With just over a month left of 2012, I find myself feeling somewhat overwhelmed as I scramble to try and complete my final goals for the year. Let me fist start off by saying how grateful I am for all that I have accomplished this year.
- Landing an art therapy job
- Becoming a permanent resident of the U.S.
- Presenting at the Art Therapy Conference in Savannah, GA
- Celebrating 1 year of marital bliss
- Involvement in planning the annual regional symposium for the local art therapy chapters
These are just a few of many accomplishments, but as I mentioned in the musings last week, in order to move forward it is important to first note where we’ve come from and what we’ve accomplished. And then there are the things we haven’t quite brought into fruition yet.
- What Are They..? Review your goals/resolutions you set last January. What have you achieved..? What do you still need to work toward..? Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments.
- Are They Still Important..? This question applies more to the things on your list that you haven’t accomplished to date. Are these goals you would still like to accomplish? Or have your interests shifted? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but it’s important that you’re honest with yourself when you answer it
- How Are They Achievable..? Consider what small steps you take to begin to implement these resolutions today. Yes TODAY, not in January.
Why is it Important to Begin to Implement These Changes Now?
It’s easy to make excuses to ourselves. I will start _(insert project here)_ in the new year or when I have time I’d like to _(insert project here)_. One of my famous lines is “when I get through this busy period I will _(insert project here)_. Yet, when that busy period ends there is always something more pressing that needs my attention. Two of my big goals for 2012 that got pushed onto the back burner were to:
- Build my Etsy Shop
- Invest time and energy here on the blog
While it would be easy to put these things off until January, I am certain that come the new year there will be new opportunities begging for my time and attention. So, even though December is a busy month filled with holiday parties, Christmas shopping, and travel I decided it was important to create a plan of action and take baby steps to implement these two goals – making them more natural to integrate in 2013. Thanks for reading and supporting me in implementing one of my goals!
What are some of your goals for the new year..? How do you intend to implement them..?
Yesterday I enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning and used some of my downtime for self-reflection. As I mentioned in a recent post, I intend to spend the next few “Monday Musings” reflecting on 2012. With the holidays upon us, it felt important to focus time and energy on those things I am grateful for.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we begin to think about goals and/or resolutions for the new year. In order to set these goals, an important first step is acknowledging what you have and what you have achieved to date. Gratitude informs us as to whether or not we are on track with our current goals. If we’re feeling positive about our relationships and lifestyle, this is probably an indicator that we are aligned with our goals. If we’re having difficulty cultivating an “attitude of gratitude,” this suggests that we may need to take some time to consider what may or may not be working in our lives.
There are many ways to practice gratitude. You can make a list, journal, visual journal, compare notes with friends. I did a combination of visual journaling, and writing in my altered book. Upon review of my gratitude list, I noticed that four different categories emerged. The first category consisted of things that were obvious and expected:
- A job that allows me to practice art therapy
The second related to activities that I enjoy doing frequently:
- Trips to Michael’s
- Girls night out
- Curling up with a good book
The third was the superficial and material things that make my life easier such as my iPhone. Since I am on a minimalist quest, I am pleased to acknowledge that this was the smallest category. Finally, the fourth category was the most abundant and included simple pleasures that make the everyday special:
- Lighting candles
- Home cooked meals
- Hot tea
- Christmas trees
- Fall colors
- Altered books
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving..?
2012 is coming to an end. With that in mind, I intend to use my new “Monday Musings” section to reflect on this past year. Generally, January is believed to be the time of year to make changes. In recent years, I have found that taking time for reflection and laying a solid foundation before the new year begins, makes my resolutions feel much more achievable.
A theme that has emerged in my life over the past couple months is the concept of creating space. This idea is both literal and metaphorical. These changes associated with the new year usually involve some form of decluttering.Making space in your life my apply to your physical surroundings such as your home, but it may not be quite that obvious. Decluttering may mean letting go of relationships that no longer serve you or changing jobs if you’re unhappy at your current position.
In September, I stumbled across Courtney Carver’s Project 333. Project 333 helps you to pair down your wardrobe to only 33 items. 33 pieces of clothing include:
- Clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes.
- Underwear doesn’t count.
- Sleepwear, loungewear and workout clothing doesn’t count as long as they are only used for those purposes.
- Special jewelry that you wear everyday like your wedding ring doesn’t count.
Although I didn’t quite reach the magic number of 33,having significantly less clothing in my wardrobe has made my mornings easier.
Another challenge I have been intrigued by is the 100 thing challenge. The point of this is to live with just 100 things. While the idea of this minimalist lifestyle is intriguing, if I am being honest I am just not there yet. In a recent post Courtney Carver proposes a reverse 100 things challenge, which is to dump 100 things by December 15th. My husband and I decided to embark on this endeavor together and get rid of 200 things cumulatively. It’s not even the 15th of November and I am pleased to unveil our results in the above photo. Many of the items went to goodwill and some to friends and coworkers. We are already noticing the greater sense of spaciousness in our one bedroom apartment. Who knows…maybe we’ll find another 200 things before December 15th….
How will you let go of the old to make room for the new..?