Monday, January 4, 2010

On Target

Make this year the perfect 10 that it can be.

Grab a piece of paper and pen and meet me back here in a minute or two. Today we're talking resolutions.

Don't ignore me. I know you are thinking, "I don't set resolutions, because I never end up keeping them." I know that's what you're thinking, because Cheryl was at my house for dinner last night and that's exactly what she proclaimed.

But, like Cheryl, you shine. You won't ignore me, because deep inside hope springs eternal and you believe all things are possible - even your capacity to make a dream come true.

Got your paper? Good. You'll be working with this same sheet of paper for the next four days, so once we're done for today, find a good, safe place to store it until we meet again tomorrow. With a little effort on your part and a touch of luck on my part, you might just learn something this week.

Side note. Highlowaha has been undergoing a slow evolution over the past year or so. We've gone from dealing exclusively in creative ideas to periodically delving into the art of shining and, on occasion, sharing an inspirational story or two. I like where we're going and I hope you do too. This week is a formal acknowledgment of the direction in which our community is already moving.

I just finished a book by M.J. Ryan titled, This Year I Will...: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True. While admittedly I enjoy self-help books, even a jaded skeptic could find something of interest in these 220 pages. But, no need to rush out and buy it. That's what I'm here for.

The plan. Each day this week we will do something interactive based on readings in Ryan's book. Then, a few times a month, for the rest of the year, I will do follow-up segments to address the more than forty other interesting points she makes. In fact, you will know we are doing follow up each time you see the great looking logo (designed by Cheryl) at the top of the post. If you are a willing partner and have an interest in shining, I know you will get something from out time together.

Let's begin.

Soul resolutions. Ryan maintains resolutions such as, " lose ten pounds by June", "live a more balanced life", or "learn to play the guitar" are doomed for failure because they are not, at their core, soul resolutions. Soul resolutions are based on saying yes to your deepest longings. Example. Instead of "Lose ten pounds by June," it might be "Care for my body so that I can continue to feel the pleasure of being fit and fully alive as I grow older."

Below is Ryan's suggestion for how to arrive at your soul resolution:
  • Write every goal you think you'd like to accomplish in the next twenty years. Write as fast as possible.
  • Then write the number of years you want it to take (one, five, ten, or twenty).
  • Circle the top four one-year goals that you want the most.
  • Write down some things you may need to do that you don't want to in order to make these goals happen.
  • Choose the goal that you are willing to do the hard things for.
Bottom line. In the words of Ryan, " What do you care enough about to apply the necessary elbow grease? What do you want badly enough to keep front and center in your life? To make sacrifices of time and energy for?"

Me? I want to write a book.

Later in her book, Ryan suggests naming the year. She maintains that, "by naming the year we give our thinking something to crystallize around, so we increase the likelihood of doing what we intend."

For me, Claudia K. Beeny, 2010 will be the Year of the Book.

Your turn. Take some time. Respond to the four bulleted questions/points listed above. Mull over your answer and then visit us in the comment section to tell us what you intend to name your year.

Change starts here. Yes, it will take time - maybe even 30 minutes. But, you're worth it and the investment you make will make the rest of the week a whole lot more interesting. There are no shortcuts to fulfilling your dreams.

Join the journey.

Signing off until tomorrow...


Chaotic said...

I will have to come back to you later on this one as I am limited on time in the mornings. But I have printed it & will work on it during my 45 min commute to work :-)

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

Way to kick the year off right, Chaotic! You can't help but benefit from the investment in self.

Cheryl said...

I am saying this in the nicest, most positive voice I have:


JAY-SUS! My blood pressure just went up and I have the urge to insert that nervous giggle.

I have my piece of paper and I'll be back. Next 20 years. o.m.g.

Katie @ Highlowaha said...

For me.... 2010 will be the Year of the Phone.

Some of you know that I hate and yes, even fear, the phone at times. I have my reasons for that, but this year, I want to resolve myself to growing past that. In just 4 short months I will be graduating from JMU and will be going separate ways from some of the best friends I've ever had. I am determined not to lose touch with them the way I have lost touch with so many of my friends from undergrad. Therefore, this year I want to take myself out of my comfort zone, and make it the year of the phone.

Peggy said...

I'll join the journey, but I have to be realistic...I've never really HAD to do something other than living my 'so called normal' life that I would be willing to set up expectation of accomplishing (or even dreaming) something 'big'. (or so be it, even minute). This will be very hard for me!

But I feel joy rising!!! (an Oprah statement today) or I'll change it to ... I feel JOY shining!

lindsaymarie said...

i'm with cheryl, thinking about the next 20 years is scary! especially at 22 years old... that's a lifetime to me! i'll probably work on my goals during my lunch break, so i'll get back to you.

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

You can do it, Cheryl. Twenty years!

Cheryl said...

