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!


  1. That's such a good idea! I really like your January resolutions, acting classes would be fun. What are morning pages if you don't mind me asking? Is it a journal?

  2. There are a lot of things I want to do this year, but many of them are on my to-do list because they will be done. When it comes to resolutions and goals and intentions, I like to work on them in a way that feels natural. With school, a goal a week would overwhelm me, so I'm going to go slow during this time and work on establishing routines that help me be more productive, successful, and happy.

  3. I like the idea of taking small steps and setting short-term goals for yourself. It seems much healthier and more realistic! Plus it gives you the opportunity to adjust your resolution as time goes by, since we all know we change throughout the year as well!

    Wonderful post lady! :)

  4. I attempted to "set" resolutions, but I am one that typically falls off the wagon! I am hoping that this year is different! :).

    Good luck with yours!

  5. I love the idea of taking small steps to accomplish a bigger goal. Good job Kim!

  6. I like your little list of goals. I tend not to make resolutions..
    I signed up for a pilates class and want to start taking yoga as well. Also, I want to try to move to NYC by the end of this year. :)

  7. Great Kim! I just did this at my blog. I think it's definitely good to have ways to break down your goals to be achievable, plus I always like a mix of "difficult" and "simple" goals. I like the morning pages idea! Although 3 pages in the morning? Whew! I might need to do an evening one.... :) Good luck with your goals! I think it's cool to focus on one "area" at a time. Have fun with your artistic month!

  8. I love this, KIm! I feel just the same way. And you know, I want to start doing writing when I get up, too. Wonderful intentions you set. xoxo

  9. cool! thanks for thhis post! i need my list for this month!
    Happy New Year!

    xoxo from rome

  10. i love the ideas that you presented in this post. taking goals one day at a time is crucial. and the only way to make sure they last. i hopped over to the morning pages link you gave, and it's such a lovely, lovely idea. you have inspired me, lady! love this.

  11. The morning pages is such a good idea! May have to try that one myself :)

  12. love your resolutions! :) i would love to play the ukulele!! small steps is definitely the best way to go about keeping goals. all of your advice is perfectly perfect :)

    happy wednesday lovely

  13. I absolutely love the idea of monthly goals! I checked out the m loves m link to 52 weeks of resolutions. Now I'm super torn between doing my 52 week photo project or one of your ideas! hahaha!!
    Either way, happy 2011!! :)

  14. I've never been a resolutions person so much. Particularly at the near year. Sometimes, I set some year long goals around my birthday though...

    I think breaking up the goals into smaller chunks is really important.

    I have a life list - sort of - and I've tried to combine smaller, more achievable goals with BIG ones.

  15. I'm not into setting a fixed resolution for the whole year round, too. I'm more of setting up target goals. :)

    What a great idea, Kim! And the artist's way site is really encouraging. :)

  16. ugh I KNOW it's so annoying at least you can see right away that yours requires verification.. unlike some others. do you ever get spammed?

    love, polly

  17. I would write a long comment in reply to this, but it's 10 after 10 and my goal is to be in bed by 10:30! Gaaah! More tomorrow, I promise...


  18. i love this kim!! i loved your pointers, too - i don't set firm resolutions, but most def have come to some firm realizations on things that need to change.

    i love mara's blog. will have to check in w/her!

    ps-had a post to do on this tonight, but of course blogger is being a biznatch. ugh!