Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013: The year that will be—a plan

[Last little bit! This is a continuation of two previous posts about what I want to do in 2013—my manifest year. I shared my idea and formula earlier, now here's my plan to make it happen!]

*sparklingly (http://sparklingly.blogspot.com)
{ Colors I love (and food group/flowers, too!) | January 2013 }

Once I had a very official-sounding formula worked out for what I wanted to do in 2013 (and beyond, I suppose),  I bucketed and edited and came up with these intentions for the year:

Kindness—Be nice.
  • Don't assume the worst: I have a habit of assuming someone is trying to annoy me or that someone didn't do what I asked/what they should have. All that does is make me angry (before even knowing the real deal), poised to overreact and automatically having a frown on my face. Enough of that.
  • Make mornings and evenings more sacred: R and I have different schedules and tend to run off with our days or to bed without ever connecting. It's pitiful. I'd love if we could spend a few minutes (or more!) actively together with coffee or just talking about our days before we race out of bed and out the door or a few minutes with a glass of wine or a walk around the block before bogging ourselves down with iPads, smartphones, TV, knitting and books at the end of the day. And of course, each should be punctuated with a proper hello/goodbye/goodmorning/goodnight.
  • Jot down one good thing about each day: It's too easy to let days go by without giving thanks. And, I think a grateful person would be a kind person, no?

Possessions—Simplify the things that get in the way and highlight the things that inspire.
  • Go shelf by shelf: Our home is pretty organized, but there are trouble spots that give me endless eye twitches whenever I see them, like the cabinet above our stove, the cabinet below the bathroom sink, our catch-all boxes in our living room nook (that have odd linens, odd electronics, etc.), our document drawer (which can be cleaned out of the oldest documents) and my leather boxes of correspondence (I save way too much).
  • Document our travels: Ever since I stopped printing photos 3-4 years ago, I haven't made any scrapbooks (something I used to do a lot of) and I'd love to change that by creating a few "yearbooks" for us as well as print and frame some pictures from our travels for a gallery wall.
  • Buy things that will improve my life: We need a new home laptop, desperately. We waste time trying to jerryrig it (frustrating) and waiting for it (annoying) to do what we want. It's time to buy a new one. And, time to get over my fear of spending money and invest in things that will make our lives better.

Beliefs—I believe in something, but what?
  • Go to mass every Sunday: At least for a bit, and then try to go more frequently afterwards.
  • Find a spiritual/artistic mentor: I'd like to lose myself in the story of someone else's life-well-lived for inspiration.

Energy—Subtract to add.
  • Cull my online life: Do I really read all those blogs in my reader? Do I really need to be friends with/follow all those people/businesses on Facebook? On Instagram? Do I read all the "deals" emails I get? No. It's time to unfollow/unsubscribe.
  • Ease away from negative nancies: This goes two ways—not only would I like to avoid the people that bring me down, but I need to treat the people that I can't get away from (that do bring me down) more positively.
  • A little bit of suffering: Spending a few minutes in the evening doing something that I don't want to do (like watering our 19 plans) will free up a lot of time on the weekends to indulge in the things I do want to do.
  • Resist the pull: It's so easy to "check one thing" and then stay glued to my phone for the next 42 minutes. What about if in the morning, evening and weekends I only checked my phone at specific intervals? Like, in the morning no active phone time until I'm sitting down with my breakfast. In the evening, one check of my phone after dinner, and then not again for the rest of the night. On the weekends: only after a meal (or if I'm actively making plans with someone). And, let's limit the Netflix (unless I'm also doing something else, like cleaning, knitting, organizing photos, etc.), shall we?

Discovery—I've always loved school, so why have I stopped actively learning?
  • Devote two hours a weekend to language: Sign up for an online course—starting with Italian and if those two hours stretch out, all the better!
  • Devote an hour a week to design tools: Sign up for an online course on how to use Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. First up: Photoshop.
  • Attend a lecture: I live in NYC—not only an always-on city, but studded with universities and museums. Why have I never attended an art history lecture? I've done this exactly ONCE since college (in DC), and never in NYC, even though I love it. Time to rectify this sad state of affairs.

At first I thought to focus on one topic a month, but there were some I couldn't wait until April or May to get started with, so perhaps a little mixing and matching?

And, my idea is to focus on specific actions each month, but when the month is over, I'll keep those going while adding on new ones. I actually began working on these a few weeks ago, and so far, I've noticed an actual difference! And, it's possible some intentions from future months might creep up into the present, which could only be a good sign. Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Kindness: Make mornings and evenings more sacred
  • Possessions: Go shelf by shelf
  • Energy: Cull my online life

  • Kindness: Don't assume the worst
  • Energy: Resist the pull
  • Possessions: Buy things that will improve my life
  • Discovery: Devote two hours a weekend to language

[Purposely coincides with Easter]
  • Kindness: Jot down one good thing about each day
  • Beliefs: Go to mass every Sunday
  • Energy: Endure a little bit of suffering
  • Possessions: Document our travels  

  • Beliefs: Find a spiritual/artistic mentor
  • Discovery: Attend a lecture

  • Energy: Ease away from negative nancies
  • Discovery: Devote an hour a week to design tools

Can't wait to share more with y'all about how this is going and my experience so far. And if you made it all the way through this extended bout of navel gazing, thank you!


  1. As I was reading it I was mentally yelling... where is the monthly break down!????? Then I saw it. And stopped yelling. :) BRAVA! I'm excited! Just a question, why not do a bit every month for each of the goals? Like April go to mass. Why not start in February?

    1. Ah, yes, my hyper excited, impatient mind urged me to do just that, but I knew it'd be too easy to get overwhelmed and potentially discouraged if I tried to do everything/too much at once.

      Plus, I knew there'd be a better chance of me doing everything well if I focused on a few at a time (and I arranged them based on other things happening in the background here to take advantage of work schedules, social plans, weather, and city events, etc.).

      I also thought concentrating on a few at a time would mean I could actually make progress and happily check something off once I had done it/incorporated it (I love checking things off!).

      I'm glad you're so interested in my little experiment!


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