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Sunday, January 10, 2010

And here we go again... (LONG!)

So here it is, my "New Year's" post, albeit 10 days after the actual event. I'm not sure if I want to ponder what that says about how well I'm doing on leaving my bad habits in last year. But then again, I'm actually writing one now, instead of just doing nothing and pretending to ignore the matter, as is my wont with the uncomfortable truths in my life.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I always seem to have the very best of plans and intentions - I excel at daydreaming and list-making like none other! - but only a very small amount of those plans, if any, actually come to fruition. The last time I was notably, measurably successful at any kind of venture was back in high school, when I had (quite literally) no friends and the only way to escape the black caverns of my own mind was to pour myself completely into my schoolwork. I've since changed immensely as a person - I have friends, I smile, I talk, I'm not afraid of my own thoughts any more - but I still don't feel that I have the ability to balance success in work, school and other pursuits with being happy.

That is not to say that I'm not still trying, however. And I feel like right now (oh gods, let's hope it lasts) I'm really trying harder than I have for a long time to make everything work together. T came down to visit for about a week at the beginning of Jan, and he's so driven and focused on what he wants that I can't help but be a little swept along by it. The problem, however, is how to take that feeling and translate it to something I can carry on by myself - how to make this really a habit, not just an effect he has on me.

Then again, he might be using me in the same way that I'm using him - as an inspiration to work harder towards a future that we are now thinking of as something that will be ours. He's called me his muse before, and on this most recent visit, he told me that I'm his Reason.

I can deal with that.


But anyways, let's get back to the matter at hand. As a guide for my resolutions, I've once again chosen that doyenne of all things inspirational and paganish, Dianne Sylvan. Her latest post (as of this writing) gives a pretty clear way of organizing the year's goals in a way that should make more sense to me than a static list of all things I want accomplished by next Jan. Here goes:

1. Dump 2009.
For me, this lies mainly in training myself out of all the bad habits and into new ones. The biggest change I need to make in this area is in seeking outside help - I'm asking my parents to ask me for weekly updates on school, among other things. Honestly, this is rather distasteful to me - I'm 24, I should be able to do things like this on my own! - but recent evidence has shown that I'm still not ready to rely entirely on myself for motivation. I need outside support while I'm working, praise when I succeed and shame when I fail in order to motivate me to better face the next challenge. The hardest part in shifting my mindset from last year to this one is the actual asking for help.

2. Come up with a theme word or phrase for what you want to manifest in 2010.
This was probably the easiest part in knowing what I want to do, but the hardest in figuring out how to describe it. This year, I want to make the shift to relying on myself - for fiscal matters, for motivation to action of all kinds. I suppose the best way I can think now to say it is that I want to grow up. I'm not terribly satisfied with that, though, so it may change.

3. Break it down into a few manageable goals.
This is easier. I want to be self-sufficient, self-motivating and successful in the areas of money, health, school and my personal life and pursuits. Breakdown continues below.

4. Taking those themes and intentions, create a prayer or set of affirmations for 2010.
Sorry, internet, but this one isn't getting shared. It's between me and my Mama.

5. Think of your plans for the year as a set of nested circles. Start by listing daily habits you want to stick with for the new year, no matter how small or silly-seeming.
List time!

  • Save all tip money to be counted and a use decided for it at the end of the month
  • Take vitamins! Omega 3-6-9 (3/day), ginko (4/day) and Vitamin C (1000 mg) at least
  • Drink 8 c of water, preferably with ACV
  • Take almonds to work
  • Have at least one good helping of veggies, preferably fresh, in every meal
  • 10 minutes on inbox every day
  • 30 minutes (preferably more; whatever can be spared) at altar: writing in BOS, adding to or organizing grimoire, cleaning, decorating, ritual, intentional meditation or just sitting and thinking
  • 30 min (at least) exercising every day: anything from a brisk walk in street clothes to a full hour of Crossfit and a run afterward. Commute time does not count
  • Consume some herbal concoction every day: anything from a tb of dandelion to replace some coffee to a full infusion
  • Have the kitchen tidy before I go to bed
It's a lot, but each one isn't really that hard to do; the hardest ones will be the time-related ones, if this year's work schedule is anything like last year's. But I think I can hack it.

6. The second circle would be a weekly plan
  • Spend at least an hour (if that much is needed) reading in depth and responding to all emails and other messages
  • Drink an infusion in the morning instead of coffee 3 days a week
  • 3 hours per week of herbwork: study and research or writing and compiling knowledge
  • 3 hours per week of knitting! That's actually sitting down with yarn and needles, not just browsing patterns
  • 2 hours per week organising documents and papers from work
  • Physically visit or meet up with or have a long (30+ minutes) phone conversation with at least 2 friends per week, not counting T, as that's a given
  • Make yoghurt once a week
  • Bake something once a week, preferably whole-grain bread (i.e. rarely cookies and the like)
  • Finish all school assignments assigned and due in the following week on the Saturday before
  • Do laundry once a week
  • Clean out my car once a week
  • Plan meals and go food shopping once a week
  • Write at least one blog post per week
  • When weather permits, do at least 4 hours of garden work per week
7. The third circle could be monthly
  • Write and follow a monthly budget, covering gas, food/necessities, bills/loan payments and vanities/entertainment and putting a certain amount by to save for T's visits, with every extra penny going into savings
  • Do a ritual for all the esbats and new moons, even if it's just 15 minutes of lighting candles and reading poetry
  • Do a full, top-to-bottom cleaning of my spaces (bedroom, bathroom, car) every month, including sweeping or vacuuming, dusting & polishing and washing bedspreads and curtains
  • For every sabbat, redecorate my altar and make a family meal to tie into the event
  • Bring accumulated tip money to work and change it to large bills; depending on how well I've stuck to my budget for the month, either deposit all into savings or deposit half and spend the rest
  • Twice a month, take time for a visit of considerable length to a library, museum, planetarium or something of that nature
8. The fourth, then, would be your yearlong goals and intentions which you could try to synch up with the seasons if you were so moved: Winter for planning, Spring for beginning, Summer for action, Autumn for completion and release, and so on.
  • Make a storyboard of how I wish the year would go, using photographs out of magazines
  • Set up my etsy account to start selling: shop design and descriptions and at least 10 possible items to sell
  • Decide on a provider and buy car insurance
  • Track my spending, particularly on gas and food, and figure out how much I would need to entirely provide for food on my own
  • Run 5 miles
  • Start completing projects and putting them in the etsy shop - have 20 in the shop by summer
  • Obtain one of those college fridges and start eating only the food that I buy as much as possible (with the exception of intentionally communal family dinners)
  • Run 10 miles
  • Begin aggressive marketing for the shop: flyers or online ads, selling through local stores
  • Begin actively looking for an apartment in town to move into at the beginning of the school year (and possibly a roommate as well)
  • Run a half-marathon
  • Move into an apartment
  • Keep up with the shop
  • Run 15 miles
General Year-long Goals
  • Develop and stick to a budget that accounts for all necessities and some small splurges, but where the main focus is on savings
  • Develop and stick to an eating plan that is healthily balanced while being as cheap as possible
  • Develop and stick to an exercise plan that moves progressively forward and strives for new goals with each one met
  • Write at least 50 in-depth entries in my personal herb book
  • Write or compile rituals for every sabbat, esbat and new moon in my grimoire
  • Get all As in school
  • Keep at least one houseplant growing all year
Phew! Thanks for reading all of that, those who did. Now for the hard part. Right now, I'm off to make some tea.


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