Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolutions, Intentions and One Little Word

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the year just completed and to look forward and plan for the one just about to arrive.  Today, I am starting a year long, on line sharing project called "Art Journaling Intentions and Resolutions."  This post will cover three popular options for making these plans:  resolutions; one little word; and intentions.  Tomorrow, I'll present some ideas for recording these ideas, and over the weekend, I'll show you the art journals I'm making to do just that.  My hope is that you will join me and that, once a month, we can share our progress on line.  I'll post more details about the sharing part this weekend.

 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.


helena said...

I've had a word for the last 2 years - in 2009 it was 'what next?' and worked very well in my nomadic year. This year my word was connect but it didn't really work. I have chosen 'rhythm' for 2011 - in relation to patterns and cycles of the year and incorporating fun. I've signed up for ali's BPS year long course.

I like your idea of intentions and think they will be useful in extending my word. Will think about them today.

Sian said...

I'm very excited to see the direction you are moving in with your artwork and love the sound of your plans for the coming year.

I have signed up for AE's Yesterday And Today and am making 2011 the year of the story

Anonymous said...

I think I'm set with my word for 2011, and I'll be doing a blog post about it soon.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Rinda ~ I love the idea of setting intentions for the upcoming new year! I have a few ideas for my "word" but haven't landed on the one that feels right yet. I'll look forward to seeing what you have planned. :o)

Terry said...

I should make my "12" list and what I like is that they don't have to be major items! Brilliant idea!

Lizzie said...

Hmmm... thought provoking Rinda! I think, if I choose/chose a word for 2011, it should be "Balance". I have struggled throughout this year, to find a balance between the demands made on me/my time by others and the demands I make on myself. It's been a problem quite often and has led to exhaustion and sometimes made me quite low; I need to work to find that balance and maintain it, because I think this is the key to health and happiness for me (and my family too!).

Must go and think about this some more... thanks for the nudge, I hadn't even got around to considering "resolutions/intentions" etc!

BTW, if you travel outside USA - come to England and visit us!


Amy said...

I was all over the place this year with my word/words and so I have signed up for Ali's year long class and have all but chosen my word - will blog about that later on too :-)

As I just said over at Sian's I am not going to be signing up for as many online classes this year - I felt the need to join in and didn't end up completing as much as I would have liked.

PS Australia is lovely at anytime of the year!

Dina said...

I do set goals every new year...but they less like goals and more like intentions, I think. They're an overall way of being, if that makes sense. I've never chosen a "one word" before b/c in general, I resist choosing just ONE of anything (lol). But this year I chose "confidence."

Unknown said...

I have chosen a word for the past couple of years - they certainly helped set out some intentions rather than resolutions for the year ahead. Will be blogging about my word for this year soon.

humel said...

Ah, interesting! My word for 2011 is 'details' :-) Again, I've talked on my blog about how I want to apply that, so I won't repeat myself here; I loved reading your list of 12 intentions, though, as I can share several of them - #2 in particular (it's one of the ways in which I want to record the details of 2011), and #5 is part of how I want to figure out the details of using my new camera! xx