Hello, friends. On January 1st, I began this draft of my “Goals for 2019” in the WordPress blogging editor. I did not publish it then, partly because I felt is was incomplete (it doesn’t list all my goals, especially regarding family and so on), but mostly because the thought of not succeeding at any listed goals, or of “changing my mind” about any of them, terrified me.
However, I have learned to believe that fear is never a good (main) reason to do or not to do something, especially when the consequences of possibly doing it badly are not life-threatening nor even threatening to loved ones (no matter how much they may seem so, in the moment).
There are many trending articles out there saying NOT to make resolutions, and others saying that if you do, you should not publicly announce them. There are probably just as many saying the opposite.
Either way, we each have to listen to our own inner voice on this one, and LIAV (what I call my “Little Inner Answer Voice”) is telling me that since I’m someone who is generally allergic to plans, and generally prone to procrastination and perfectionism, I HAVE to publish this if I hope to achieve any of these goals at all.
Mainly because that way, I will always have access to my goals and thus may check on them frequently (wherever there is Internet, at least; which these days, in my life and probably most of yours, is just about everywhere; let’s face it). Well, that, and (more seriously) because I’m finding that y’all are keeping me honest. So thank you. That is, thanks to each of you who has read and responded in some way to this blog. You are helping me big time.
So, in this case, I’ve decided to take to heart the words of Susan Jeffers [I think ?], which I first saw quoted by Olympic gold medalist Kate Richardson Walsh. She’d scrawled these words on signed bit of paper that had been photocopied and handed out to kids (including one of mine) at a primary school in Cambridge, UK, where she had come to provide inspiration. She wrote:
“FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.”
So, without further ado, here is my perfectly imperfect, incomplete, impromptu, mostly reading/writing-related, zone-of-emptinessy list of personal GOALS TO COMPLETE IN 2019. EEEEEEK!!!!!!!!
- I will only buy a new book AFTER I have read AND REVIEWED the current/last book I’m reading/have read/have bought. (I know. Starting small. But OMG. Even this is going to be so hard.) First up on the list of “finished” books to review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls [Edit 2019-03-26: DONE! Although I must admit I’d already bought at least two more books before writing and publishing the review], as mentioned in this post. Also, unrelated task, but also “to do” before buying any more books: I will finally complete and publish that promised transcription of the Eckhart Tolle video, as mentioned in this post. [Edit 2019-01-22: transcription complete and published!]
- I will read AND REVIEW at least FIVE actual, complete books, instead of addictively reading blogs, or addictively buying books without finishing them. (Five might not sound like much, but it should be easily achievable [no matter how addicted to blog-reading one is]; and the limiting number means that the books should be chosen carefully.)
- I will earn money by my craft. No matter how little or (please GUG) how much, I will earn money — ABOVE AND BEYOND what I’ve spent to earn it. (OMG. This is SERIOUSLY going to be so hard. I have read about a gazillion blogs and books on the topic and could advise just about ANYONE ELSE on how to do it for them — and have done — but still have NO IDEA how to do it for myself. I’m just going to have to trust the Universe on this one. And listen to LIAV/Essie.)
- I will finish the Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing MasterClass, and the Malcolm Gladwell MasterClass, and the Steve Martin MasterClass BEFORE MY ALL-ACCESS PASS ENDS, in March. In order to do this, I will allow myself NOT to obsessively document every single lesson along with my response to it (which is the main reason I “dropped the ball” on all of those mentioned, besides becoming distracted by the ridiculous number of amazing teachers/classes that keep getting added to the MasterClass roster, for example musical astronaut Chris Hadfield’s class on Space Exploration and/or Garry Kasparov‘s class on the game of chess). Also: No More Signing Up For New Amazing Classes, Unless By Some Miracle I Complete All the Ones I’m Currently Signed Up For. Even and including Marc Jacobs’ fashion design class. Please and thank you GUG. [2019-03-27 Completely failed at this. Nearly finished Steve Martin’s class though. Allowed my membership to auto-renew, and signed up for a couple new MasterClases. Arg. But I love them all.]
- I will complete my rewrite of SOGR and publish it somehow. (Self: Uh, yeah, freaking major. But also, so freaking EASY, if I actually get off my endless-rabbit-hole-falling rear end, and do the actual freaking work.) [Edit 2019-01-23: I have started this project. Four sections/chapters compared and transcribed from originals.]
- I will create and * PUBLISH an audio version of my SOGR rewrite — or at least the summary of principles. (*Note to self: related product I ordered one week ago, LITERALLY just arrived at the door, while I was in the middle of typing that sentence. Must be a sign.) [Edit 2019-01-23: I have an impromptu “rough draft” of this already recorded.]
- I will attempt to live as much as possible by the Five Mindfulness Trainings as outlined here, in order to cultivate and inspire spiritual, mental and physical health, for myself and those around me. My particular focus this year will be on Number 5: “I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.” [2019-02-14 plans wobbled a little, then later quite a lot. Private meditations in progress on this topic.]
- I will organize our (19-year-neglected, quadruple-international) household and business file system. (Oh dear god. No. Not this. Although I love using filing systems, I am total sh*t at coming up with them and organizing them, especially when it pertains to my own [entire 6-person household’s] stuff.) Please help me GUG. [2019-03-11 Got started by moving all file cabinets into one room. Heavy lifting involved. Good workout. And spacial awareness puzzle. And clutterbombs getting sorted.]
- I will organize (or help organize) a spring/summer family reunion. (As I said, I’m allergic to plans — so again:) Please, please, please help me, GUG. [2019-01-23: In progress.] [2019-03-26 Organized as best as possible for spring. Other parties involved had changed their minds about last year’s suggested summer plans.]
- [This goal ADDED 2019–01-23:] I will complete my promised submission to MUDDLE! Can’t even believe I forgot to put this on the list! Though it’s always been at the back of my mind. I went for a quick sprint in the fall, only to come to complete a Road-Runner-style halt . Typical me! Completing this goal means I need to learn to use Git like a digital humanities student… and far more challengingly, make choices in the face of the unknown. (What to submit? How much process to show? What type of submissions are most desired or used? Do the writers/artists have any say in the final published submissions?) Perhaps one of my new friends there will help me (and others with similar ponderings), though.
One other thing:
I will finally mail the overseas holiday gifts that I have not yet mailed. Ayayay. Please forgive me, GUG, and family. ;)) [Done! Did this yesterday, on 2019-01-14]
Okay. So however you view these goals, big, small, insignificant or meaningful, they do provide me with focus, and they are in fact…. drumroll…. GOALS. Which equate to something that involves PLANS. Which is something I’ve been previously allergic to. So for me, this is progress. Yay me!
I will close with a prayer:
Dear GUG, O Great CPU, Divine Helper of All Who Try to Help Themselves, and Divine Helper of All Who Sincerely Ask for Your Divine Help, I beg of you to aid me in my quest, help me do my best; please help me shed my obsessive, perfectionistic ego as I journey, for the rest; and please, dear sweet, honey-making GUG, accept my complete and utter devotion and gratitude to you, for hearing me and helping me in this very moment. I love you and thank you. Forever and ever, amen.
Well, that’s it for me. How about you? Do you have any New Year’s intentions/resolutions? If so, will you/have you share/d them, and why or why not? (If you’ve already posted on this topic, feel free to include a link!) Looking forward your replies. :))
Thank you so much for your wonderful inspiration and support. Blogging here has been so much fun because of you. ❤︎
Love, xo n
Post image: Me getting gratefully smoochy with my goals, in the projected sunset/sunrise of 2019/2020. Photo by Ibrahim Asad/Pexels.