Happy New Year

The New Year offers a time for reflection on past events and plans for the future. For the last decade or so, on New Year’s Eve, my wife and I have opened a bottle of our favourite fizz and talked about the highs and lows of the year past and our intentions for the year to come. As you can imagine, there is always a lot to talk about.

Every year we are simply amazed at the blessings that come our way. Even our disappointments somehow enrich our lives and we thank God for our family, our health and positive attitude.

Then, of course, we make some resolutions.

Having no failings or vices (according to me), my wife’s goals are always related to doing more for others. With an attitude like that you can imagine how easy it is for us to get along. My goals, though, are somewhat more structured and always embrace four aspects of life – health, wealth, self and others.
Each year I choose one significant, yet specific goal in each of these areas to focus on achieving. So here they are for 2013.

Health – After starting Original Bootcamp training sessions in January of last year, I am now the fittest I have been since my late 20s. It’s a good place to be at the start of the year and I want to continue on this path in the next 12 months. However, there are specific goals I want to achieve this year: finish the 12 km City to Bay fun run in under one hour and get invited to (and complete) the Original Bootcamp ‘Longest Day’.

Wealth –With a family to support I need to plan for the future. That means saving and investing. As a former investment portfolio manager, I know the secret to success in this area is to keep your mistakes small and to document the wins and losses. So this year, I am going to return to keeping a weekly journal of my perspective on the investment markets. This will give me more focus on the global economy and highlight some of the emerging risks and opportunities that are becoming more evident every day.

Self – This is always the toughest goal. There are so many things I want to do, see and learn that to choose just one is always so difficult. This year, I have decided to learn more about wine. I love drinking the fruit of the vine in all its incarnations but think that with a better knowledge I would appreciate the joy of wine even more. Hence, a wine appreciation course is on the list.

Others – Doing something for others in a structured way serves as a constant reminder about how lucky one is to be in a position to help. As a politician it also starkly illustrates some of the wonderful work done by community organisations and volunteers. In 2013, I’ll again raise money (and in kind gifts) for some of my favourite charitable organisations but aim to double what we did last year.

You may have noted that none of these goals relate directly to my work as a political representative. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be working hard to get rid of this poor government for the good of the country. I’ll keep speaking up for common sense and enduring values, exposing the shameful doctrine of political correctness and doing my best to be a strong voice for the silent majority. But that’s what I try to do every year and 2013 won’t be any different.

Happy New Year to you all.

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