It’s the post holiday season, where the days between Christmas and the New Year blur together as we stumble through a week of work and the wind down of the holidays. As we approach the new year the word resolutions begins to be tossed about. Batting it back and forth we start questioning others about what they plan to do differently in the new year, how they are working to improve themselves and by doing so gain insight and ideas for our own work in progress.
I have a hard time with the word resolutions. I wrote a few years ago about why, and I found out a lot about myself. I don’t like the idea that you don't like who you are and so seek to change. I recognize now that it is about growth and goals - evolution to be better than you were the day before. I have done the work this year to see that changing aspects of your life, admitting failing and seeking to be better does not have to mean you do not like who you are; rather it indicates that you know who you want to become and appreciate the job you have done so far in getting there, in seeing your path, or at least being willing to find it.
This year I have found a new word for resolutions. I have decided on intentions. Now the famous saying - the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Yes, I know. But this is not about insincere intent to act. This is about the intention, the goal, that breeds opportunity. Unless you are out doing, the chance to succeed will not come. Learning to go for it, to try and see what happens has been an incredible opportunity of growth for me. I started a blog, I now write for a company. I began an apprenticeship, I am now certified and have made connections with a company I love, with colleagues I really jive with. All of my moves this year have been intentional. I have meant to go in certain directions. I chose to devote my time and energy into certain things with purpose. I did not intend the outcome, I put in the work with intention.
Reflection is a key piece to moving forward. We find our most valuable lessons hidden in the past, realize them in our present and use them in our future.
Intention: To continue choosing my creativity. To see it as a valuable resource and use of time. To cultivate space for creativity in my life.
Goal: Continue blog posts, and up them to twice a week again (yay!). Start a podcast addition!?
Action: Dedicate specific days to writing. Learn all I can about podcasting and come up with a schedule plan.
Intention: Enjoy more indulgent time.
Goal: Read at least 12 books this year (1 for every month). Journal evening pages.
Action: Read 30 minutes before bed each night. Prior to that, write evening pages after dinner.
Intention: Publish my first novel.
Goal: Finish the third re-write by September.
Action: Designate Sunday evenings and Mondays off to edit and write in larger chunks.
By stating our intention, setting goals to achieve them and then planning action to back those goals, we are better able to construct meaningful growth over the course of a year, instead of stating hollow resolutions that come from dislike of the present you. Work for who you want to be, not against who you are now, because who you are now is the person encouraging you to change.