December Reflection (Part Two)

This blog is a bit personal, as I’m using examples from my own life, and it is also, a bit of a ramble. Hopefully you will get the idea that I’m still working through reflections of 2019, and thinking about goals for 2020. I really want to set up goals that challenge me, but are also achievable and creative.

As you will see below I’ve started working on the issue of my commute, using some of the listing techniques I mentioned in last week’s blog. (My issue is whether to continue with my long journey each day to work, on public transport, or purchase a car and halve my time). I have definitely learnt some things that will help me to make a decision. For example, there is a gym where the bus stops and I pick up the train. So this would break up my trip and also assist with my goal to become stronger. Another alternative is to take the earlier Express Bus that goes all the way into the city, 1.5hr ride, (missing out the train altogether), and then walk the last 25 minutes. There is a number of positives to this; my stop is at the beginning of the journey – so a seat is guaranteed!! This means I can get my laptop or diary out and do some work and secondly, the walk from that stop is very pretty. So some progress, but still more work to do on this issue before I make a solid decision. So I’m going to work on the attribute listing technique (from last week), and see what happens here:

Commute: Attribute Listing

  • Step One: List all the attributes of commuting.
  • Travel, Seated, Standing, Outside, Inside, Tickets, People, Rush Hour, City Centre
  • Step Two: Consider the value of each attribute. (I’ve kept it positive or neutral).
  • Travel: Get to the city and home each day.
  • Seated: Can do work from my laptop.
  • Standing: Good for balance. (The only thing I could think of…)
  • Outside: Enjoying the changing environment.
  • Inside: Out of the weather conditions.
  • Tickets: Easy process and system.
  • People: Great for people watching.
  • Rush Hour: Witness the city movement each day.
  • City Centre: Enjoy the energy.
  • Step Three: Modify Attributes: Think of ways you can increase value, decrease negative aspects or add value.
  • Travel: Can be broken up by going to the Gym. Can use different services to break up the monotony.
  • Seated: Make the most of this time (15 hours a week), to blog, research, get creative.
  • Standing: (This can happen on the train): Enjoy a podcast, think it of an active exercise.
  • Outside: Parts of the journey are extremely beautiful, especially as seasons change. Perhaps create a photo-journal of this.
  • Inside: (Not sure I can add value here).
  • Tickets: There are probably bulk plans that could be a cheaper way of buying tickets, I will look into this.
  • People: Maybe take note of interesting people, again, do something creative here.
  • Rush Hour: Nothing I can add here, but I could possibly change my commute times, depending on work commitments.
  • City Centre: Breath it in!!

Using the Modify Step some ideas of creativity are definitely creeping in, so that has to be positive. I also think that if I commit to commuting for another year, I do need to purchase some gear to help with this. First I need a better rain jacket for summer. In Auckland there is a lot of rain, all year round, and I have a wonderful winter coat, but now that it’s summer it’s become more difficult. I do need a back-pack that can fit more in it than my current bag, and I also need some more water-proof shoes. These are all very boring, I know, but I’ve always lived in a much smaller cities with my own transport, so these issues I’m still working on. When I moved here, I thought I would purchase a car a lot sooner, so I haven’t invested in practical gear to keep me going and support longer durations of commuting.


I’m going to leave this issue here, for this week, and make a final decision about my commute on next week’s blog. 

Below is a series of photos taken on New Years Eve last year. We drove to Mokau Beach on the west coast of the North Island. We spent the afternoon on the beach, and then in the evening parked up on the ridge to watch the last sunset of 2018. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of the sun as it set as the day had been cloudy.


Ok, moving on: I need to spend some time reflecting on some goals I set in place for 2019 but did not accomplish. I want to know why they didn’t happen, and I’m going to use an example of one here. This is to understand on a deeper level what is driving me toward some goals but not others. I’m using a technique called The Five Whys. I found this activity in the Bullet Journal, however, originally it is from Toyota’s production system from the 1950s, where they encouraged the team to analyse each problem, by repeating ‘why’, 5 times.  

So one of the goals I did not achieve (or even start), was to join a language class. I started German when I was in High School, and also did a paper at university, but never finished and have lost most of what I’ve learnt. So this is my problem, as I do want to achieve this:

Problem: I did not join a language class.

  1. Why?   I didn’t want to commit to it and then think I might miss a few classes.
  2. Why?   I don’t like not being able to fully commit and it seems like a waste of money.
  3. Why?   I guess I think committing is only 100% and nothing else will do.
  4. Why?   For some reason I believe in: ‘all or nothing’.
  5. Why?   I actually don’t know how I started thinking this way, but obviously it is not  serving me.

Reflection: Believing in ‘all or nothing’ stops me from joining groups or participating. I could be more relaxed with myself and not put so much pressure to only commit to 100%. This way, joining  in, (not just in language class), will be a positive activity and not become a measure of how I see myself.

Maybe I won’t be able to go to all the sessions, but this is OK.


I’m working on my new 2020 goals, I’m really trying to reflect and consider what it is that helps me achieve some, but not others. I’m truly happy with what I did achieve this year, but there’s always more to learn about the self.

I know this blog is a serious ramble, but hopefully it may inspire reflection and openness to look at ourselves and find ways in which we can grow and see more of our potential.

One Comment

  1. […] a number of reflection exercises to fully take stock, some of those are in December Part 1 and Part 2. So here I am again, thinking about the new year […]

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