Tag Archives: goals

Announcing My Second Childhood

28 Oct

LEGO!I’ve decided to make 2012 my second childhood and I’m excited about it; this seems like an excellent tool to help me rewrite my core story.  I have two major goals that I hope to accomplish: learning to have more fun and building better friendships.

Turning my two original goals into a core story changing project will make me more productive; instead of just tackling those two things, I’ll be able to fit in many tasks under the umbrella of a second childhood.  I’m going to want to buy some new bedding in the next several months —  every child needs that special blankie to help her sleep, so what bedding does my inner child want?  Can she have some pillows too?

Neither of those goals excite me on their own, but now that I’ve packaged them as a year long opportunity to return to childhood, I am just bursting with ideas.  I’m trying to remember the things I loved from being a child so I can use them to achieve these goals.  I have ideas for trips and activities, I have book lists, I have toys I want to buy.  I’m glad I’m giving myself an entire year, because there is so much potential here.

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I’m very excited about this project, and I’ll write a more detailed post when it’s closer to 2012.  For now, I would love to hear about your favorite activities as a child.  What did you love?

3 Quick Tips to Cultivate Emotional Awareness

21 Oct

Earlier this week I set a goal to be more attentive to how I’m feeling, to encourage a sense of emotional awareness.  I enjoyed the practice and I’d like to continue it, so here’s what I found helpful:

  1. Find a trigger.  When are you going to ask yourself how you’re feeling?  It’s too difficult to just remember to do it, so having a time or action to prompt you can be very helpful.  I took a minute (and it really only takes a minute) during my drive to work, on each of my three breaks at work, as I walked into my apartment after work, and just before going to sleep to check in with myself.  Having several different triggers gives you plenty of opportunity to cultivate awareness, even if you happen to miss a couple or it turns out that one of your triggers isn’t very effective.
  2. Awareness does not necessitate action.  Start off small.  Notice how you are feeling and if you can easily make an improvement, feel free to do so.  However, the initial goal is to get in the habit of noticing our emotions, nothing more.  Telling ourselves we have to immediately change every negative emotion creates an enormous burden; why would we turn that burden into a habit?  Instead, note your feelings, offer yourself some compassion, and move on.  Do not get caught up in negative self-talk.
  3. Write it down.  Once or twice a day, I actually write down a sentence or two about what I’m feeling.  Nothing long, just enough to acknowledge my emotions.  It helps when I’m struggling to identify them, and it helps illustrate patterns.  Right now the patterns aren’t important, but once emotional awareness has become a habit, we’re going to want to change the negative patterns and encourage the positive ones.

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How do you cultivate emotional awareness?  How do you incorporate how you feel into your life in a helpful way?

Hello Universe: Self-Compassion

10 Oct

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bring my attention to this week.  I did quite well staying focused and maintaining some discipline in the past week, but part of me kept saying that a week, even a successful week, isn’t enough.  It can’t possibly be a habit yet, can it?  What if it’s just a fluke and I haven’t really made any progress?

Fortunately the larger part of me had the sense to remember that I am after progress, not perfection.  No, a week isn’t long enough to turn a goal into a habit, but that was never the point.  The point was to try being more focused and disciplined and not only did I try, I did quite nicely.  I was tempted to make this week’s goal “smothering my Voice of Defeat with a pillow,” but I had a better idea.

What I Want

I want to learn self-compassion.  I actually had to do a little research for this because I’ve never really thought about it before, and the best definition I found is from The Free Dictionary:

“Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”
Except before I can truly offer compassion others, I need to learn to offer it to myself.  If I’m trying to connect with others, I need to have a compassionate connection with myself.

The Potential I Can See

I think learning to treat myself with compassion will help me with most of my current goals.

  • It will help me connect with others, and form healthy, loving relationships.
  • I’ll learn to compassionately acknowledge the problem, instead of completely over-thinking it.
  • It will help me be less judgmental about my original core story, making it easier for me to let go and build something better.
  • I’m trying to create a career, prepare to leave Spokane, and a few other adventures.  It won’t always go as planned, and learning compassion will help me treat myself with care and kindness so I can continue to progress, even after failure.

My Commitment

I commit to paying attention to these signs from that I’m being more critical than is necessary:

  • Comparing myself to others and putting myself down
  • Giving up on doing something because I feel it’s hopeless
  • Worrying about what might happen in the future
  • Being a perfectionist

I commit to trying to remember these steps to empathy from Ode Magazine:

  1. Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.
  2. Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.
  3. Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.
  4. Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.
  5. Just like me, this person is learning about life.


Are you offering yourself compassion?  Here’s a test to evaluate how self-compassionate you are.  Any advice for being more compassionate, both toward myself or others?

