We’ve entered the year of the snake and possibly the Age of Aquarius! If you’re familiar with the Chinese zodiac calendar, that’s where the snake part comes in. And as far as the Age of Aquarius goes, I have no idea if has actually arrived or even exists, but one of my relatives whom I saw over the holidays believes that it has arrived. What it is exactly no one really knows, but astrologists believe the Age of Aquarius will be a period of love, light, and humanity. Sounds good to me!
Whether or not the stars are aligned for some giant cosmic event, we have the opportunity to bring transformation and positive change into our own lives right here, right now. Some people dread making resolutions or goals, but I’ve always found this time of year to be invigorating, and welcome the challenge new goals and raising the bar. I used to be content being lazy and sitting around watching TV all the time, but the truth was I felt empty and unfulfilled. It was only after I started filling my free time with more activities, running a blog, and starting my own business that I felt more alive and motivated than ever.
Identify What Works, What Doesn’t, Then Keep On Going
Last year I put together a pretty large list of goals and think I went a bit overboard. A lot of them were smaller goals which is fine, but looking back I think I split my focus too much. This year I’m going with a shorter list of goals so I can concentrate easier and not lose track of things. What I’ve learned is that when we have we have too many things we want or need to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not end up doing anything at all. Or it just takes us a lot longer than it should to complete things because we can’t think clearly.
I’m looking forward to continuing to share my journey with you in this new year as I continue to learn new things, share my own insights, and go on more adventures. I hope 2013 will be a year of positive change for you and that you will have the means, motivation, and tenacity to reach all of your goals. Just don’t forget to write them down!
Keeping Things Simple: 2013 Goals
I’ve written down goals each year for as long as I can remember. Last year was the first time I published some of mine, and I will continue this new tradition this year. If you read my 2012 goals, you’ll notice I am keeping things much simpler this time around. Here goes:
Save 30% of my income – I want to continue my goal of saving as much as I can for an early retirement. My aim this year is to save 30 percent of my total income. There really isn’t anything that I want to buy as I am still on my path of obsessive minimalism. The only thing I do spend money on is traveling, and since I already have a travel fund in place, I should be able to save a decent amount of my income this year. Hopefully nothing unexpected will come up that will interfere with my savings plans!
Job search – I was recently passed up on a promotion and it really rubbed me the wrong way (I’ll tell you all about it on Monday). But I’ve voiced my concerns, patched myself up, and am channeling my disappointment into positive change. I haven’t searched for a job in many years, and even though I don’t really want to switch companies, I owe it to myself to at least see what’s out there. I admit I’m skeptical of finding something significantly better, but I’ll never know unless I try.
Focus, focus, focus – I have a hard time focusing when I’m under stress and have too many things running through my mind. But I’ve seen people who have mastered the skill of extreme focusing even under the craziest of circumstances, so I know it can be done. My main goal is to increase my efficiency, and improve my ability to block out distractions and focus. I will need to work harder at time management, avoiding the temptation of watching TV, using simple tricks like full screen mode on my laptop, putting on my Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones, and locking myself in a room if I have to.
Complete 2 items on my bucket list – This year I hope to complete at least two items on my bucket list. Most likely one will be travel related as I am hoping to take another international trip, probably in the spring or summer, to a new country I haven’t visited before. The second could be something adventure related I do on my travels such as hiking ancient ruins in South America.
Improve my writing – I think I’m an okay writer, but I know there are lots of ways that I can improve. One thing I really hope to work on is the speed in which I write. A lot of times I have trouble transferring the thoughts I have in my head into organized, well formulated sentences. My thoughts tend to bounce around a lot or go blank, and I get too hung up on the order of my words. I’m also going to try using a speech to text program to see if that can help me save time too, since it can probably type faster than I can and will force me to get my words out.
Write an eBook – In the last quarter of 2011 I made a goal to publish an e-book this summer. I hope to achieve this goal within the time frame I set, although I know it will be quite a challenge since I have a lot on my plate already at work. If I can make strides on my focusing goal however, I think I stand a good chance on this. I may have to extend the deadline to the end of the year, but I will definitely give it my best shot.
Improve my photography skills – Even though I gave up my dream to be a professional photographer I still enjoy taking pictures every day. I’m actually totally addicted and have over 30,000 photographs in my Aperture libraries. I would like to take my photography skills to the next level this year and spend more time taking fewer, but better shots. I need to focus more on quality over quantity and try to improve the sharpness and creative composition of my photos.
Untemplaters, have you made any goals for 2013? Do you have any big life changes in the works this year? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months?
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