Wednesday, January 23, 2013

After All These Years....

After several years of setting goals over the holidays, using several (often laborious)approaches, I almost decided to forego the process this year.  After all, I'm retired now.  Why drive myself?  The main goal for the year - enjoy life!  Then I stumbled upon two questions raised by Patti Digh, author of life is a verb.  Digh doesn't write goals, but uses questions like these to guide her during the year.  The questions:

          What do I want to create this year?
          What am I ready to release this year?

Now, I love chewing on a good question. Love the sense of clarity that can emerge, the new possiblity that presents itself, the visceral satisfaction of discovering a powerful answer when most needed.  So, I've been playing with these questions for a few weeks now, just considering, listing ideas as possibilities.  Adding to the lists.  Some of my ideas:

What do I want to create?
  • an art studio
  • an organized garage
  • mini-scrapbooks of cherished memories
  • new memories, especially
  • a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary
  • greater self-discipline - read "healthier habits"
  • etc., etc.
What am I ready to release?
  • clothes I don't wear
  • boxes we've moved for the past 10 years without opening
  • my tendency to worry
  • ten lbs. - the same ten lbs. I've said I'd lose for the past 10 years!!
  • habits that don't serve me well
  • etc., etc.
In the process of creating these lists, three things have happened.  First, I've shifted from thinking about what I should do this year  to what I genuinely want to do... a seismic shift in itself.  Second, I've already acted on a few ideas - the cruise is booked, the "studio" is underway, we've been working in the garage and...I've tossed out boxes of old journals!  All within 3 weeks!  And third, because these questions have been so helpful, I'm playing with a few of my own:
  • What do I want to learn this year?
  • What do I want to attempt?
  • What do I want to finish?
  • What do I want to celebrate?
Finally, in the process of creating these lists, I have also created some goals for 2013...after all these years, some habits do persist.  But this year, using these questions to guide my thinking, the process has been fascinating, easy and even enjoyable.  Thank you, Patti!

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