a new year, a new me? reflections of 2011

Happy New Year! Have spent much of the past week reflecting on my 2011 experiences and accomplishments. At the beginning of 2011 I created this vision board for the year and  set the following goals:

  • create a sense of spaciousness in life
  • morning routine
  •  healthier eating and consistent exercise
  •  dream wedding
  •  graduating from the gwu art therapy program
  •  earning an income
  •  learn to sew
  •  build my etsy shop
  •  market my yoga and art making ideas
  •  regular journaling

Some I have been better at working toward than others. The ones I have been more successful at achieving are those that tend to have very specific deadlines i.e. graduation and wedding. Many of the goals related to my own personal growth got put on the back burner as more pressing to-do’s emerged. Regardless this has been a year of big and positive changes. At the beginning of this year, I was in the process of developing an art therapy for patients with cancer (which still exists today) at my second year internship. In May, I celebrated my graduation from my masters program and officially received my diploma at the end of August. This summer I presented at the American Art Therapy Association National Conference on Yoga and Art Therapy. During the summer, I was also thrown two wedding showers! One I even had to travel to Canada for. This fall I began a part-time position teaching stress management tools to undergraduates and am about to begin my second semester. In October, I married a wonderful man. We had a beautiful sunset ceremony overlooking the Potomac River, then we spent a much needed week honeymooning in Hawaii. Bliss! Instead of traveling for Thanksgiving this year, I cooked my first turkey at home. In November, I also launched my Etsy shop and made my first sale. Due to the momentum of changes brought forth by this year, le husband and I elected for both a quiet and relaxing Christmas and New Years. Le husband was snoring softly at midnight last night!

In trying to muddle through my many accomplishments, I created a reflection box to symbolically represent my 2011. Although 2011 was a fabulous year full of positive changes, much of the year felt very chaotic.

As I created the box, I kept coming back to the image of now covering the entire outside of the box – the clutter. Most of my major accomplishments were in some way linked to the long-term goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year, but I found that the goals that were most difficult to work towards were those that either weren’t specific or time oriented. My metaphorical ‘clutter’ often got in the way. One thing that I often teach my stress management students is the importance of breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps rather than trying to do everything at once. When I wrote my thesis this past June, I did the actual writing part in about 2.5 weeks. I had been collecting information for months, but had not actually done a lot to organize this information.  This has always been a struggle for me however, with career being a central focus of my 2012 this is an important skill for me to continue to develop. In 2012, my ultimate goal is to make my dreams a reality. In order to do so, I will not only explore my personal habits like procrastination and metaphorical clutter that hinder this, but have spent a lot of time being really specific about what it is I want to achieve. Over the next week, I’ll be sharing many of these helpful goals setting tips, as well as some of my personal goals for the new year. Stay tuned…

 

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