I’ve been pondering the New Years goal-setting issue for a few weeks now. I set very specific New Years goals for myself last year and the year before, and I reached most of them. In general, goal-setting has been good to me.
But over the last 6 months, I’ve noticed that I have a hard time, not with reigning in my interests and being productive, but with granting myself the free time to pursue whims and “pointless” activities.
I have a tendency to be TOO structured, too disciplined. I know, cry me a river. But ritualizing everything can be just as bad as being all over the place. You need balance. Plus pointless exploration (doing an activity for no end result) can lead you to interesting places and seep into your “real” work in ways you never would have imagined. Play time is every bit as important for a multipotentialite as focus time.
In the spirit of pushing myself to let go of the rules and the need to be productive all the time, I am not setting specific goals for 2013. Instead, I have chosen a theme (because who doesn’t love an overarching theme).
My theme for 2013 is Embodiment.
The theme of embodiment has 3 meanings to me.
Interpretation #1: Getting out into the physical world more.
I want to spend less time behind the screen and more time inhabiting physical space. This could look like a number of different things. It might mean more speaking engagements, in-person workshops or co-working arrangements. Or maybe it’ll mean volunteering at a musical theatre camp for kids, or doing theatre myself! Maybe I’ll go hiking more. Who knows. I have plans to drive to LA in February and spend a month writing and recording an album with my best friend. It’s a crazy plan that we concocted last summer, and we’re just about ready to hit the road. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about. Using my hands.
Speaking of using my hands, I’m actually reading Austin Kleon’s book, Steal like an Artist right now (recommended. Super multipod-friendly), and he talks about the idea of having two desks in your office: one is an analogue desk where you “make things with your hands,” and the other is digital, where you house your laptop, etc. No digital tools are allowed on the analogue desk and vice versa. I love this idea and might just try it out for myself.
Interpretation #2: Getting out of my head and into my body.
This one is related to my health goals. As I mentioned in my annual review, 2012 was the year in which I found the Paleo diet and overcame a lot of my health challenges. I literally went from feeling like my body was falling apart to being able to eat (and absorb) a range of nutrient-dense foods, having color back in my face, being able to get through a day without requiring a nap, getting my hormones balanced, and getting rid of the dark circles under my eyes that I had had my whole life (a reaction to gluten I posit).
Now that I’m doing better physically, I feel like I am ready to optimize my performance. Namely, I want to FEEL strong. I don’t really care about losing weight or anything. It’s more psychological. After you go through the kind of physical turmoil I’ve been through in recent years, you feel like you lack control over what’s happening to your body. I want to feel powerful again.
I also worry too much. It’s an issue I’ve had my entire life. But instead of fixating on it, I’m going to try to pull myself out of my head and into my body through physical exercise.
I went to my first “boot camp” the other day and it was surprisingly fun. It’s at a gym near my house, which will make it far more likely that I’ll attend. It’s also expensive, which again, will make it far more likely that I will go. But I’ve been talking about going for months now, and I finally did. It was hard yes, but fun. Lots of kettle bell swings and weights and body weight exercises. We got into teams of two and went through the circuit. Everyone was really nice and supportive. I am sore today, but it’s a good sore.
Interpretation #3: Embodying my visions now
We all know that Gandhi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Well, I want to work harder to apply this principle internally.
It goes like this. If you want to be more confident, then start living and behaving the way a confident person would live and behave. If you want to make more money, go about your day believing that you have more than you need. It may feel like a lie at first, but I’ve found that when you feel the feeling first, the external circumstances tend to rearrange themselves to make it true.
This principle has served me well in the past, and I want to recommit to it going forward.
So there we go—embodiment.
I have printed the word out and hung it by my bed as a reminder each day when I wake up. I don’t know what specific activities or projects I will be working on this year, and I am excited about that. It’s time to go with the flow, get out into the world, and trust that things will work out. Because they always do.
Happy New Year Multipotentialites!
What kind of intentions did you set for 2013? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.