and found (a touch of) inner peace. In just a few short years, my entire life has changed. Think of this new decade as a fresh start, a chance to become the human being you envision.

Are you on your ideal life path? Are you setting any goals to help you get on the road that's right for you?

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  • 92
    your article is so inspiring. it makes you think about actually making the things you want happen in everything you want. make your life happen.all my new years resolutions i am going to make happen thank you - 2/2/2010   7:06:52 AM
  • 91
    Hello Ste.hpanie,

    Great motivational blog you have written.Thank you for sharing it.
    Have a sparkling day :)

    hugs , Paula :) - 1/10/2010   3:50:19 PM
    For someone who just graduated college and also has really lofty dreams of traveling and such, but whose life isn't going exactly as planned right now, this is really inspirational. I think I may have to make one of those "vision collages" not about my weight loss goals but about my life goals, even though I'm trying to figure out what some of those are. :-P - 1/7/2010   9:19:38 AM
  • 89
    Very inspiring.
    its good to set goals and stick to them.. how fantastic!!!!! - 1/6/2010   3:42:45 PM
  • KJK007
    How inspiring. I plan to do the same. What a wonderful idea! - 1/6/2010   10:55:40 AM
    OMG! This is awesome. I am about to conduct my inventory and get moving toward a more fulfilling year. 2010 is my year and your blog has definitely inspired me to get it going. Thanks!!! - 1/5/2010   10:23:37 PM
    I like your idea of a vision collage and seeing where you've been and where you are going. I really like reflection as well. And I am getting more into goal setting. I also believe in the Power of Now. Though, right now, I can see me spending some time on a vision collage and particularly one for exercise!!! I have a little need for focus in that area. I have a friend who did really cool pictoral journals that are much like the vision collages. It is good to focus. Way to go all the way around though and enjoy your travels!!! - 1/5/2010   7:20:33 PM
  • 85
    weight in after holidays and surprised me not happy so not down 15 now..have to go down the five then get in gear.. - 1/5/2010   4:40:15 PM
    Took a break from dieting for the holidays now i must get back, need to rid myself of the holiday weigh gain (five pounds, not as bad as it could have been) and return to a sensible diet and moderate exercise. I am 66 years old had a serious heart attack with a heart valve replacement six years age at 335 lbs. I was 307 today am headed in the right direction, only started two months before the holidays previous to that I had serious rhythm heart problems and could do very little gained weight even when eating very little. - 1/5/2010   2:31:03 PM
    Resolutions come and go, quickly! Knowing where you are and where you want to go helps you understand yourself and makes achieving your next goal easier and much more likely to happen. - 1/5/2010   10:40:29 AM
  • 82
    Stopping to take stock of where you are and where you thought you were going is good for the soul. - 1/5/2010   9:07:10 AM
  • 81
    Thank you, your blog was very thought provoking. No, I don't feel I am on my ideal life path. Yes, I am setting goals to help me get on the road that is right for me. I must be mindful to stay focused.

    Bless you,
    Tina - 1/4/2010   10:53:37 PM
  • 80
    Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I also love Barbara Kingsolver and traveling! - 1/4/2010   10:42:32 PM
    Thanks for sharing your inventory. Very inspirational! And another nice push to remind myself to keep setting goals and working to achieve them. Thanks!! - 1/4/2010   10:23:43 PM
    Your blog was very inspiring! I like the idea of reevaluating your life instead of making resolutions to correct what's wrong in our life...I think by doing so, I might be able to stay a little more motivated beyond the end of January! I have recently committed to working on my self - my emotional content, my physical health and most importantly - learning how to set boundaries. It's such an empowering thing! - 1/4/2010   5:18:27 PM
    good advice about being on the right path,I think I have been on it .....at times BUT mostly just follow my own lazy path of wandering wherever,this year I will do better and follow a more righteous path and dedicate myself to doing better with my eating habits and exercise routine(presently no exercise at all).I need to focus on certain aspects of my life but especially my eating habits,they need to change!!You are doing great and setting a good example for me,thank you and I will take inventory more often! - 1/4/2010   4:54:39 PM
    Thank you for sharing and reminding me that it's time I take my own personal inventory. - 1/4/2010   2:54:44 PM
  • 75
    I loved this blog post. I will do the same thing! - 1/4/2010   12:24:30 PM
  • 74
    Wow, Stephanie, you have accomplished so much! I am going to be 44 next week, and I feel as though my life is not nearly as productive as yours! Since losing over 200 pounds from gastric bypass (11/2007), I have been searching for new life goals. Perhaps it is what the Old School calls a typical Mid-Life Crisis, but I feel as though I am missing something in my life. Currently, I'm working on Maintenance (food continues to be an issue for me), and am hoping to work towards running a 5k this spring. I am looking forward to a trip to Ft. Myers, FL in March with my best friend; we are going to watch the Red Sox in Spring Training (GO SOX!). Then, in July, when my stepkids are at overnight camp for a month, I hope my DH and I can take a trip together (last summer while the kids were at camp, we drove to Dover, Delaware and went bike riding at a wildlife reserve - great times!). - 1/4/2010   11:14:47 AM
  • KMILLER990
    I really enjoyed your blog. Your goals were realistic and you didn't beat yourself up over the goals you didn't completely achieve. Thanks for sharing not just your goals, but your great attitude. - 1/4/2010   10:25:47 AM
  • 72
    I like the way you think. I've been a member now 3 years. I have slacked off bad. But that was so motivating. I'm fixing to refocus my life. Thanks!
    Debra (clip4me) - 1/4/2010   6:26:05 AM
  • 71
    make sure your name is on the house deed. - 1/4/2010   3:52:31 AM
  • 70
    Great set of goals...hope you hit most of them in 2010. Stay focused and eventually you'll hit them all. - 1/4/2010   12:44:07 AM
  • 69
    Thank you for your insightful thoughts. I have the same reservation about resolutions and have used "goals" for many years. This year I have several of these goals which include making me a better me (spiritually, physically and mentally). Some of your goals spoke to me and made me think through some of mine. Thank you. - 1/3/2010   9:18:09 PM
  • 68
    A lovely, thoughtful blogpost. You've given me food for thought.

