Guest post by Imahni Dawson, artist, blogger, musician, daughter.
The beginning of a new year always excites me. It’s so full of potential; its like a blank page that I get to create art on. I could draw, paint, write or do anything I want on that page. Trying to determine what I actually want to create is where my excitement turns to frustration. With the best of intentions, I’ll create long lists of everything I want to do, complete with action steps and beautifully color-coded fonts. However, instead of being inspiring, these lists are just overwhelming. The possibility looked so inviting that I bit off more than I could chew.
This year I decided to take a different route. I started out with the free downloadable workbook entitled “Unraveling the Year Ahead: 2013” created by Susanna Conway. This workbook is beautifully designed and the questions you fill out really get you thinking. Something I particularly loved about it is that it doesn’t immediately dive into 2013. Instead, it provides the opportunity to really ponder and learn from 2012 first. This is important because thinking about how my 2012 went made me approach my 2013 differently.
In years past, I’ve been a stickler for having fleshed out plans and some sort of measurable seven-step approach to achieving my goals. I was of the belief that if I couldn’t measure it, then little to nothing was actually getting done. However, life doesn’t unfold according to neatly categorized seven-step plans. I was setting myself up for disappointment. I hadn’t provided any room for myself to change my mind because obviously, I already knew exactly what I wanted for the next 365 days of my life. Um, no.
After thinking over what I wanted for my life overall, I wrote out a list of what I thought I could do this 2013 in order to get me closer to that grander vision. For example, I want to be healthy and fit all throughout my life, so I created a short list to describe what being “healthy and fit” means like to me. Then I thought of daily habits that I can work on will help me get there.
Still, it’s only one week into the New Year, and there have been days where I didn’t do my workout or take my vitamins. But that’s okay, because sometimes you just need to sleep. Circumstances change. I don’t want to beat myself up because I didn’t follow my goal plan to the letter. My goals are meant to guide me not rule over me. If I miss something one day, I know that I can pick up right where I left off.
When I look at my goals, I want to be inspired; I want to see it and think, “I can really do this.” And I can.