Claudia- what's your 20 year goal?

I'm trying to keep mine broad- you know- soul resolutions... Everything could be a 20 year goal but they all start today.


Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

Cheryl and others.... I'm glad you are asking. It means you are trying to take the exercise seriously.

First and foremost, don't over think the activity.

I will share part of my process, so you can see what it might look like as you undergo Ryan's suggested steps.

Goals with years in parenthesis...

Learn to swim (1)
Complete a triathlon (1)
Write a book (1)
Have good relationship with kids as they get older (20)
Have a healthy network of friends with whom I am in ongoing contact (5)
Own a vacation home (5)
Have a career as a writer, consultant, speaker, and maybe life coach. (10)
Start a shine revolution (5)
Take a family vacation a year (1)
Do home renovations to master closet, kitchen, floors, backyard (5).
Take on a leadership role in my community (5)
Host an Annual Workshop for women (5)

I only had four 1-year goals.

For each I was able to generate a healthy list of things I would not want to do in order to achieve any of the four goals. As you can imagine, wear a bathing suit showed up more than once!

Since I am declaring this the Year of the Book, I will share what I listed as things I would not want to do in order to achieve that goal.

Stop generating ideas and start disciplining myself to focus;Carve out time to write EVERY DAY. No excuses;Make myself vulnerable by sharing what I've written with others for their critique; Deal with tedious task of learning the publishing process;
Get rejected; Say no to opportunities that will distract me.

Cheryl, Lindsay, and others... hopefully that helps. Don't think of this as the final document of your life. Goals and dreams are fluid and change as life unravels. Consider this you learning a PROCESS - with the potential of something actually manifesting from your work.

Good luck and keep on plugging. What will this be the year of for you?

Holly Moore said...

This is my Year of Organization...

Claudia...I might need introduced to the planner you use :-)

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...


Thanks for checking in and YES, I would love to give you an orientation to the world's best planner.

Maybe we can do it over lunch one day.

Cheryl said...

Okay, I'm sorry I'm being repetitive but the only thing I really want to do is get my ass in gear and create some art. So, 2010 for me is once again the Year of Art. Suprise, I know. Now you know, I won't create any art now that I've said that. This Ryan person better know what she's talking about! ha ha.

In my Planner Pad I posted an inspirational quote on each week. Last week's said: Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way. That's from Dr. Seuss. And this week's says Dwell in possibility from Emily Dickinson.

Maybe I should change my year to The Year of the Bikini and Pool Parties. I'm just saying. :)

Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

The Year of Art is great! The Year of the Bikini would be NO stretch for you, as you already have the perfect figure.

The Year of Art, it is.

Tune in tomorrow and we'll continue getting your dreams underway.

Cheryl said...

But the year of the bikini would be more fun! HA!

Okay. Though I was reluctant I'm getting a little excited and it's fun to see what everyone else is doing...

Year of the Book
Year of the Phone
Year of Art
Year of Organization

Peggy, Chaotic, and others- what's your Year of?

heather said...

Give me till the end of the night...although I read this morning's post at 5 AM I was sitting in the ER with my little one so I wasn't really focused. Now I'm back to work so trying to play catch up which leaves me little time.

Cheryl said...

ooh. I read that on FB Heather but haven't checked your status as of late. Hope Lily is feeling better.

Peggy said...

Year of Balance


lindsaymarie said...

i've decided that this is the year of yoga! that includes vinyasa practice, meditation, and being more mindful of what i eat.
also, making the 20 year list was more fun than i expected... i think it will be a good 20 years. =)

Heather said...

Alright after careful thought and deliberation this will be the
Year to Decorate

Robin said...

I'm going to be really selfish and say that after decades of everyone else, this will be the: Year of Me

Chaotic said...

okay, so it dawned on me (sorry this is late but I worked a 12 hour day) during this process that I don't have very many '20 year goals'. Does that make me lazy? I hope not! I am living most of my goals right now...
but here is what I came up with:
#1 Make a go of my card business "cards by chaotic" (1 yr)
which means I may have to give up come of my other activities in order to free up time to make cards, publicize, get them into other venues, etc.

#2 Take myself seriously as an artist ie: convince self I dont have to draw/paint/sculpt to have my art be taken seriously(5yrs)
which means I will have to make my art more public & risk feedback.

#3 Make my health a priority and take my care back into my own hands using holistic & Chinese traditional medicine(2yrs) which means suffering some neurological setbacks & pain during transition from Western Medicine (where then antiseizure pill works sometimes but requires other pills to combat its side effects, etc)

#4 Write Etch-a-Sketch story by time I am 50 (7yrs) which means I need to set some time aside to work on chapters, etc when my time is filled with events serving my spiritual community. I cannot do EVERYthing, it seems...

Chaotic said...

forgot to title it..
Year of Cards