In recent years, I am getting into a habit of identifying 5 things I want to achieve for the new year. These items are specific and grounded in reality. In my late teens and early 20s, I used to experience periods of depression and self-recrimination because, looking back at the year that passed, I feel unaccomplished, wasting away time and gift given to me. In 2010, I’ve made a conscious leap to be more proactive, to make conscious choices, to be accountable to myself. Realising you have potential and you have a gift is only one step; bringing it to practice is another challenge altogether.
This year, I want to actively pursue these things (or variations thereof):
1. A more consistent physical and spiritual practice
My goal is to be light (back to 110 to 112, which is my comfortable weight), lithe and lean (no more flabs, ma!) this year.
A lightness of being is something I’ve always wanted. Looking at my old pictures, I wish for my old body – lithe and lean. I remember being able to bend and leap and run without my lungs wanting to burst. I wish to go back to feeling and being my whole body – not only the parts that bear witness to the stress I experience. I find that the more negative and depressed I am, the bigger my sense of being is.
I wont be going back to tennis, but will explore Pilates. And I will go back to dance.
Spiritual practice is trickier, but the more important need and challenge this year. Given the work challenge I will be taking head on this year, a clearer mind and a thinking heart is needed so that I may make conscious decisions and choices. Meditation is a must, as well as journaling. I need to re-learn how to be introspective and reflective without taking long-distance trips (in recent years, epiphanies happen when I am stuck in a chair for hours and the changing scenery allows me to hit light bulbs one after the other).
Commitment: Pilates once a week, daily to weekly journaling. Explore dance choices, yoga.
2. Focus over multitasking
I take pride with the fact that I can handle multiple projects (and crises) at the same time. But looking at my patterns, and what I am tasked to do for my work this year, made me realise that focus is the better approach this year. I’ve taken on challenges that represent a single passion of mine. I feel for this year, until 2015, I am called to develop (visualise, create, institutionalise) structures for youth development. Advocacies for culture and indigenous community appreciation and promotion should be integrated, rather than separate from my work. And I am fortunate that where I am now provides a better opportunity for this.
Commitment: Focus on youth work (mentoring, developing of structures), less un-related side projects
3. Create my foundation
This year is dedicated to building the strategies and structures of my youth work. By December 2013, I should have my National Board, my legal papers, a functioning office separate from my home, a basic fundraising structure and team, some national PR exposure, and some office volunteers.
Commitment: fulfill Year 1 KPIs in my work – become a legally recognised foundation
4. Learn how to drive, and own a decent mode of transportation
I’ve always used public transportation, but this is the year when I will drive and own and maintain a car. This is a sign of growing up and being mature for me – I can no longer blame public transportation if I come in late for appointments. Being responsible on how I reach different places is a personal milestone that I’m deciding to embrace this year.
Commitment: Learn how to drive, get my license, and own a 2nd-hand car, by August 2013
5. Replenish my savings account
I’ve exhausted my savings account for the past three years traveling, changing my lifestyle, getting to know myself and what I really want to become. Now that I am more stable – more sure of what I want to be and what I am, I need to build again my safety net. And invest for my next cycle, when I finally decide to settle down and have my family.
Commitment: savings equivalent to 3 months salary + funds to buy my 2nd hand car (4 months salary worth) + monthly contributions to my mom’s house fund and my dad’s farm fund
Other things I want to achieve this year: finally publish a paper (not just present an academic paper in an academic forum); travel to a place I’ve never been before, an unexplored territory, both locally and internationally; mount 1-2 art exhibits; finally monetize my customised, personal planner practice.
Let’s see where I will be come December 2013. 🙂