I went off the New Year’s resolution trap a few years back, simply because they never worked. But because I like to mark the new year with something that represents a change, for the past two years, I have picked one topic/theme that I want to concentrate on, and do something about it. This year I will substitute the monthly themes with a word. One word per month that will set the tone for the month and what that word will signify.

MOVE will be my word for January – move on, move forward in my work, my relationships, my life etc. The idea is to have that word in your mind throughout the month and let it guide you to take action.

The idea was originally from The Happiness Project, which is based on a one word theme for the year. Another site that has been doing the same thing is Christine Kane’s word of the year.

I prefer to have one word a month, as that gives me a wider choice in the year, takes me out of my comfort zone. It adds a bit more fun having a different tone every month.

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There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.

-Denis Waitley

It’s that time of year to sit down and do some serious goal-setting for 2011. Some of the goals for 2010 were not accomplished or little was done, so I will make those as ongoing goals. By having ongoing goals and aims I feel I have achieved something, even if it was a small change or improvement. It also helps me understand the changes I needed to make in my life and what’s important to me.

My main focus  is on:

Finances: I desperately need to get my finances in order.  This is strongly linked to my Work (no work no money coming in!). By this I mean I need to get a regularly income which will allow me to save , pay off my debts and not have to worry were my next job is coming from month to month.

Relationships: dating (maybe find someone to spend my time with – after lasting year’s dating experience, this is easier said than done). Spend more time with friends and contact old friends with whom I have been out of touch.

Fitness: I’m fairly fit, but I would like to increase my fitness level. Attempt to learn a new sport or get involved in an activity that I have wanted to do but never found the time.

By getting one aspect of my life in order and meeting some goals, the others will follow or become much easier to do. For example I would like to learn rock climbing, but I can’t afford to go for lessons, once I have a regular income I can save and afford to go for lessons.

I’ve been actively trying to sort out these aspects of my life since last year and some the year before. The difference now is  to come up with some solid and bigger plan that I will stick to. The trick is to clearly define goals that I commit to, so that they are reachable. How do I know that they are reachable? I suppose a way to test is, if somebody else with the same goals has done it, then it can be done.

Only one day left for 2010 and like every other blogger I will write something about my goals and resolutions. How did I do with my goals in 2010? I’m not going to go into goal-bashing, but it was not a good year. I started on most of my goals but didn’t really follow-up throughout the year.  I’m glad 2010 is over. Not because I didn’t accomplish my goals but because  for most of the year  I have had this feeling of stagnation. Things don’t seem to be happening. Those times when things with work are not going well. When I can’t seem to meet any new friends or go out with interesting or compatible people. When I have too much time on my hands and don’t know what to do with it or too little time and don’t know where it’s all going. Life is just not happening. I refused to be  in this unproductive  state in the new year, I need to get out of it.

So 2011 will be out with the old in with the new. 2011 is also the year of the Rabbit (for the Chinese) and it’s supposed to be a good year for rabbits. I hope to make this a better year, whether I make resolutions, set new goals or not, whether I make life changes or not. Obviously, it is easier said than done, so defining how I’ll accomplish these changes and sticking to them is a must. Over time  I will define my goals, as I work on them I will know which of  them are most likely to grow and concentrate my efforts on them.

So out with the old in with the new!

I recently discovered the music of Thea Gilmore (one of Britain’s under-appreciated songwriters). I’m not sure what genre she goes under but she touches folk, rock, jazz and Americana. iTunes has here as Singer/Songwriter (really!) Her Christmas album, Strange Communion is a must buy, not your usual Christmas songs, but there’s something about Drunken Angel that I really like, captures feelings very well.

Winter tells its truth to anyone who’ll listen
It will whisper to you slowly when the light is low
And I will sit and wonder over everything I’ve written
And still not know

The smell of pine and nursery rhymes is rising
There are some things that are broken and some things to hold tight
To the few brave birds of the season who are sky writing
Shine your light

‘Cause there’s a drunken angel
Dances to my heart
Singin’ lonely days
Brand new start
Brand new start

And now is the time I will raise my eyes and be honest
And look out across the plane of another tired and reckless year

And give thanks for the love and the wonder that was hurled upon us
And you, my dear

And a drunken angel
Dances to my heart
Singin’ lonely days
Brand new start
Brand new start

You can hear the howl of wings, you can feel it when the wine is flowing
And the tired and the lonely lay down their weary heads
And baby, sometimes the beauty in this world comes from just not knowing
Feeling instead
Feeling instead
Feeling instead

I’ve always considered myself an introvert and shy. Most people think an introvert is a shy person, but I think shyness has little to do with being an introvert. When I’m shy, I get nervous and anxious and avoid the situations that make me feel like that. You probably won’t see me at a conference talk or any kind of public speaking, I avoid them as much as possible.

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Cartoonist Liza Donnelly talks about her work and how she began drawing cartoons. I can really relate to what she says and probably even more because one of my desires is to be able to draw good cartoons. That’s a book gone on my wish list.

Buddha purchased a copy of The Big Issue from a street vendor with a £10 note. When Buddha asked for his change the vendor looked with a smile and said, “Ah, change must come from within”.

– Anon.