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Monday, 5 January 2015

2015: ‘Fear Less’ and My Year of Challenges




I decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions this year. I usually do, but based on personal history, if I had made them, they’d be broken by now!

For 2015, I needed something that had a better chance of success, something that would lead to growth and improvement, but that didn’t involve giving me a reason to beat myself up.

Enter Chris Guillebeau, whose blog ‘The Art of Non-Conformity’ I read regularly. He does an annual review (this link is to the post in whichhe describes his method) which is a formalized process for what I do in my head, or at best, in my journal.  


There is a spreadsheet, which appealed to me straight away. I used to work in accounting, so it feels… comfortable! I already knew what I wanted to focus on in the New Year, but adopting Chris’ process, also required that I be specific in quantifying how I would know I had been successful.

It was not enough to say I wanted to (Insert goal). How would I know I had achieved it? How could I measure that at set intervals throughout the year? Incredibly, this is the piece of the puzzle that I have been missing. Considering that I could not have survived in my previous life without timelines and deliverables, deadlines and time management, it should have been obvious!

I feel as though I’m already further ahead, having given myself challenges that my brain seems to process more easily. I can check in with myself and know if I am on track. If, by chance, I am not, I will still be able to see how much work I have already done. This may eliminate my tendency toward ‘all or nothing’ thinking.

The final part of the process comes from reading, in many places, that one of the keys to success in attaining goals is making them public. There is accountability in this, as well as the desire not to let myself or others down. So, without further ado (drum roll, please), here are my personal goals for 2015.

#1 Buy Boots

I’m happy to say that this goal has already been achieved! Boots (along with my favourite perfume) are where my super powers come from. I feel just a bit bada$$, and like I could kick butt and take names when I’m wearing them, so they were essential.

 
New boots - my super powers
New boots - my super power!



#2 Improve my health

Because I have MS and because being healthy is a key component to doing any work, this seemed like the place to start. Many studies have speculated a connection between MS and gluten sensitivity, so I am making my diet gluten-free in 2015. I also plan to run 6 5K road races, to motivate me to keep fit. My focus will be on races that are either for, or allow runners to raise money for, charity.

#3 Write!

This is my most specific goal and the most important to quantify. Fear has corrupted my commitment to writing, in years past, and I have wasted opportunities because of it, so I want this year to be different. The plan is to write 1,000 words a day, five days a week. This grand total of 260,000 words will translate into 52 blog posts, 52 short stories and longer fiction projects (novellas, novels, a Homeric epic!).

#4 15 in ‘15

15 in ’15 refers to crossing (at least) 15 items off my bucket list. This is probably my most important goal of the year. Unlike many of the others, I cannot achieve this from the comfort of home. This goal will require me to go out into the world and do things, interact with people and push myself, in full view of whoever may care to watch! ‘Fear Less’ (or fearless) is my theme for the year and this goal exemplifies it.

The bucket list contains 101 things I would like to do before I die, has been in existence (although slightly modified) since I was in my early 20’s and has 15 items already crossed off. For this year, I have identified 23 possible items to complete. They range from the ‘easy’ and free (skinny-dipping, anyone?) to the difficult-for-me like zip-lining and the no-amount-of-money-can-buy, darned-near-impossible of meeting Sir Paul McCartney!

I will, of course, be blogging the results as time goes on. Wish me luck!

If you are working on a New Year’s resolution or exciting goals for 2015, I wish the same to you. Feel free to share them, I would love the inspiration!




16 comments:

  1. Way to go! Good luck with your great goals.

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    1. Thanks, Eva! So far, so good! LOL! All the best to you in 2015.

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  2. I love your bucket list idea!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! It's taken me a long time to achieve the things I've crossed off to date, and when I look at the list, some things are so simple, I'm not sure why I haven't done them already. Hoping this will be the year to change that!

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  3. I love the boots- a nice pair of boots always brings me a smile! I like your idea of writing- I have decided that fear is the worst when trying to improve on something- fear that you can't do it or somebody will criticize you but that is just silly. I have decided that the critics are just jealous and have the same fears and to make themselves feel better about not going forth on the path they are to scared to take. And fear of your own doubts just need to be silenced because the only way you get better at something to just do it and learn from your mistakes! Good luck in your goals this year!

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    1. Thanks Karen! I do believe boots have special powers! And yes, fear is the worst, it can be debilitating. I hoping I can push past it, and hope that my goals will help.

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  4. I also have a 101 list! I've found over the years as my interests change, I add and delete to the list. Your post is the reminder for me to identify 5 - 10 that I want to cross off this year. Thanks - and best of luck! Fear Less = fearless. AWESOME!

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    1. Hi Lisa, yes my list has changed over the years (I had to give up my dream of being on Oprah!), but surprisingly little. A lot of my list involves travel, so I forget out some of the 'easier' things. I hope you find your 5-10 things and have fun achieving them!

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  5. LOVED reading this! I kept trying to find the 'Like" buttons (you can tell I mostly Facebook) Your writing flows and I look forward to reading more. Cool boots... of course there is power in them!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment! And I know what you mean about a 'like' button - they should be everywhere!

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  6. I like what you've doing with your goals and bucket list. I follow Chris, too! Enjoying getting to know you here.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. Enjoying getting to know you too. This is a fun challenge!

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  7. All the very best with your goals for 2015!

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    1. Thank you, Laurel! And the same to you!

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  8. I like your goals, and especially the boots! After all, what could any of us do without our own super powers? I just today posted a list of ten things I want to do in 2015 that are totally doable and for the most part, don't cost very much. But now I am thinking maybe I should find my super power and hone that!

    Happy Fear Less 2015!

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    1. Thank you, and yes super powers are critical! Good luck finding yours and I will go check out your list - perhaps there's more inspiration there!

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