As I’ve mentioned in the past, instead of New Year’s Resolutions I do Three Words. These three words will act as both a sort of mission statement and a set of guiding principles that will focus my efforts and goals for the year. (See my words for 2011 and 2010.)
So I’ve selected my three for 2012.
Simplify – This one is making a return appearance from 2011. I didn’t do very well with it last year, but I know this is an essential part of what I need to focus on in 2012 to make a lasting difference personally and for our family. It will also be a fundamental part of Project Get Our Crap Together, which I’ll talk more about soon.
My major focus here is to get rid of as much clutter and possessions we don’t need as possible. We’ll either donate it, sell it, recycle it, or trash it. Our house looks perpetually like a tornado-ravaged landfill, and it really affects our ability to do all sorts of things. Plus, we just have a whole lot of things we don’t need, and I know there are people out there who could make use of them rather than us just warehousing it here in this storage building we call our house.
I also want to simplify my commitments. I want to be able to invest myself as fully as possible in family, health, and work (particularly work I love) and those related goals that are most important to me. I will need to learn to say ‘no’ almost to the point of ruthlessness. This will not be easy, but it is necessary.
Life has been very challenging in large part because it has been so overwhelming to me. I think ‘simplify’ is the focus that will help turn that around.
Liberate – I thought a lot about this word before I wrote it down. It has numerous layers, each of which serve a vital purpose in our family. As important as ‘simplify’ is, ‘liberate’ may be even more so.
Our recent debacle of our county taking away all of J’s non-school services and our case management services (see our Facebook page or stay tuned for a future post) was the sewage icing on top of what is driving the need for ‘liberate’. I am sick and tired of others having so much power over us and our kids’ futures. So I want to spend 2012 reclaiming as much of that as humanly possible.
But this spans much more than just J’s services. It covers many facets of our lives. We are in too much debt, and I want to liberate us from that debt and the power banks have over us. We can’t provide the kids with what all they need (e.g., preschool options for Dale Jr., therapy services for the J-Man, etc.) and there are numerous things we need to do on our house, so I want to liberate us from insufficient income.
I am often directionless – to put it mildly – in the way I spend my time and have yet to learn the best ways of getting things accomplished in the midst of chaos. I refuse to believe this is just the way it is and that I can’t do anything about it. I want to learn how I can liberate my time so I can get work done, make enough money, and still have the time I want to be a good dad and husband and be fully present to the kids and Mary.
I have for too long given my power over to other entities, none of whom ever have our best interests at heart. This needs to be the year we start reclaiming that power. Much of this will involve focusing on my freelance business and my first serious effort to concentrate on becoming an entrepreneur rather than someone who just dabbles in freelancing on the side. I have a lot to learn, but I have already started making plans and progress on this. And Lord knows I have tons of motivation now. I don’t think frugality is going to gain us anywhere near enough to help us with the ‘liberate’ project. The obvious, and I think much more effective, alternative is to increase income any way we can.
Ship – This is a lot like ‘finish’ was last year, but it’s more specific. I do plan to finish another marathon this spring and hopefully an ultra (greater than 26.2 miles) later in the year. But ‘ship’ is geared toward finishing some writing projects I’ve had in the pipeline forever in addition to actually spending some real time concentrating on this blog. My primary focus early in the year is to do a redesign of this blog and to finish a short e-book in time for World Autism Awareness Day in April. The word ‘ship’ implies not just finishing something but releasing it out into the world. It’s one thing to have eleventybillion words stashed on my computer (plus or minus a few billion), but I don’t think that makes any real difference in the world until I assemble them and let them loose.
So there you have it. If you already have your three words for 2012 and want to share, I’d love to hear them. If you haven’t, it’s never too late to choose them. The year just got started, and there’s a lot of 2012 left to work with. This is a great year to take control of some things in your life and make lasting changes. Take your time, pick three words that will make a real difference for you and your family, and go for it!
P.S. – And consider joining us for our new Project Get Our Crap Together! We’re building up quite a team to make some big, positive changes in our lives this year!