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Monday, January 2, 2017

Courage in 2017

2016 was a pretty good year. I just re-read the post I published this time last year. I hadn't even remembered half of the intentions and goals I set, much my less my 'word of the year'. Yet looking back, I found that my intention started to manifest itself without me even thinking about it.

I had picked stubborn as my word for 2016. It may sound like a bit of a negative word, but I meant it in a positive way. I wanted to be stubborn about my goals, and learn to lean in to the hard stuff. I wanted to be stubborn and stand up for myself, instead of getting pushed around. I wanted to be stubborn by living in the way I knew was really me, instead of feeling directionless.

While the particular word 'stubborn' didn't stick with me long, I did keep coming back to the overall intention. When something would start to go badly at work and I would get queasy and scared, my mantra was, "You're tough. Be tough". Sometimes when I was nervous, I'd imagine physically digging in my heels and refusing to move. Those visuals and mantras gave me the oomph I needed to get over a few hurdles this year.

In a less positive way, though, I did find myself doing a lot of muscle-ing this year. One of my coaches actually cited this as why I wasn't jumping as well as I could have been: I was trying too hard, and ended up just forcing it. If I calmed down and allowed my jumps to flow, they'd be easier. I need to beat this habit on-ice, but the funny thing is I've noticed myself doing the same thing off-ice, too. When I get worried, I tend to start pushing too hard and forcing things, instead of recognizing that sometimes, I need to just let it go, and see what happens. I learned a lot about this balance of stubbornness in 2016, but I've still got a long ways to go.

For 2017, though, my word is courage. As in the courage to be authentic. The courage to put myself out there, regardless of anxieties and insecurities. The courage to reach out to someone new, take the first step. I want to be more courageous in my relationships. More courageous in my pursuit of opportunities. More courageous in my actual work, so I can be willing to take risks and experiment. I want to courageously do what is right, not what is easy. I want the inner strength, peace, and forward attitude that courage implies.

I've thought a lot about my goals for 2017 over the past month or two. Rather than looking at the whole year, I'm setting goals by the quarter. At this point in my life, I feel like things tend to stay the same forever and then change all at once. I cannot imagine a single plan that would realistically work out for the whole year. But a 3-month period? I can plan 3-months of intentional, challenging, growth inducing goals.


  • Split the year into quarters: January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December.
  • Set 3 'big' goals for each quarter. These should be challenging but realistic.
  • In addition to the Big 3, keep up with my goal to perform a solo every month (a challenge I gave myself in November), and read 5 books (3 audio, 2 regular). 
  • I would also like to be more intentional about habit building in 2017, so for each month, I'm going to pick a theme, and then try to build some habits around that theme. I'm not going to go crazy keeping track of them or anything, but I'm hoping that just having that monthly reflection and reminder will help me to be more intentional in my daily life this year. 
Now I know that probably seemed a little intense, but I actually feel like I've built a lot of flexibility into it. Planning only 3 months at a time allows me to be so much more aware of what will actually be useful, and I'm hoping that leads to a lot of strides forwards this year.


So what, I'm sure you're dying to know, is the plan for quarter one?

BIG 3:
  • Make/send out an audition video. 
  • Prep for/pass Intermediate Freeskate.
  • Another personal one I'm going to keep offline right now (I'll be less mysterious after I check it off). 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do for January yet, but in February TOI Boston will be hosting a Sk8 to Elimin8 Caner exhibition that I'd like to solo in, and in March I'll probably skate in either a local show or a Showcase competition. 


I'm horrible with reading lists, but right now I'm looking forward to listening to Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth on audio, and then finishing The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, finally finishing my re-read of The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, and starting Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham (I'm also really looking forward to finishing Gilmore Girls in general. I'm finally in Season 6 and loving it, although I'm already dreading Season 7 because from what I can tell while staying spoiler free, everyone's dissapointed by it. BUT I've heard A Year In The Life is awesome, so I'm still psyched). 


For January, I'd like to focus on rhythm. I want to add more flow and stride-catching to my day, so I can spend less time worrying about stuff that doesn't ultimately matter. I want to try making my bed every day, sticking to the same morning routine, figuring out what I'm wearing for work at the start of the week, and packing my bags the night before. 

February is going to be a crazy month with tons of practices and therefore tons of commuter time, so I'm thinking of restore. I'd like to focus on getting enough sleep, eating really well, and working out in a way that boosts my energy. 

I don't have many ideas for March, but with it being (potentially) a slightly slower month than January and February, I'm thinking I might focus on create. I've been wanting to challenge myself more when it comes to creative projects (I tend to always do the same creative things), so maybe I would try to start and finish a project in March.

Yes, I know. I always unleash my most psychotic, sticky-note loving self on January 1st. Yet while I know my 'quarterly system' and 'monthly focus' can come across as a little heavy, I actually feel really light and content about it. Planning for just three months, taking things as they come, and focusing on wellness and wholeness, just feels so achievable. I don't need to worry about next fall. Or summer. Or honestly, even May. I am not there yet. Instead, I am doing my absolute best work now. 

Happy New Year! xoxo

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