Many people have a tradition of making New Year's Resolutions or a list of specific things to accomplish during the year. This is probably the most traditional approach and one which I have done before. In fact, in December of 2004, I made the layout above with by 2005 Resolutions. Resolutions can work because they are like a year long to-do list. If I were to make twelve resolutions for 2011, they would be:
1. Travel outside the U.S. 2. Record the books I read.
3. Create an email list for classes. 4. Learn Photoshop Elements
5. Figure out white balance on my camera. 6. Try portraits
7. Complete estate plan 8. Transfer house
9. Submit book proposal. 10. Figure out ipad for research
11. Figure out car computer. 12. Finish Espinoza project.
In 2007, Ali Edwards started a phenomena she called "one little word," in which she encourages readers to select a word upon which to focus during the upcoming year. I've been doing this every year and have really enjoyed it. In 2007, my word was "Open," and I used it to remain open to new experiences and not be too fearful. I created a series of Artist Trading Cards to illustrate my word and to keep it in the forefront of my mind. In 2008, I chose "Flow," but I never did too much with it. In 2009, I chose "Accomplish," and in 2010, my word illustrated above, was "horizon." You can read more about Ali's approach in her blog post here. If I were to choose a word for 2011, it would be "health."
Last year, as I was working with my word, I changed paths a bit. I began to think about all the different horizons I wanted to travel towards during 2010, and I began what I called my list of intentions. These were action words for various areas in my life, and they included parent, travel, write, network, pray, artconnect, thrive, sister, create and love. I really loved how my one little word morphed into something different that worked for me. If I were to choose the intentions route for 2011, my overriding theme would be "Fabulous at 50" and there could be a myriad of ways for me to be fabulous.
What do you think? Have you tried any of these approaches before? What has worked for you? Which of these approaches appeals to you for 2011? What would you put on your list of resolutions or intentions? Is there a word (or words) you are considering? Please share your thoughts in the comments section (to the extent you are comfortable). And come back tomorrow when I'll discuss a couple of ways to record your thoughts and how to keep them part of your creative life throughout the year.