Monday, January 19, 2015

Aw. Awe. Awesome.

So, for a woman who does performance improvement for a living, reads self-help books for fun, and writes about self-improvement because she can't NOT do it, New Year's is IT. It's the time. The best time.

(To be truthful, I have also set Valentine's Resolutions, Easter Intentions, Memorial Day Meanings, et cetera, because I can find a way to start over whatever time of year it happens to be. But this is New Year's...)

So we're obviously a few days in. As you saw in my last post, resolutions can be frustrating because if you don't achieve that exact outcome, it's easy to feel like you've failed, even if other valuable lessons were learned on the journey. This was my conclusion after reading 1 billion articles and snippets about other wayfinders picking their Word of the Year. I did the same last year, and I think it was helpful to focus.

So after advice from Martha Beck, Anna Kunnecke, Danielle LaPorte and somehow I found Christine Kane as well, the advice was to focus on an adjective, on what you wanted to be as opposed to do, and a whole tool.

I'd had a discussion with a friend about a month ago about how annoying it was to read misuse of the word "awe". Honestly, I don't know if this is a grammar rule, or just our own issues with phonetics, but I'd always thought that "aw" was the noise you made when there was an adorable kitten present, and "awe" was a sense of wonder. Therefore, it's not wrong to write "Awe!" under a picture of a cute baby, but it's not exactly correct either.

(Sidebar: My cat is named Mr. Awesome partially because I was rambling aloud to a co-worker about this cat I'd seen on Petfinder named Sam and I was going to adopt him and it was going to be awesome because "Aw, Sam!". On my 3rd attempt to adopt this cat, it actually worked. So his name is Mr. Sam Awesome.)

Cat, on some hats. It's Mr. Sam Awesome!

So, I'd picked those words because they were sounds that encompassed what I wanted to be this year. I wanted to be empathetic and compassionate as well as restore a sense of wonder in the world. and as even the Foodist, Daria Pinto Rose says, I wanted life to be awesome.

But then I had my crisis of faith. What if it wasn't the right word? Also, isn't it breaking the rules to have 2 words? Even if one of them is more of a sound?

Enter BFF Lindsey. We don't always exchange Christmas presents but for whatever reason, this year we'd both found the perfect thing for each other. Of course, we don't always exchange them right on Christmas. So she brought it for me to the New Year's Party we were both attending. And it cemented my choice for Word of the Year, because it's this coffee mug:

So, here's the ritual: drink my coffee in the Captain Awesome mug. At the end of the day, assess what was Aw / Awe / Awesome during the day (I'm considering doing an Awesome journal for a while. Maybe the month of March, which is not always evident in awesomeness.) And stand back in awe...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How do we get to 2015 from here?

Ah, the New Year. That wonderful, new time, when it's okay to wear sparkles in public, and everyone feels like they can start over again. I've borrowed some rituals over the years, and I think I've finally got a system I like. See what you think.

Some earrings to guide me through the path.

Chris Guillebeau does a nice write-up on his method over on the Art of Non-Conformity blog, and I suppose I've based quite a bit of my process on his.(Heck, the synopsis on Princess Farhana's blog is pretty good too!) But I feel resistant to the goal setting, for some reason. Especially this year. I feel like I did so well, but when I look back to what my 2014 habits were supposed to be, I didn't really follow through as fully as I would have hoped. For example, I do see an improvement in communication with the "bosses", but it wasn't necessarily from saying hello. And I did some decluttering, but it wasn't day by day. It was a program, through Anna Kunnecke's Queen Sweep, and from reading the Marie Kondo book. I did write a lot more, but I have less blog posts to show for it (but man, do I have a lot of morning pages to review....)

So that's what went well, and it seems very emblematic for my life (make bold declaration, start project, through millions of adjustments you get through it, then finally look around and realize you're in a completely different place than you declared you would be). That's always the "resolutions don't work" argument, when you can't show direct results. But there was improvement! It may just be time to accept that you can't tell where the path will end or how it will twist when you start down it.

What could have gone better? There's been a lot of foot dragging at work, and some of it was my fault. This must stop. I need to work on limits for information gathering when I start a project. And I could also pick up the pace. I wish I was a little more confident. And it's probably time to shore up the education.

I do see how setting hard goals could work for some people. But it doesn't work for me. I am a chicken-shit goofy-ass late bloomer who is easily spooked and have to take tiny steps to move forward at all.

So the universe (or perhaps, Mail Chimp) threw this Martha Beck blog post in my hands this morning, and this is exactly it. The goal is not the goal! The journey is the goal. And the feelings behind the goal are your destination.

So how do we get from Awe / Aw to confidently ending foot dragging and endless information gathering?

Well, I guess that's how we write the next post.