For 2008 I wrote out a list of goals and aspirations for the year (click on Read More below). Reading them over, many of them still apply - I have made progress on a lot of them, but they are all journeys as opposed to final destinations. When my boyfriend Dan read them over, he pointed out that a lot of them are about stuff. He's right. Plus they're long. They're all things that are still on my mind, but I think my focus is shifting (mostly to numbers 5 and 8). So here are my (simplified) intentions for 2010 - live with as much joy and love as possible, spend lots of time with people I care about and am excited to be around, and just generally treat this year as if it could be my last year in this body. Because it could be.
To read my goals and plans from 2008 click below...
My Goals/Plans from 2008Not resolutions, just aspirations.
1. Buy less. Rules for buying: Don’t. Make do. Make my own. Borrow. Do without. If I must buy, buy things that fit some or all of the following criteria: used, local, sustainable, organic, small business, fair trade, etc. Do not make myself feel deprived. If I really want something, wait a day or two, and then if I still really want it and will use it, I can get it.
2. Eliminate waste from what I do buy. In the past year, I have almost eliminated plastic bags when buying groceries and other items by carrying my own bags. This year I want to drastically reduce the amount of packaging I put into the waste stream from food, toiletries, household items, etc. I will do this by buying in bulk, bringing my own containers, making my own products and not buying over-packaged crap. I also want to start bringing a container when I eat out to bring home my leftovers.
3. Let go. Continue trying to simplify my life by owning less. Not buying a lot does not mean I need to cling to everything I already own. If I’m not using it and don’t anticipate doing so in the next few months, pass it on to someone who will. I give myself permission to replace anything that I get rid of and genuinely miss.
4. Eat more locally. My goal is for 50-75% of my diet to come from local foods, including things I grow, harvest and preserve myself. Along these lines, I would like to expand my gardening and foraging skills, and possibly learn to hunt.
5. Build community. I truly believe a community is what you make of it. (So if you sit around complaining how boring your town is and how there’s nothing to do, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy). I vow to take advantage of the activities and events already going on and to organize my own to fill in the gaps.
6. Right livelihood – keep working towards the goal of work that feels good to me and is good for the world at large. Have integrity in my job. Set appropriate limits and work to my fullest potential. Make space and time to explore other career/life interests as opportunities arise. Seek out freelance or flexible work that could create more options in my life in the future. Explore interesting volunteer opportunities. I also commit to contributing a minimum of 1% of my gross income to charity this year.
7. Work towards financial independence. Money is not everything. But some money is necessary for some of my longer-term goals, like owning land, building my own home, traveling, working less, etc. I commit to living well within my means (spending less than I earn) and putting half of my take home income into an interest bearing savings account. I am allowed to take money out of this fund for travel or large treats or projects – that is part of what it is there for.
8. Live joyfully! None of the above should make me feel deprived or like a martyr. If it does, I'm doing it wrong or forgetting something important.