This is part two of my New Year’s post series. The first one is 2011-2012: Review, Celebrate, Plan.
My plan for 2012 is a folio of intentions. The 2012 list of focus areas and specific bullets looks a lot like my plan for last year. This is because about half of my priorities are what I would call a practice. They are a continual effort, not a destination. Even something specific, like “complete creativity coaching certification” from last year’s list — which I did complete — evolves this year into “build coaching business.” In this way, there are very few instances where I finish something and it isn’t immediately replaced by the next natural step. I am learning to accept this, embrace this, instead of falling for the old story that things will be “easier” next week, next month, next year. They won’t. I am on the path that I chose for myself, and while it’s a journey and I’m moving, the trees will always look like trees and the rocks will always look like rocks. So I celebrate them, and carry on with my practice, instead of fooling myself with the idea that one day I’ll be “done.”
In this spirit of practice versus destination, I am now calling this year plan my intentions rather than my goals. To my ear, the word intention speaks more to the path and less to the journey. The word goal is almost entirely end-point focused. So as a reminder to stay present in my practice, I am focusing on intentions rather than goals.
My takeaway from my review of last year was that while I’d had a banner year on the personal and professional front, I hadn’t followed my intentions in mothering. What this tells me is that my unmeasurable objectives need to be made more concrete. I am going to add more of these efforts to my calendar, so that I make time for the one-on-one outings, and make time for the projects, and make time to do the reading, preparing, and behind-the-scenes work that can turn mothering into magic.
Interestingly, my editorial business didn’t make the list of intentions. This work still occupies the lion’s share of my child-free hours, but I’m not inspired to make significant changes or re-focus on this area. I’m getting better about hiring subcontractors and delegating tasks that can be delegated. Ultimately I want to move away from this business and into coaching and writing full time. It will take me a while to get there, and for now, all I need to do with that business is continually work smarter and keep my projects contained so that they don’t spill out onto the other plans — the ones that mean more to me.
This list doesn’t include every last one of my intentions, as there are a few that I’m holding close to my heart for safekeeping, but here’s the accurate overview.
Deepen presence in family time
- Consciously strengthen relationships with each child
- Continually add to “block time” card stack (activities/project deck with seasonal focus)
- Do at least one art project each week with Aidan and Liam—Thursdays
- Schedule weekly or bi-weekly date with husband
Continually solidify creative practice
- Submit five pieces for publication
- Blog at least once per week @ Studio Mothers
- Maintain Project Life binder all year
- Read 50 books
- Create regular time for blog & magazine reading
Focus on self and spiritual practice
- Continually strive for daily meditation practice
- Prepare for new role as peer leader at sangha
- Daily journaling
Build coaching business
- Add Right-Brain Business Plan benchmarks to planning calendar for year
- Develop and enact marketing plan
- Build envelope of private clients
- Foster private coaching circle
Build Open Studio
- Create new workshops for each quarter
- Attract increasing number of attendees for Creative Community hours
- Establish working collaborations with local creative organizations, resources, and people
Up the ante on commitment to good health
- 100% vegan, gluten-free from January 2012 through June 2012 (longer if still working)
- Consume 2 green protein smoothies each week
- Take vitamins, minerals, supplements, and iron every day
- Exercise at least 3x per week
- Meet benchmark of being able to rapidly do 10 full-on “boy” pushups by end of year (I can barely do 5 right now)
Improve financial stability
- Reduce debt by 25%
- Set up automatic savings system
These intentions are printed and hanging on the wall beside my desk. I also put a copy inside my planner, so that I can re-read them during weekly and daily planning. I’m going to go through my yearly calendar right now and add the measurable milestones so that I don’t lose focus. After all, good intentions won’t get you anywhere if you don’t keep them alive. You know what they say about that road to hell….
What are your intentions for 2012? How are you organizing your energies?