Getting ready for 2012: 12 months, 12 changes.

Last year I wrote some really vague statements about what I hoped for in 2011. Well, with such whatever statements, I basically had no real goals for the year–other than move back to Chicago*. 10 months into the year I decided I needed some actual goals and to start committing to me. I did well with some, okay with others, and just didn’t get anywhere with a few.

But, as we’re getting ready to start a new year, it’s time to think of goals and resolutions and all that stuff. I’ve never really been big on the idea of resolutions, which is strange because I’m really fond of the idea of committing to myself. Maybe it’s because there’s too much bad baggage with resolutions and failing them. But regardless, I like to progress and evolve as a person, so I’m continuing my commitment.

One large part is my participating in 12 Months 12 Changes**. Katherine gives a pretty good explanation of it on her blog, but basically each month you make one small change. By the end of the year, those changes become habit and before you know it you’ve got a whole new way of doing things and just almost a new life right in front of you. My changes include better eating/grocery shopping habits, being more physically active, being stricter about cleaning habits, reading more, drinking more water, and taking control of my finances. I’ve started dividing them into their months, but I want to give myself some freedom in it. I don’t want to overwhelm myself by tackling too many changes at once, but maybe I don’t want to wait 4 months before I start on XYZ. Each month I will commit to at least one change, but there’ll be flexibility.

I want the next year to be about purpose and investment. I don’t want to just waft through this next year. Having fun and enjoying life doesn’t mean being lackadaisical. I’m excited about this next year, and hoping it brings some truly exciting things.

*The company that just hired me folded, so I lost my job and ended up moving back to Indiana temporarily.
**12 Changes won’t be the only goal-oriented thing I’m doing next year, but it’s the only “programmed”/community-based one as of yet. 

committing to me: getting it started

I’ve been making some big statements about wanting to do more with my life. Or at least re-evaluate it. Time to check in on all that.

Creative:

  • I’ve been sketching some more! Not as much as I might like, but I like what I’ve got. Including my weird cross between moby dick and an narwhal.
  • I started brainstorming my stories for NaNoWriMo. This year it’s going to be a collection of short stories. What’s also good with this is I am starting to build a good NaNo network including two lovely bloggers and my very creative coworker.
  • The biggest thing: I finally finished* my portfolio site.

Spiritual:

  • Yeah… I haven’t gone to Meeting at all.

Physical:

  • Yeah… didn’t go walking. Haven’t started yoga or couch5k…
  • I did dance a lot. I may have been a bit drunk, but it was hours of dancing.

Diet:

  • Only went out to lunch once, and that was to Protein Bar. (Okay, I bought donuts last Friday, but it was to share with some of my coworkers.) I’ve been packing leftovers and good sammiches for lunchs. (Turkey & havarti? YES.) I’ve also successfully cooked quinoa twice (tonight included).

Social:

  • All that dancing from above? I went to a friend’s concert. New Orleans’s style brass band. Holy crap these guys are a lot of fun! Hence all the dancing. I mean, I got complete strangers to come up and dance with (or near) me. Plus it was pretty awesome to see my friend in another one of his bands… AND to hear him sing. I mean, I’ve heard him sing in his car, but at a show with a band is different. It was a fun, albeit drunken, night.
  • Another Mucca show last week. So more time with my friends.
  • Okay, it’s still online, but I actually have been corresponding via email with an online friend regularly. We’ve been checking in on each other at least once a week. It’s been awesome.
  • Creative Mornings Chicago tomorrow. I’m going.
  • EDIT: Not sure how I forgot… This goes under Creative too. Reading Band is getting back together!

And that’s where I’m at so far. Going to try to keep checking in every few weeks or month or whatever span of time seems appropriate at the time.

*Okay, nothing’s ever finished when it comes to a portfolio. But stuff is up there now.
**So, the two topics I’m also working on are financial and relationships, but I kind of want to keep that private. (And yes, I realize Rini’s not talking about boys?! omg! I’m still single, and I may or may not like someone… but I’m happy.) 

committing to me.

Too many times I say “I’m going to… exercise/do yoga/eat healthier/get this degree/write a novel/finish my website/blah blah blah”… and of course, I never follow through. Not past a few weeks, at least. It’s as though I’m a constant work in process–which, yes, you can argue all of life is a work in progress, but still.

If you’re a creative, I’m sure you’ve heard this already, but there’s an amazing quote by Ira Glass… Basically the gist of it is that for the first few to well, serveral years of any creative’s career, there’s this gap between what you are creating and what you want to create. Most people quit. But if you push through, that gap shrinks and you begin to come into your own. The thing is, you just have to get through it. You have to create a lot of crap.

I have a hard time with that. I’m impatient. I want instant gratification.* It’s why I haven’t picked up a new instrument–or why I gave up some of the ones I have like my guitar, bass guitar, piano… even clarinet and sax. I gave up on yoga because I was frustrated with it. And healthy foods? Totally more expensive than my frozen & fried favorites. But I’m tired of getting distracted or bored. I’m tired of giving up.

Taking this break from school felt like I was being forced to give up. I can’t afford school, options were running out. So for at least the next three months, no school. I cannot quit on creating. And I’m not going to quit on this journey to becoming a better person. So in these three months, I need to create a plan and stick with it. And since I know myself, I need to be held accountable for it.

CREATIVE
No way in hell will I allow myself to stop making things. I need to keep drawing. I want to start writing again (thank goodness NaNoWriMo is starting up again).  I want to keep myself busy with projects, but not just creating shit just to be creating. I want to work on projects I love–and to be okay if the result is shit.

SPIRITUAL
I need to get myself back in a Meeting. I can’t keep quibbling over whether I’m going to move to a new neighborhood or not. I need to just set my alarm, get on the bus, and go.

PHYSICAL
I’ve enjoyed a relaxed lifestyle for a while. I don’t want to be some athletic queen or anything. I see no marathons in my future. I just want to be in better shape. Yes, I’m already fairly comfortable in my bikini–and as much as I love asking the boys to help me with the merch bins… I’d like to be able to just be more fit. Hell, just be fit in general. So I’m considering various things. Couch to 5K. Yoga. Boxing classes. Not sure what I’ll end up with, but I do have a walking date with my friend Lindsay next week. That’s a start.

DIET
Again, not going for losing weight. Just want to feel healthier. So I’m repeating one of the rules for tour: fast food is poison. On the way home from tour, I didn’t buy a damn snack or meal on the road unless we stopped for a group meal at a restaurant (like Black Bear or that awesome barbecue place). Honestly, it was to save money. But I didn’t need that crap. I won’t be completely giving up junk foods, but I’m going to make things like pizza, french fries, and chicken nuggets less of my diet. I want to start actually cooking for myself again.

SOCIAL
As I mentioned in the last post, I’m trying to purposefully disconnect. I want to focus more of my life into relationships and experiences. I don’t want to look back and have my memories be defined  by a series of tweets or my facebook timeline. (No matter how spiffy the new facebook timeline actually is.)

Like I’ve said before, this break from school is an opportunity for me. I just need to sieze it and define what it will mean to me. I have no intentions on starting some strict regime or anything. I just want to be and feel better, and have fun doing it. I already enjoy life pretty well, I just want to enjoy it more.

*I actually could speak a lot on this and how technology sort of messed us and our work ethic up in this whole need for instant gratification thing. But well, it’s just another hurdle to get through.