Welcome, 2012

Happy New Year and welcome, 2012! We celebrated the final week of 2011 with four Christmases in three states! Today, however, we are back home and back at work. Though much of my work revolves around the academic year (September-June), there's something about the new calendar year that inspires me to set new goals, re-organize, and re-balance my priorities. It's a time to re-focus on the things that matter and start fresh. I saved this graphic when I came upon it a few weeks ago. I think it's a great reminder of important items that don't generally make my resolution list.

- Keep the faith. Think positively even when surrounded by negativity, stay strong even in the midst of frustration and weakness, find new ways to actively build my faith throughout the year, commit to worry less. Professionally and personally, these are words I want to live by this year.

- Pursue excellence. True excellence - a standard of passionate and dedicated work, a new definition of success (more on this later).

- Make more decisions. Powerful, effective decisions. Changing the pattern of indecisiveness, learning to make decisions without seeking outside input, and collaborating with others without deferring.

The other day, I re-encountered this quote: "Indecision is the seedling of fear." - Napolean Hill. I want 2012 to be a year of learning how to make more decisions, a year of overcoming fear, and a year of making excellent things happen.

Out with the Old, In with the New

This popular New Year's slogan is probably over-used but I still like its implications. Since returning from a week of busy travel, suitcase living, multiple holiday celebrations and gift exchanges, and more than enough food, Steve and I have happily put life back into relative orderliness. The Carriage House is clean, Christmas decorations have been wrapped and stored, books have been shelved, homemade edibles have been consumed, clothes and linens are freshly-laundered, and work is relatively organized. 1. Google Reader. I finally subscribed to all those blogs I've kept in disarray on my browser toolbar for the past few months. Now, they are in one easy-to-read pane. Life simplified.

2. Grooveshark. Besides offering freedom from Pandora, I'm enjoying this new way to organize my music playlists without advertisements, time limits, or unrelated songs being included. Bonus: There's an extensive classical library so I can explore the music of American song composers and contemporaries such as Arvo Pärt in the coming year.

3. Making Things Happen. I just came across this blog yesterday but I have a feeling I will be revisiting its pages in the days and weeks to come (via Google Reader, that is!) Its motivation and inspiration tied together with a few recent topics that particularly grabbed me - "learning how to say 'no'" and "goal setting in 2011."

I haven't made resolutions in several years, mostly because I tend to fail at them a few weeks in. I mean to say that I set myself up for failure by "resolving" to begin/change an element of my lifestyle cold-turkey on January 1st. Change takes time as does the cultivation of new habits. Like going to bed earlier. That's not a resolution, it's a goal I am setting for myself. Other goals include:

  • be more active (walking to work and to the post office doesn't count!)
  • cook more/trying new recipes more often
  • improve my time management (more challenging when you set your own schedule!)
  • schedule time for practicing
  • keep better track of my projects so that things don't sit on the back burner for too long
  • sing more
  • complete academic paper submissions (sent my first off today - scary thought!)
  • write more often
  • pray more often

It's not an overwhelming list, just things that I want to keep in the forefront of my mind as I plan my days this year. Cheers to 2011!