02 January 2014

2014 Intentions

Yesterday, because it was the first of the year and the time for making goals and intentions and resolutions, I decided to revisit myIDP and check on my career goals. It’s not a particularly useful website if you’re not a scientist, so I’m only telling you about it now to illustrate this point: I discovered that in the skills self-assessment section, on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best), I’d given gave myself a 2 on “Ability to set and achieve goals.” I chose that 2 back in summer 2012, and when I saw it yesterday, I actually laughed out loud. I’m usually hard on myself, yes, but that 2 was a vast underestimate. I am playing on expert mode when it comes to MAKING LISTS and CHECKING THINGS OFF.

Tis the season for making and setting goals, yes? Resolutions or intentions (like I did last year) or an IDP or a Strategic Action plan? Since making goals and writing about achieving them is what this blog is actually all about, it’s only fitting that I revisit my intentions for 2013. I kept them gentle – things I intended to do, rather than resolved to do – but also very specific. Because no IDP ever included phrases like “Be happier” or “Achieve balance,” duh.

Thanks to the specificity of my intentions, I can state with confidence whether I checked them off the list or not. And what were my intentions? Let me remind you...

1) Complete 13 projects from my new YHL book

I totally did this! And more! I already gave you an update, but I did even more than I wrote about. Like #132, frame something that makes you smile (a $2 signed by all my grandpa’s coworkers on his last day at work):

And #170, use cups for more than drinking:

And #91, buy the fancy stuff at least once (ok, this is just a small step up from Dial, but I have a set from Anthropologie in our kitchen!):

And #25, mix hardware finishes, here and throughout our apartment:

And #104, deal with bookcase clutter:

WHEW. I could keep going, but you get the idea, I think. There’s still a few more projects I might tackle from the book, but for now, I’m happy to have reached that goal!

Although the same may not be said for...

2) Create healthier blogging habits

To keep it specific, I said I’d write more in the mornings (instead of after 10 PM), comment more on blogs, and generally try to chill the heck out about blogging. While I feel like I’ve failed quite a bit at the first two, I think I achieved the third. I don’t really feel so bad about blogging about what I want to talk about anymore. And in the process, I ended up writing about what I was thinking about, instead of only what I’ve done – which was actually helpful for me and some readers! I told you a few times about how hard it can be to get back in the decorating groove when you feel so far outside it:

I described my failed or abandoned projects:

I shared my great mental debates with you, like what to purchase or whether to paint our PINK walls:

And I even shared what my work life is like, for once.

Plus, I stopped fussing over every little detail in every post. I’m sorry if you’ve noticed and you think this blog is going downhill... but sometimes, you’ve just gotta hit “publish” and go to bed already.

As for why I failed at the first two? Well, I stopped commenting on blogs because I stopped reading a lot of blogs. My free time got away from me, and the time I did have for blogs was spent writing here, not reading elsewhere. But the “writing in the morning” bit? I must get back to that. Which officially makes it an intention for 2014, I think!

I also didn’t do a super fantastic job at the other two items:

3) Clean daily for twenty minutes, and

4) Eat more frequently

The 28-day schedule went by the wayside like so many other January aspirations. And eating more frequently is just so hard with my work schedule sometimes– there are days when I forget to stop and eat lunch until well after 1 or 2 PM. But! I did remember these intentions throughout the year, and therefore cleaned and snacked more than I would have otherwise. That’s what’s nice about intentions... if I fall off the wagon, then it’s just something to work on next week!

Or... next year. That’s right, I’ve decided to work on similar intentions this year: blog in the morning, eat small meals frequently, and spend a few minutes picking up the house every day. But I’ll add a new one for 2014:

Reply to emails in a timely manner

I do pretty well at reading and archiving/deleting emails, so my inbox is usually not out-of-control. Currently, I only have seven emails in my inbox – but they all require action, and several are months old. See, I’m awful at replying to emails in a timely manner. So awful that they often get triaged without a response... ever. This problem is mostly limited to personal correspondence, not work emails – but that means I’ll let friendships languish in my inbox for months. That’s annoying for them and for me and will be a very specific intention in 2014: reply to emails within a week, and keep fewer than five emails in my inbox at any given time!

So that’s the plan for 2014. If they sound boring, know that I do have a few bigger, long-term goals in mind that I’ll elaborate on later... but for now, I’m focusing on these changes in 2014! Any intentions for any of you?


Rachel C said...

As I've said many times before, I love your anything-goes-here's-what-I-want-to-discuss blog style. It's part of what makes the blog uniquely you and keeps it from feeling like just another blog. I would be heartbroken if you tightened up and tried to edit yourself. It would change the entire feel of your blog (and yes, I'm looking straight at YHL when I say that.)

Second, I spy some amazingly styled bookcases that are screaming for a blog update! I want to know the little goodies that you have on there.