Each year, I spent a week or so in December trying to make some sense of the past year, seeing what goals I accomplished and which obstacles I’d still like to overcome in the year ahead.
I’m afraid that the goals I set for myself in 2011 were far too numerous. Although my “2011: Here’s Looking At You, Kid” post only listed a few, I had an enormous list of goals on facebook, divided into
Some of them I gave up on mid-year, such as an audio interview series that became too expensive due to editing, or an e-course idea which never panned out.
Some of them were added to a task list, such as updating new clips on my site, along with articles available for reprint, or getting testimonials from proofreading/editing clients.
Really interesting goals such as gardening, finishing some nature classes or getting my CPT just weren’t priority, and many others did get done. Still, my list of goals felt more like a to-do list than anything else. It was cumbersome and annoying, and even though around 2/3rds of it got done, I didn’t feel that sense of completion I wanted to have.
When I looked at my 2009 Goals, Revisited, I noticed that there were only 8 goals: getting a new used car, finding a different job, clearing space in my house, working with my posture, taking care of my health, working on my jiu-jitsu, working on my writing, and doing things I am bad at. I actually moved forward with all of these goals, and it was a lot easier than my ridiculous list for this year.
I literally had 36 goals for this year, and added more to them as I went along. They were divided into categories, also: career goals, house/clutter clearing goals, health and fitness goals and nature-related goals.
My goals for 2012 are similarly broken up into categories, but I decided that I will focus more on each of the categories than on very specific itemized tasks in each area. This will allow me to look at the big picture, and adjust the tasks on the lists as needed. I also decided to assign each category an element.
Earth is gardening and plant work. I would love to finish this Kamana program I’ve been putting off forever. It is the 2nd part of a home study course in naturalism, and I believe I was putting it off because I did not like where I lived enough to want to go outside and develop a connection with the area. I would also like to grow my own vegetables, which is another thing I put off when living in Hudson because I did not want to spend a ton of time working the soil for a house we did not intend to stay at for long. I’d also like to study with herbalist Matthew Wood, if possible. This is another thing I didn’t get to delve into because of the drive. Being in Minneapolis instead of Hudson will make this much easier.
Air is my writing. I have had fantastic opportunities this year (more on that tomorrow), and have a lot of ideas on how to help develop my writing abilities and continue developing my skills, as well as do more of the type of writing that I am most interested in. I picked the element air because it is primarily intellectual work…though often, my job is simply to get out of the way and let articles write themselves.
Water is Brazilian jiu jitsu. this may seem like a strange element for a fighting art, but I have really learned that I need to develop the technical aspects of the game and work on flow, more so than strength and aggression. I am in very, very good hands this year–in an amazing gym with excellent instruction and a very good vibe. So all I really need to do is be open-minded and consistent in my training. In the past, my physical fitness and health were separate categories, but in 2012, I’d like to focus them on this one goal…getting beyond the perpetual beginner stage I’ve been stuck in forever in this art. However, BJJ also spills over into other areas of my life, and I believe the lessons I learn on the mat are applicable outside of it. I’d like to respond to fire with water, for example.
Fire is decluttering, which is primarily limited to the boxes in my office, books and clothes I need to sell or give away, etc. This causes undue stress…in addition of me having to move things from state to state–things I don’t need. Burn, baby, burn.
So there you have it. Tomorrow, I’ll take a look back at the year professionally, and on Thursday, I’ll take a more personal look back.