March 2012 – Am I coming or going?

Wow, can you believe it’s March already! It’s absolutely crazy how time just flies by so quickly.

So I thought what better time to do a quick assessment of my year and see whether or not the goals I set out for myself in January were still relevant and if I had achieved anything.

My weight. Nothing happening! I have plateaued on level FAT. Even the scale says I’m obese. *shock* As much as I try eat healthily and try not cheat, the weight stays stuck. I’m getting a little frustrated. My goal is to lose 7kgs this year and so far, since January, zero. Action plan required. STAT!


My work. Never been better! My new boss has turned out to be incredibly supportive. Coaching sessions have proved invaluable and I feel as if I finally understand what it is I’m meant to be doing every day. It’s a pretty powerful feeling to know that you can add great value to your team and be awesome at what you do.


My family & friends. This is most probably the area I’ve had most success with. Having not had anyone over to my place last year, I’ve already had our besties over for spaghetti and meatballs. I’ve also managed to make time for my close friends and made a concerted effort to meet at least once a month. I slipped a little by only seeing my niece two weeks after her birthday, but all was forgiven when we arrived with gifts. Phew…

My running. Even though I’ve been running for 4 years now, the last two months have been the most emotional for me. What a rollercoaster ride run I’ve been on! Training with a coach, speed work, pulled quad muscle, caught in the rain. It’s been pretty hectic. Ironically enough, it’s been more mentally draining than physical. I’ve changed the goal posts a few times, going from wanting to run Two Oceans in record time, to focussing on 10km races. I’ve also gone through stages of hating my running to falling in love with it again.

The next time I review my goals Two Oceans will have passed, our Easter holiday in Cape Town will be over and we’ll be launched into Winter. Brrrrrr!

It’s amazing how much can change in one’s life in such a short time. It’s worth stopping every now and then and taking it all in.

My (simple) tips for surviving the 2012 workplace

As everyone returns to work after their end of year breaks, they would have realised that very little (if anything at all) has changed in their workplaces. Regardless of New Year’s resolutions, colleagues are still the same, work is still stressful, process still exist. In fact, if you hated your job before going on leave, chances are nothing will be different, besides perhaps your attitude.

But to get through the year, I thought I’d share some of the things I do that have always helped keep me sane and helped me cope at work.

  • I always remember that people I work with sometimes always have different opinions than mine and hey, that’s great. It’s good to see their side once in a while and understand where they are coming from.
  • There will always be that one colleague who I dislike immensely. Someone who gets on my nerves and who tests my patience. It’s not worth allowing that person to take up so much of my time. I try to ignore them. If the “noise” gets too much, I stick my skull candies in my ears and listen to music.
  • Remembering to laugh. It’s not heart surgery (not where I work anyhow). No one is dying! Behind my desk, I have a pin-up wall of funny email jokes and pictures. I’m amazed how many colleagues will stop for a quick chuckle when they walk past my desk. It also reminds me to smile.
  • It’s important to have something uniquely “YOU” to remind you daily of your values and who you are (especially in the corporate jungle). For me, it’s a dog calendar. I like to start my day off by paging to the entry of the day and seeing what dog will be smiling at me all day long. *I smile back*
  • I ensure that I hang around positive people in the office. This is a cheap, easy way to lift my mood and my day. (@hayleym_ please come back soon)
  • On last tip. I keep a tub of sour worms and chewy wine gums in my drawer and pull it out on certain days when the mood in the office is down. I call it my “stress bucket”. As people walk past, they see it and immediately grab one. It’s so funny to watch how everyone goes for the red, black and green ones first! Don’t underestimate the power of a sugar boost!

If all else fails, RUN. I mean, go for a run. Not only is it about finding a balance in life between work and home, but I often use my running to clear my head and to do most of my thinking.

In the end, there is a job that needs to get done. Unfortunately, no one is going to wait around for me when I am having a bad day or feel stressed out. I need to do what I need to do to de-stress and catch up or get left behind. Even if it means hitting the gym or going for a run. Everyone needs to find that something that helps.

Good luck!

Believing in myself will be my greatest challenge in 2012

Compared to most December holidays, I had quite a lot of spare time to catch up on my reading and DVD watching these past few weeks. An inspirational book by Tim Noakes and watching one of my all-time favourite DVDs documenting the Apollo 13 rescue left me with lots of food for thought as I enter into a new year, filled with many unknowns and challenges.

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. However, a very clear message kept coming through when I read Noake’s book and which was confirmed when watching ‘The Race to the Moon: Failure is not an option’ DVD. The message of believing in myself. The message of accomplishing what my mind tells me is impossible.

Self-belief will be my 2012 New Year’s resolution.

In Noake’s book, called “Challenging Beliefs”, he says, “…it is our minds, and especially our perception of what can be, rather than our physical capabilities which ultimately determine the extend to which we succeed.” 

It’s four years since I started running but I aim to make 2012 the year that counts. No more doubting that running is too difficult. No more worrying that everyone else is faster than me. No more putting myself down. This will be the year that I have complete confidence in myself when I line up at the start of the Two Oceans half marathon. This will be the year that I am not overwhelmed with fears of not making the 3 hour cut-off gun. This is the year that I dash pass all those ‘walkers’ and come home with a medal I am proud of.

The Gene Kranz documentary “Failure is not an option” revolves around the team of very young engineers who ran the Mission Control centre in the 60’s and recounts their story of America’s space flight and man’s landing on the moon. But it’s the captivating story of the unexpected disaster that left the Apollo 13 crew lost in space which leaves me breathless. Faced with the unknown and a problem which at first seemed impossible to fix, the team at mission control managed to use their unique expertise and with the knowledge that “failure was not an option” pulled off an amazing rescue.

With the same spirit of those young NASA engineers, 2012 will be the year I rock at my job. I aim to make it known exactly just how skilled I am in my field instead of hiding in the shadows due to lack of confidence. I believe that I am capable of so much more. No more excuses! This is my year to take on new challenges and to shine!  

Bring it!