Wednesday, January 5, 2011

january intentions

tis the season to share resolutions, goals, & intentions.  have you done this or do you avoid resolutions like the plague? 

i tend to hate resolutions for a variety of reasons - i am horrible at keeping them, half-way through the year i develop new needs and therefore new goals in my life, and i don't like the concept of "fixing" myself in specific ways within a single year.
but mostly, i think resolutions can set ourselves up for pain and frustration. most of the time we make resolutions with the idea that we should or need to change things in a certain way.  if we don't meet our "should's" we feel as though we have failed, and we all know how disruptive feeling like a failure can be to our well-being. instead of hanging onto "i should" or "i need to" we would do better to hope or wish for things to end up for the best, with an open heart to deal with whatever sorts of surprises come our way.  

however, with all that said, i do think it's important to set goals, or intentions, for oneself.  i mean, we are all constantly growing and improving our lives for the better.  and if you see an area of your life that you would like to see grow, it's best to lay out specific steps you can take to reach that intention. even though this happens year round and deserves our frequent consideration, new year's can be a nice, built-in opportunity to help us stop and reassess our growth.  how far have we come?  what can be celebrated and where do we need to make modifications?  are we still heading in the direction we want to be?  and if not, what actions can we take to get on the desired path?

over the past few months, i have taken a lot of time to reassess where i would like my life to go.  i do have some goals, but they are ones i have been working on for a while now. having a blog is an awesome opportunity to put these goals out into the universe and make them more real.  the problem, however, is that i often have far too many to face at once, and i put a lot of pressure on myself to work on all of them at the same time.  how practical is that?!  talk about setting myself up for failure!  so this year, i want to do something a little different. i have decided to split my goals up into smaller intentions, one per month.  i'm going to schedule a new goal with specific steps i can take at the beginning of each new month, giving myself permission to change these goals as appropriate to meet whatever life changes come this year.  

for the month of january, i hope to grow my inner artist in real and active ways.  so far i've done a whole lot of thinking and planning and dreaming about the ways to live the life i long for, but i think it's time to start taking the steps to actually live that life.  

so this month i would like to...
+ take acting classes
+ practice the ukulele twice a week
+ take myself on at least one artist's date
+ write my morning pages at least 5 days a week
+ buy a sketch journal and begin filling it up

do you have resolutions, goals, or intentions?  
if so, might i offer some unsolicited advice?  {feel free to stop reading if you answered "no."}  :)  
* surround yourself with supportive people.
* set reminders to revisit your goals throughout the year.
* give yourself at least 6 weeks to reach your goal
{that's about how long it takes to quit a habit or form a new one}.
* chop up your goals into baby steps.
* join a meet-up group or class.

want a great way to do all of the above?
mara from m loves m is doing a year-long series called 52 weeks of resolutions. she is splitting up her goals into small steps, one to be completed each week.  go visit her blog to read more and join in.  i think it will be a great way to stay motivated this year.

one more thing - 
be gentle with yourself if you fall off the bandwagon.  it's never too late to pick up with a goal where you left off, even if it may feel overwhelming or "too late" to do so.

we can do it friends! ra! ra! ra!