    And congratulations on your inventory of 2009 --- you achieved a lot of what you set out to accomplish. - 1/3/2010   8:08:09 PM
  • FOX2566
    I have made progress in my eating and cooking choices. Gosh words can't express how much I have learned. I think I am actually on my way to an even healthier lifestyle this year. Got a way to go, but it is progress, not perfection.Right? - 1/3/2010   7:30:12 PM
  • 66
    I like your approach to goals vs resolutions. I have been thinking about goals I want to accoumplish this year but have yet to write something down. Thanks for the motivation to get busy and put it on paper. - 1/3/2010   5:46:29 PM
  • 65
    Latr last year I decided to learn to live in the here and now. When I achieve those moments/days & even weeks I am a much more a happier and centered person. 2010 is the year for me. Every thing I want to achieve is centered around making me be the person inside and out I have always wanted to be. Thank you for this blog. I sets me in the right frame of mind to begin this year on the right steps. - 1/3/2010   4:12:03 PM
  • 64
    This is very inspirational. I've been slacking in my life and this really made me step back and take a look at it. Thank You! - 1/3/2010   4:08:59 PM
  • 63
    Thanks so much for sharing- a great blue print for success! - 1/3/2010   3:12:36 PM
  • 62
    Good for you for taking stock and sharing with us. Life surely is the journey and what we do on that journey is up to us. I can't believe I am 52, I don't know where the years have gone. For all the good and bad experiences, they are mine and I know I have learned a lot on this journey called my life. I have enjoyed it so far but know I have far to go yet.......good luck with your choices and your goals..... - 1/3/2010   1:54:10 PM
  • 61
    Thank you for sharing with us. Blessed be. - 1/3/2010   1:32:17 PM
  • 60
    I've always been a believer in goals, not resolutions. Resolutions are a once-a-year thing that don't really focus on changing behaviors. Goals are precise, measurable, and require us to really analyze what we're DOING. I'm all about setting goals that get me doing new, harder, and exciting things! - 1/3/2010   9:50:42 AM
  • 59
    Thanks for the motivation - 1/3/2010   9:28:35 AM
    You are an inspiration. I like that statement...move forward looking back less and less. I feel everyday is a brand new day why waste time or energy dwelling on yesterday. - 1/3/2010   8:54:49 AM
  • 57
    Thanks for the idea of a "future" collage!
    a dreamscape? - 1/3/2010   5:19:01 AM
    This makes me wonder where my life could possibly be in 10 years from now. Thank you. - 1/3/2010   1:03:35 AM
  • 55
    Wow...Very inspirational...Thank you - 1/3/2010   12:01:17 AM
  • 54
    thanks for sharing - 1/2/2010   9:04:02 PM
    I have just rejoined after feeling like a bit of a failure for not reaching my goals last year. I have got a lot to improve upon in my life and my health is certainly up there. But I am determined!
    Your inventory story is really inspiring! But what's more I am dumbfounded by how much I relate to it!

    Thanks for sharing. And best of luck. - 1/2/2010   9:00:16 PM
  • 52
    This is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing! - 1/2/2010   7:19:15 PM
  • 51
    Wow! I'm 50 and I wasted a lot of living time on just existing. You've given me a small encouragement that just maybe...I can change that. Thanks - 1/2/2010   6:47:42 PM
  • 50
  • 49
    You sound awesome; so organized and focused...very inspiring. - 1/2/2010   2:48:24 PM
  • 48
    Good insights and suggestions; thanks for the inspiration. - 1/2/2010   2:24:47 PM
  • 47
  • 46
    Very interesting blog! Continue to count your blessings....it's the best thing that you can do to maintain your positive attitude.
    Irene - 1/2/2010   12:35:41 PM
  • 45
    working on 2010 win, have to restock of what happened for 2009! - 1/2/2010   11:51:10 AM
  • 44
    I love your idea of taking inventory and having goals rather than resolutions (once my resolve fades - I'm done - but goals are ongoing). Thanks for the article and for your honesty about not meeting all your goals. Wow - those yoga poses are impressive!! congratulations! I think I'll blog my goals for 2010 so this time next year I have something in writing to take inventory of.. - 1/2/2010   11:46:48 AM
  • 43
    I love your positive attitude and they way you set and achieve your goals! You're doing great!! - 1/2/2010   11:19:37 AM

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