The list hung on one of my bulletin boards all year long. It wasn’t in front of me every day, rather off to the side so that I could glance at it from time to time. It was my list of Intentions and Goals for 2011. What’s the difference you ask? The intentions were things I wanted to create (or sustain) in my life. These were the values which I hold dear. The goals were concrete objectives which would help me live out my intentions. It wasn’t quite a to-do list or a bucket list, more a overarching guideline of actions which would keep me reveling in the things I love most.
And so I took it to down to see how I did. And while there are always things which could be better, I did pretty darn good. My intentions included doing the things I love to do (which when you stop to think about it, can be rather challenging for many of us), challenging myself, finding adventure, doing new things and experiencing new places.
My goals? Well, I did many of them. I went to a climbing gym, ice fishing and horseback riding. I got to see my first Boston Marathon, cheering on Mark and his friend Greg and hanging out with friends I don’t often see. I made a trip to a place I had never been before and did a tour of Las Vegas, Mt. Whitney and Death Valley. I wanted to read 12 books. I read many more.
I didn’t do all of my goals, or all of them to the extent I had written down. I didn’t host a dinner party. I didn’t go to two fitness classes a month, though I did take a month of kickboxing and loved it. I didn’t PR at Musselman nor did I run a 4:30 marathon, but I PR’d, by 18 minutes, at the Wineglass Marathon. And I was disappointing that my goal to volunteer was unfulfilled.
I like this exercises because it reminds me that while I am a work in progress I am already good enough. Adding a bit of reflection and intention and even a few goals brings into focus what it is I’m all about (otherwise known as authenticity). And it makes me smile — even the things which I failed to do. Because I know that each day brings a new opportunity.
This morning, Cheryl Richardson posted this note which succinctly explains my intentions and goals list:
You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. Stop focusing on what you can’t do. It’s a complete waste of time and you’ll only prove yourself right anyway. Think big. Think crazy big. Dare to try something new. I have no doubt you’ll be amazed by yourself.
In 2011 I did some big, crazy, new things. At times I did amaze myself (and often I amazed myself in ways which I didn’t expect, the kind of ways which don’t make for great dramatic cinema but are amazing and cool nonetheless.) I’m ready to start setting my intentions and goals for 2012 and excited to see where the new year will bring me. I can map out the journey, but I’m open to other destinations than the one I had in mind.
As I set up my surroundings to support my 2012 adventures, I asked for a desk calendar which would be a daily reminder of all the great things in my life. It ‘s the Louise Hay “I Can Do It” calendar which contains 366 daily affirmations. Affirmations keep me focused on the positive and on what I can do. The hardest part of having this calendar on my desk is not peeking ahead!
And so I want to share the affirmations and cheer for 2012 with you. Leave a comment and have the chance to win a Louise Hay “I Can Do It” daily desk calendar. Share with us your proudest moment of 2011, your approach to “New Year’s Resolutions” or what you want to do in 2012. Winners are chosen at random, so get out of your head and share with us! Contest closes on Friday, Dec. 30!