My Purposeful Expression of Intention

As I try to do every year around the 1st, it’s time to write. I’ve been consistently inconsistent with that over the past few years, but I have managed to use the new year as a time to reflect.

Last year I talked about the things that inspired me in 2014 (and challenged you to try some), but this year I’d like to look ahead. While I’ve never been a huge fan of making firm resolutions based on a time of year… what you’re about to read could be construed as such.

No different than how I approach most decisions I make, I am creating this list with purpose. And thus, I shall refer to the following as a purposeful expression of intention. It sounds like a mouthful, but I chose those words carefully.

Resolutions are typically firm decisions. They are to be carried out with unwavering resolve. While they contain great theatrical gusto, and make for suspenseful, award-winning films, I find them to be less-than-practical.

Furthermore, declarations & proclamations are formal statements. You could dress me up in a tux, throw me in the back of a limo and drive me to the White House for dinner, and I’d still miss my hoodie & sweatpants. “Formal” is NOT my thing.

Purposeful Expression of Intention

Purposeful

As previously stated, this list has purpose. There are things I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year, and this list reflects that.

While many others chose to use the terms “picky” or “selective,” a good friend of mine described my selection of women as “intentional.” I don’t plan on taking twenty fifteen out to dinner and a movie, but the metaphor most certainly applies. I shall make decisions about her with the utmost of intention.

Intention

Speaking of “intention,” I have good intention on making it last. Not only because break-ups suck, but because my very own life depends on it. My life will change this year. As will yours. And the decisions we make are what’s going to change it.

But let’s be honest for a second. Stuff happens. Plans change. That’s why this is not a checklist of requirements, but rather a roadmap to my current destination.

Expression

The word expression is a powerful one. Let me express why. 😉

Expression implies creativity. Ideas are formed, often for the first time.

Expression demands honesty. Before you express yourself, you must first be honest about who you are.

Expression emits passion. You do so boldly.

Expression is personal. It’s yours, and no one else’s.

Expression is a process. It’s an action. It must be done, not just thought or felt.

MY Purposeful Expression of Intention

Now that I’ve explained the why, let’s get to the what. Here’s my list for 2015:

  • Sweeten things up with less sugar. Cheers to finding alternative ways to flavor-up my coffee.
  • Live within my means. Here’s to downsizing wherever & whenever it seems rational to do so.
  • Increase flexibility. Both in my schedule, as well as my muscle tissue.
  • Decrease distraction. Less Facebook, more writing.

…and that’s all, folks!

I had originally intended (haha, there’s that word again) for this to be a longer list, but for the purpose (yep, I went there) of following through with it, I think I’ve expressed (#forthewin) enough to work on this year.

And now off to print this out and stick it in places where I’ll see it every day. I’ve never done that before. Does it help?

Photo courtesy of Inhabitat & Boneyard Studios (flickr)

Negative Nancy New Year

For the past 8 years or so, I’ve been pretty critical of New Year’s. When people ask what my plans are, I’ve been quick to respond:

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s. It’s just not my thing.

In this letter, I write to “the idea of New Year’s”, and explain my position.

Dear New Year,

Welcome back. It’s been 365 days since we last spoke.

I hope you made the best of this past year, as that is what you encourage the rest of us to do, and that’d be pretty hypocritical if you dicked around.

I’m writing you today because I have a few things to get off my chest. And if I don’t do it today, I’ll have to bury my feelings inside for another 365 days. And I just can’t handle that. A little selfish, sure, but we’ve always had an honest relationship, and I’d like to keep it that way.

I may have spread some rumors about you. I know, we’re not in middle school anymore. And they weren’t intentional. Promise. But I think people may have gotten the wrong impression. And the last thing I want to do is make you look bad.

Basically, I’ve told people that you aren’t a big deal. Not in a “you’re nothing like Ron Burgundy” kind of way. But more like, “you’re overrated.”

And that’s not true. The beef I’ve had with you was really not about you. It’s about how people have chosen to interact with you, which isn’t your fault.

  • You’re not the one getting all liquored up & making horrible decisions.
  • You’re not the one who insists on kissing someone’s face off at midnight, even if it happens to be a total stranger.
  • You’re not the one who makes all the non-drinkers of the world feel uncomfortable the entire night because they’re drinking water.
  • You’re not the one driving while intoxicated.
  • You’re not the one who fills the gym with extra bodies. Nor are you the one who quits mid-March.
  • And people use you as their excuse to party, get wasted & make bad decisions. And that’s not your fault at all.

You see, all the rumors out there about you are really about the people who have misunderstood you. Myself included.

You are a necessary & valuable part of this world

The truth is, you give us consistency. In an ever-changing, fast-paced, distraction-filled society, you remind us every so often that change is inevitable.

You don’t bother us every day, week or month (which is great, by the way, because otherwise you’d just be clingy, and no one wants that).

You let us do our own thing throughout the year. After all, we have to learn this on our own. We can’t depend on you to be there every step of the way. So when you do stop by once a year, we listen.

We know that you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t care. If you didn’t matter. Because you are a big deal.

The change you bring is ours to cultivate. To develop. It’s neither good nor bad, but it’s always necessary. It’s up to each of us, as individuals, to decide what to do with it. But if it weren’t for you, we might not even realize it was there at all.

Please accept my apology for spreading false rumors. You really are a good guy, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and the rest of the world.

A Toast

This year, I toast to you, New Year (with water, of course :-). To your consistency. To your discipline. For letting us make our own choices, and never judging. For the good change, and the bad. The misguided, misunderstood & mis-sion critical change that you bring, time and time again.

See ya next year, buddy,
(No Longer) Negative Nancy New Year