Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MY TAKE ON NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS



Over at Newvine Growing's Blogversation 2012, Colleen Newvine has asked a group of us "Do you make New Year's resolutions?"

Here is the response which I posted on Newvine Growing. I encourage you to hop on over to Colleen's site to read the rest of the responses!

Let’s face it, this is how New Year’s resolutions go for a lot of us: We set goals, we go after them, we run into a hard spot, we get isolated in that spot, we give up, and then we criticize ourselves for abandoning the dream.

I think there’s a different way to go about goal-setting and goal-pursuing, and my idea of that alternative path emerged about fifteen years ago.

I went to Barnes and Noble to listen to Barbara Sher, author of Wishcraft and other books about going after your dreams. During the evening, Barbara said something that stuck with me: “Isolation is the biggest dream-killer.” She encouraged us to start up Wishcraft groups with other folks in the audience. And so I did, with the woman sitting next to me. We formed a group that set goals and met every couple of weeks to keep each other on track.

Ever since that experience, I’ve done goal-setting differently: I do it in the community of other people. Here’s some examples:

• I started off this year by going to a Vision Board Workshop with a small group of people. It was so much fun and so inspiring to be in a room full of people who all selected magazine images and made gorgeous visual representations of what they wanted to bring into their lives in 2012. I walked away from the experience with my vision board, feeling so energized, happy, and less alone in my mind with my hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

• Two and a half years ago, my friends and I started a group for women visual artists and writers. We are Creative Conversations, and we meet about every six weeks. We are a group of women who tracks each other’s hopes and goals, and our struggles and victories along the way. We cheer each other on and brainstorm solutions for times when someone runs into an obstacle, be it internal or external.

Goal-setting and goal-getting is so much more enjoyable and energizing when done in the context of solid relationships with people who know you and want you to have all that is good in life. At this point in my journey, I wouldn’t do it any other way.
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