For a period in my life, I gave up on setting goals or making New Year’s resolutions because I found I rarely followed through on my goals.  I can’t even remember what some of those resolutions were – maybe to exercise on a regular basis, to eat healthier meals.  What sticks out is that I never diligently pursued them.

After going through some life changing experiences (possibly called a midlife crisis, or, more nurturing to Self, a rebirth), I decided at the end of 2006 to start setting yearly goals again.  I also began reading Sonia Choquette’s books and found myself drawn by her teachings in “Your Heart’s Desire”.  It took me several readings but I decided that, in order to find my own heart’s desire, I had to determine what was most important in my life.

In her book, Sonia Choquette listed ten categories that one might want to work on or improve upon:

1.       Health and Body – physical health and well-being

2.      Finances – Income, savings, money for purchases, adventures and indulgences

3.      Relationships – love, romance, family, friends, pets

4.      Home – buying, selling, renting, designing where you live

5.      Work – where you want to work, what you want to do, the rewards you want to receive

6.      Creative Expression – singing, dancing, painting, healing, writing, cooking, etc

7.      Travel/Adventure – travel, recreation, world exploration, new experiences

8.      Possessions – physical objects and property that may make your daily life more joyous

9.      Spiritual – personal discovery, recovering personal power, expanding intuitive awareness

10.  Special Intention – anything else not covered above 

I started off with Sonia Choquette’s list but, along the journey, also found others:

1.      Family

2.      Hobbies and sports activities

3.      Career and economic

4.      Personal growth

5.      Attitude

6.      Artistic

7.      Education

8.      Physical

9.      Pleasure

10.  Public Service

I spent a lot of time “thinking” about what was most important to me in terms of the various components of my life.  What emerged was a realization that I needed a solid foundation in the following areas:  Spirituality, Relationships (Family & Friends), Home, and Health & Body (or SELF).  I felt that, from this base, I could then more easily reach for other heartfelt desires:  Work/career/passion, Creative Expression, and Public Service.  The benefits or outcome, I believed, would be Financial Security, Possessions, and Travel/Adventure.

In the next step of my self-exploration, I wrote goals and aspirations for each category.  With regards to Relationships, I set the intention to never take family and friends for granted and to share what I have – even if it is time and a smile.  In the area of “Home”, I’m trying to simplify my life and clear our house of clutter, letting go of the things that we no longer need, and creating a peaceful and warm home.  Over the past year, I’ve worked on all the areas of my life that I consider important but found that it’s helpful to set priorities and measurable benchmarks. 

As we approach 2009, I’m working on my list of resolutions for the new year, with a slight twist.  Being a visual person – I’ve always liked writing down my goals, doodling and drawing flow charts (that’s the business training coming through) – when I heard a friend (www.laurahames.com) was creating a vision board, the idea resonated with me.  I thought “Great!  I’ll put together a vision board to aid me in realizing my goals for the coming year.”  A few weeks ago, I started researching vision boards and found several interesting articles on the internet.  My favorite is a blog written by Christine Kane in which she describes how to make a vision board (http://christinekane.com/blog/how-to-make-a-vision-board/).  

Other blogs I found of interest are:

        1.      http://o-my-goodness.livejournal.com/29077.html

        2.      http://www.sethigherstandards.com/creating-a-vision-board/

3.      http://youalreadyknowthisstuff.blogspot.com/2007/02/whats-secret-to-secret.html

 

I’m in the process of creating my 2009 vision board – it’s almost done!  Surprisingly, as I clipped words and images from magazines, I found myself tweaking my building blocks.  My Foundation remains the same but I had to acknowledge that, in order to achieve some of my loftier dreams, I need Financial Stability in my life.  I’m really happy with what I’ve put together so far – inspired to start the new year and to continue creating the life I want to live!

My astrology chart recently informed me that I’m entering the “Reinvent Yourself phase”.  Quoting from the writings of Gail Sher (One Continuous Mistake:  Four Noble Truths for Writers), the weekly astrology guide continued with these words of wisdom:  “The drive for perfection can be a distraction…. Don’t think yourself into a corner, agonizing about where to begin.  Simply dive in and get to work, trusting that the agitation you churn up will show you what works.”

I’m heeding Gail Sher’s advice and am inspired as well by a friend’s recent decision to start blogging.  Today, I’m jumping into the water, putting words down on paper (or on this blog site); I’m not worrying about grammatical errors, or spelling mistakes, and I’m not going to fret about whether or not what I have to say will be of interest to the universe at large.  

I’ve been journaling for many years but that’s a very different medium.  No-one other than myself (hopefully!) will read my journals, criticize me, or laugh at the ideas and thoughts that run through my head.  I’ve been writing in this safe and very nurturing environment – I love it!  I will continue to journal but I also feel a need to step out and take a risk with my writing.  Another quote I came across recently is by B.J. Gallagher:  “Successful people will tell you that if you never experience failure, you are not taking enough risks.”  I’ve decided, in this Reinventing Myself Phase, that I’m willing to chance that possibility of failure but maybe, just maybe, by taking the first step I will learn to be a good writer.

“Leap, and the net will appear.” – Julia Cameron