January’s word is goal. A goal can be defined as an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a timeframe. If we do not set goals for ourselves, it becomes very difficult to take any particular direction without having an idea where you want it to lead to. Having a goal is a helpful motivator that prepares us for challenges and any goal worth achieving will no doubt have challenges. But we must not forget the end result while trying to achieve something and remind ourselves of how we will feel once we get there. In other words, it’s important to persevere through the obstacles until you make that mark. It’s possible that your goals will transform and grow into something different than you initially imaged but you have to start somewhere to get anywhere, even if you’re unsure of what it might look like. In the words of legendary Mohandas Gandhi, “You may never know what result will come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”


January is the month of New Year’s resolutions, so what a perfect time to start envisioning what you want to yourself in 2014 and beyond. There are a few things you can to try that make goal setting a fun little activity. For example, making a vision board which is as easy as imagining what you want for yourself, then cutting and pasting images and words of what that looks like to you. There are a few other less time consuming options such as making a colourful chart, an excel spreadsheet or just typing a few things out in an e-mail and sending it to yourself. Thinking about what you want to achieve is a big step and gets the wheels turning, but writing it down will not only bring you more clarity, it will be a helpful reminder that you can refer back to throughout the year. I personally made a vision board for myself while I was at home for Christmas. Being stormed stay in Walkerton from the “polar vortex” snow storm gave me plenty of time to make up something creative. And this leads me to my next topic…My trip to Canada.


I had been anticipating my trip home for months and it was nothing short of spectacular. Jack and I collectively spent time in New York, Toronto, Waterloo and Walkerton. We lived it up in NYC for a few days with my sister and her boyfriend eating at delicious restaurants, trying out cool bars, walking through Brooklyn and hitting up a Nick’s game at Madison Square. Everyone we came across in NYC was extremely helpful, friendly and welcoming, which added to the enjoyment of our trip. I’ll definitely be going back there!


After NYC we made out way to Walkerton (the town I grew up in) where we spent a good portion of our trip. Right when I walked in the door, I felt an emergence of comfort followed by happiness…Home sweet home.


In Walkerton, my time was dedicated to my family and friends. One particular night that stands out to me was a night my whole family was together, all 6 of us plus our significant others. It was the first time in 2 years that we were all in the same place at the same time, Dad, Mom, Dan, Emily, Meghan and me. We watched old home videos from the early 80’s. Let’s just say that’s old enough to bring out the Betamax player. I saw my Grandparents, Hugh and Betty Cleland who had passed away that year and sadly I wasn’t home for their services. It was so good to see them happy and healthy, but I was really taken by my Grandpa Cleland speech had made at a Christmas gathering. This would have been 1987 while my mom was very pregnant with me. He expressed in simple but profound words how much he loves his family and how happy it makes him to see us all together. I’ve always known that I’m blessed to have a family that sticks together, but at that moment I felt an overwhelming sea of emotions and really understood how truly special family is. I felt so incredibly honoured to have known a man as wonderful as my Grandpa. He was a good man who didn’t put much value on possession’s or power but rather on relationship and love. I don’t think I was the only one in the room touched at that moment.


After spending time in Walkerton, Jack and I stayed in Toronto for a few days, which is where we both lived before moving to Sydney. It was really nice to catch up with friends and have a few nights on the town dancing away with my favourite people. I’m thrilled to see that while time passes, my friendships remain the same and I’m so grateful for that. As my Dad used to say, “New friends are good friends, but there’s no friend like an old friend.”


So 1 ice storm and 1 polar vortex later, it was time to head back to Sydney. While I had such an amazing time back home, I was ready to come back and make things happen here in the land down unda. We love Canada but we love Australia too… Our house, our jobs, our friends and of course our Sydney and Melbourne family! Not to mention the weather isn’t too shabby here 😉 Thanks for reading and happy goal setting!!