Seeds Planted: Creative Outlets

9 Oct

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. I’m developing a schedule for the blog and getting a better sense of what I want to do with it.  I’m also staying on top of posting and sticking to that schedule; following through with those goals is making me very happy.
  2. I’m adjusting to my job and deciding on the best uses of my time.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m not satisfied with this job, but how much time do I want to spend looking for a new wage-slave position?  My time is better spent learning the skills I need for the career a I want and building a portfolio to show those skills.
  3. I’m working on my use of social media.  Right now it’s pretty haphazard, and I’d like to be more focused.  I’m using the blog as my platform for changing my own life and hopefully helping other people make their own changes, but I think there are a lot of assumptions that need to be challenged in the world at large, and that’s what I’m trying to do with the new Twitter account.
  4. I started using my breaks at work more productively.  I’m taking the opportunity to write and get things; so far it’s helped me identify my priorities and made it easier to focus.

What seeds did you plant this week?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or send me a link to your own blog.

Wishcasting Wednesday: Feeding the Hunger

21 Jan

Photo credit: colon+right.bracket @ FlickrWishcasting Wednesday: What hunger do you wish to feed?

The first thing that came to mind was that I wish to feed myself, in a very literal sense. While that’s something I will be working on every single day, that is not how I want to answer this week’s prompt.

Instead, I wish to feed my dreams.  I have big goals for this year, but it’s not enough to simply dream of the life I wish to create, I have to feed those dreams with some effort.  Nothing is going to happen if I don’t do the work.  I need to find ways to make those dreams reality and I need to be diligent about pursuing them.

It always seems to come back to doing the work.

Confronting Structure

20 Dec
Empty Room - Re Vamp
Image by oddsock via Flickr

Reverb10: Beyond Avoidance.  What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?  (Bonus: Will you do it?)  (Author: Jake Nickell)

I feel like I didn’t spend enough time pursuing my goals in 2010.  I did keep myself busy just getting through what turned out to be a very challenging year, but I didn’t make the progress I had initially hoped for.

Specific things I could have done to get closer to my end-goals?

  • I could have defined my goals more clearly.
  • I could have set up better metrics and measured my progress more consistently.
  • I did not spend enough time reviewing my progress and tweaking the desired outcome.

I know what I want, but I haven’t broken that down into detailed, actionable steps and I think that’s what needs to happen to make 2011 more successful.  My goals for 2011:

  1. Go back to school.
    • FAFSA.
    • Apply to a couple of colleges — online only right now.
    • Talk to a guidance counselor to ensure I take my prerequisites in a timely manner.
    • Make sure all scholarships and financial aide benefits are in place.
  2. Build a strong, healthy body.
    • Eat well.
    • Daily yoga.
    • Skiing!
    • Supplement with walks/hikes, kayaking, dancing, weight-training, etc.
    • Take advantage of my health insurance.
  3. More financial stability.
    • Make final payment on my loan and resolve any other financial issues.
    • Start an emergency fund.
    • Increase my income.
    • Start contributing to my 401K.
    • Get a credit card.
  4. Keep a clear space to create.
    • Keep the house tidy.
    • Eliminate clutter.
    • Use what I have.
    • Be mindful of what I bring in.

Even that needs to be broken down further, but it’s a starting point.  Later this week I’ll take the time to make a detailed list and start structuring 2011.

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A lesson to build on in 2011.

17 Dec
242/365: Lesson plans
Image by DavidDMuir via Flickr

Reverb10: Lesson Learned.  What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?  (Author: Tara Weaver)

This year I learned that I can make just about anything happen.  Do I need a new job?  Just get me an interview.  A new place to live?  Asking nicely seems to do the trick.  Do I want to get laid?  Okay, this one is a bit too easy.  Even in a financially strapped year I managed to buy new skis and fly home for a week.

All of those things came about because of a concentrated, persistent effort on my part.  In 2011 I want to apply that effort to building my empire.  I want better bodily health, more financial security, and stronger mental health.  I can do all of these things, but I have to do the work.  Nothing comes by waiting for the right moment — I just need to dive in.

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Empire Building

13 Dec
The Roman Empire by 271 AD
Image via Wikipedia

Reverb10: Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

This year is about building, more specifically building my empire.  Right now I think that money, accountability, and education are the biggest things I can do to build my empire.

I need a clearer picture of what I have and what I’m going to do with it.  The next step is to make a spreadsheet of my expenses and financial goals.  I’ll need to review that, and my actual account balances nightly to make sure I’m on track.

It’s time to go back to school.  I enjoy what I do, but it does not facilitate empire-building — I can do better.  The next step is to decide which school is right for me and apply.  Next will come chats with a guidance counselor to make sure I have reasonable expectations, and setting up financial aid.

I need just a little more structure.  Simple things like the financial spreadsheet, a deadline calendar for school, and a daily to-do list will probably be enough.  I am the person I am accountable to, so it’s time to implement these things.

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