Thursday, January 23, 2014

Challenges for 2014

by artisrams via Flickr
At the end of 2013, while pondering change, I came across an idea to ask friends and family members who are close to you to give you challenges to work on for a year. I took a shining to the idea and sent an email to those who are closest to me. A few good souls responded with some excellent suggestions. I've compiled them together and would like to share them here, with my comments:
  • Write and mail at least one letter a month to a loved one: I've always been a fan of writing and receiving letters in the mail and I have continued to write letters here and there throughout the years. I really like the challenge of doing this consistently and have already mailed a letter for January. I had been thinking about how I wanted to get back in the habit of sending birthday cards, so that will help in my efforts to send at least one letter a month. 
  • Forgive someone who has hurt you in some way and really mean it: Forgiveness is huge for inner peace, so this suggestion is perfect. I like to think that I've been pretty good about this, but I can definitely improve and be more intentional about it.
  • Volunteer at least twice: Volunteering is something I've been thinking about a lot lately and have been trying to decide what I would like to do. There are a number of animal shelters here that I'm thinking of picking from and volunteering for. There's also a literacy group that gives out free books at community events. So many worthy causes, so little time!
  • Get off of OKCupid: I disabled my account a few months ago and have no intention of reactivating in the foreseeable future.
  • Consider a dating sabbatical/Be single for 2 months: Two of my friends challenged me to cool it with dating and I not only was thinking that myself, but have already set that boundary for myself. I'm hesitant to put a timeframe on the sabbatical, but I'm sure I'll know when I'm truly ready to get back in the game.
  • Set a schedule and swim X times per week/Exercise 3-4 times a week/Do yoga at least once a week for 2 consecutive months/Go hiking regularly: Being more active is another thing that's been on my radar, it's just a matter of being more intentional about it and setting real goals for myself.
  • Plan, schedule, and execute a 1 week vacation in which I do zero work and travel at least 500 miles from home to somewhere I’ve never been: Traveling is a love of mine and so I naturally really love this challenge. My schedule is already starting to look really busy with conferences and such, but I'm hopeful that this can happen.
  • Be near the ocean regularly: I was thinking just the other day how rare it is for me to see the ocean or the bay considering how incredibly close I am to both. This lack of interaction makes me feel really disconnected with my environment and I need to make an effort to make it a regular part of my life.
  • Start blogging again and post at least once a month: As I've mentioned before, blogging and writing in general are at the top of my list for things that I need to make a constant part of my life.
  • Go thrifting once every two months: A new friend of mine gave me this challenge and I like that it's a fun, easy one to have. Going to thrift stores is something that I enjoy doing, but something that I forget about easily. I've gone maybe twice since I've moved here and I need to map out some more stores to visit.
  • Make my pets happy: Yelling at my cats makes me grumpy, but knowing that I'm taking good care of them makes me feel like a competent human being, so I'd like to do more of the latter. I've already been working on this- I got my cats a really nice scratching post to redirect their scratching and have started feeding them some canned food to help my younger cat lose weight.
I have some pretty great friends, don't you think? Many of these things I had thought about in some way recently, so I was glad to discover that we were often on the same page.

The five challenges that I've set for myself for this year are:
  • Take writing more seriously: In order to be a writer, a writer needs to write. I need to make this passion a top priority and write consistently, even when I don't feel like it or if I think it's too hard.
  • Make strides to get my dad's artwork out there: My dad created an incredible amount of artwork in his lifetime and I feel very strongly about promoting his work. It would be a shame for it to simply sit in a storage unit forever. My brother and I are interested in finding an art licensing agent to represent my dad's artwork and hopefully find some companies who are interested in using his work. One step I've taken so far was to purchase a high quality scanner to create digital images of my dad's slides and negatives. It'll be a long process because there are so many, but I'm very excited to dig in.
  • Be more creative/allow yourself to pursue hobbies and interests: I've always enjoyed being creative, but I got into the habit of denying myself that pleasure because I convinced myself I have better things to do. Instead of becoming a better person for cutting this out, I've become a more repressed individual. One step I've taken so far was to sign up for a semester long ceramics class and I cannot wait to get back on the wheel.
  • Be more active: As stated above, I need to decide on what I'm going to do and how often I'm going to do it.
  • Volunteer: As stated above, I need to narrow down which organizations I'd like to spend time with.

Many of these challenges need more work in order for them to become goals and for me to gain any traction with them. As I mentioned before, transitioning into this year has been tough, so I'm glad that I've at least been able to find some clarity in terms of what I want to change. Stay tuned for more updates on this front.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome list! I think you have inspired me to get back to work on some goals that I have for myself. They fell by the wayside over the last couple of years.