Posting goals and wishes in public can be really tricky.
Over the last couple of years, just after I posted my aspirations for the year, things came crumbling down shortly after. It was like erecting these really huge, amazing structures - only to see them wrecked and trampled to pieces in no time. It was rough, I tell you.
In fact, some time last year, just after I posted that I'm taking on BLISS as my word of the year in 2009, I had all sorts of stuff testing my ability to stay afloat for the year.
Lost jobs, severed relationships, public and private bashing by naysayers... It was almost as if I was watching my Building of Bliss stand on the rough side of a demolition site. I was there, waiting for each crash of the wrecking ball, feeling every blow as it all gets torn in to pieces. At times, even while others look on.
Finding perfect happiness and great joy just didn't seem likely at times.
Thankfully, I never seem to learn how to stay down whenever I receive a knock or two. It's just not quite like me to stop, give up, and back down whenever awful or scary things happen. I may pause. I may cry. Heck, I may even gnash my teeth and roll on muddy ground. But, all that's much harder work for me. For some reason, being angry, hurt, scared, and upset seems more difficult than choosing to be awesomely happy. So, no, I don't deliberately stay down on the ground, beating the earth with my fist. Or something like that. After all, if a horde of African buffaloes came stampeding at me, I won't just stop and give up. I'll run, duck, hide, climb trees... Anything but stop. (Actually, I have had experience with stampeding buffaloes in Africa to prove my point... but, that's another story! ;-)).
And thankfully, there are people who continue to support me through it all. People who continue to believe, to love, and to dream with me...
So, I keep going.
And, eventually, I learn more about This Bliss Thing when times were roughest - personally and professionally.
That's why wrecking balls and stampeding buffaloes aside, I'm here to share some of my goals and aspirations for 2010 again. My new year challenge (52WoC#48).
Actually, my list this year is still a work-in-progress. I have created an "official" list, the one that I usually write down on New Year's Day. But, I'm also working on a more thought-out one, which incorporates bits from my "official" list and some input from my current coaching programme. So, I suspect there will be some adjustments to this list as days go by.
For now, I'd like to share at least some of these things from my list with you, even if it's all still being tweaked -
1. Finish Graduate School. This is probably one of the things on my list that will least likely to change over time. Unless something REALLY BIG comes up to shift my directions, I'm definitely planning on completing my postgrad studies this year --- and donning a gown and cap shortly after with my second Masters' degree.
2. Launch and Grow THE Project. Here's something that I've been working on intermittently over the last year. I've been meaning to tell you all about it for months and months now. However, I keep thinking that it's not ready yet. It's not in a state where I'm completely, extremely, and fully happy with it. So, I keep pushing back the launch. But then, I just thought, what am I waiting for? The only way to grow this project is to let it out in the open. So yes, I'm finally soft launching this baby. TOMORROW. No big hooplas or anything. Just your good old fashioned tell-everyone-I-know-everywhere-and-anyhow kind of spreading the word. Maybe you can help me with this goal? 🙂
3. Complete Project 365. If you've seen my photo uploads on Flickr and/or Facebook lately, you'd already know that I've taken this challenge again this year. The first time I tried to do 365 was 2 years ago. But, I didn't just do Project 365 - a daily photography challenge. I did that AND 365 --- a daily self-portraiture challenge. On top of everything else. It was crazy and it was too much. Although I did well up until early/mid-May, I knew I was burning out slowly. Then, when personal tragedy struck that time, I ended up quitting. And, since my dad's passing, I never managed to take up photography like I used to again. Especially not 365. It reminded me all too much of a very tough time in my life. But, you see, photography is also something that I feel my dad gave to me. Like art-making and writing. He was one of those who inspired me to explore these things, even without directly encouraging me to do them. I even told him all that in a letter when I last saw him alive. So, I knew I had to try again. Try 365 again, that is. But this time, a bit more sensibly. I'm only doing one 365 - the daily photo of anything in my life. With Project 365, I'm unofficially accompanying it with the 52 Weeks Project - a weekly self-portrait. So yeah, some of those 365s will be self portraits. Wish me luck.
4. Learn More About - and Practise - Mindfulness and Prayer. Something, I'm really, really keen to develop in my life this year. And beyond.
5. Understand what CONNECT - my Word of The Year - is all about. I can't tell you just how strangely I feel about this year's WOTY. Something about it has really got me perplexed. Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you. On one hand, I can see why this word works well. On the other hand, I'm not so sure why this word is best for me this year and all that. Yeah. I'm still trying to figure out how it all fits. But, I guess that's part of the fun. Maybe I'll write more on this later.
6. Learn the Fine Art of Novel Revision. As I shared with you here, I finally completed a novel-length manuscript. My second one so far. But, I probably didn't tell you that even though I've completed my first manuscript some 15+ years ago, I never really worked on it. I got it written - and I was done with it. So, I've never really experienced what it's like to revise in that way. I mean, I've done revisions all my life - from magazine articles and poetry, as well as blog posts and short stories - to work reports and Uni assignments, as well as corporate strategic plans and a master's thesis. But, a novel? Nah. So yeah, this time, I'm hoping to learn how to revise my current novel. In fact, I've already printed out 200 pages' worth of manuscript recently and I've begun the process.
7. Keep a Low-Impact Fitness Plan. Every year, I intend to do more exercise. Every year, I fail. This year, I didn't want to make any grand plans about it. But, I didn't want to leave it out either. So, to make it not too stressful, I'm aiming low. As in real LOW. Short walks and 10-minute stretches. That sort of thing. I just need to do something - anything - for my fitness/health at least once a week. And document it. As proof! It may not seem much, but still... And hey, guess what? On Week 1, I ended up doing an almost three-hour walk around Johannesburg Zoo. So, there you go. If only that walk can make up for the rest of the month! Heh. Reminds me... I still gotta do something this week. Maybe I'll take out the Wii Fit. Except I'll probably be told off for not going on it for over a year now. Argh.
8. Nurture Relationships. Yes, this is a bit vague. Deliberately so here on the blog. But, I assure you, I have Specific Measurable Achievable (blah, blah, blah) goals relating to this point. I'm just not comfortable sharing the specifics here. But, it has to do with family, kids, friendships, marriage, business/career networks, etc.
9. Consume - and Make - Some Art. Books. Movies. Craft. All that stuff. Again, I have specific goals for these things, such as read at least 1 book a month, watch at least 1 movie a month, etc. We'll probably talk more about this in future posts, so I won't go on right now.
10. Celebrate Studio Notes' 10th Year Blogiversary. And meet my 1,000th Post Goal. And complete 52WoC at last. Plus... Well, okay... This already sounds like three-goals-in-one. The thing is, I want you to know that I haven't forgotten Studio Notes' 9 Goals for its 9th Year. I still have no idea how much of that I'd accomplish by the end of the year, but I sure would love to try by the time we get to Blogiversary Time again.
So, there you go. Let the dreaming begin...
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.