New Year’s Intentions 2008

Six months ago I posted my first list of ten Mid-Year’s Intentions. These were intended as a counterpoint, an antidote to New Year’s resolutions. At that time I wrote:

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they create anxiety, hope, and usually ultimately disappointment.

So I’m starting a new tradition — Mid-Year’s intentions. These aren’t things you want to do, they’re things you know you’re going to do. It’s a taking stock, a self-clarification of priorities, a statement of intentionality. In accordance with Pollard’s Law — We do what we must, then we do what’s easy, and then we do what’s fun — this list is about what you’re driven to do (not what you wish you were more driven to do), it’s about what easy/fun playing and learning activities you’re going to do. It’s about realizing what you’re becoming, not becoming something that you’re not. It’s about being more yourself.

My reason for blogging about it is that I think it might be revealing to my readers (and if you write about your intentions that could be revealing to your readers). Our readers would then have a little better context for understanding us, and what we write about, and understanding it better.

I did indeed carry out all my Mid-Year’s Intentions. So here we go again — my intentions for the next six months:

  1. Love as many as people as possible, as much as possible, as often as possible, in as many ways as possible, openly, generously, without restriction or restraint, in ways that matter to them. Be appreciative, attentive, responsive, caring, useful. Show (don’t just tell) the people I love that I love them, every day, by being for them what they want and need me to be.
  2. Live simpler. Buy less, use less, consume less, owe less, need less. Live lighter on the land. Love Gaia, the community of all-life-on-Earth. Be a part, connected, aware, alert. Know what she needs, what needs to be done, and act accordingly.
  3. Engage in more conversations and practice to become a better conversationalist. Listen better. Articulate better. Pay attention better. More conversations with more people I love will require a better parsing of my time, more effective use of that time. More listening and watching and sensing and responding to body language. More relating stories that further understanding. More helping and suggesting and supporting. Less talking, less texting, less criticizing, less one-way writing. Less wasting time on conversations about things that are unactionable. Wasting no time at all with any of the mainstream information and entertainment media.
  4. Create community. Find and connect and facilitate the people who can, collaboratively, understand what needs to be done to make this a better world and who can then, individually and collectively, freely, act on that understanding. Participate fully in community activities.
  5. Breathe, be present, be still, in those moments when I am alone. In my zeal to spend more time in love, in conversation and community I must remember to allow some time for quiet, for reflection, for regeneration. Through meditation and other attention skills I intend to learn to be in the moment, every moment, to stop time, and to expand it.
  6. Move more. Run, hug, dance, hike, cuddle, perform, swim, climb, caress, inspire, play, make art, make love. Our bodies are meant to move, to express, to connect. I must get out more, into places with room and time to really move.
  7. Be more self-sufficient. Learn to do 20 things in the next six months that I currently rely on others to do for me. In the process, learn more about myself.
  8. Be bolder. This is my ‘intention to intend’. Goethe said “there is power and magic in boldness”. Know when to stop talking and do something. Experiment. Make it up as I go. Take the first next step. Just begin.
  9. Help entrepreneurs more. Part of discovering and creating better ways to live is discovering and creating better ways to make a living. I have learned a lot about how to do this, what works and what doesn’t. I need to share this more, person-to-person, principally through telling stories, and by talking more with entrepreneurs to learn even more.
  10. Have more fun. Laugh, mostly at myself. Use humour and render stresses harmless. Play with children and animals to remember how to play, and then show other adults. Improvise. Flirt. Be silly. Make love a lot, joyfully, in all the different ways there are to ‘make love’. Smile at strangers. 

The biggest challenge I will face with these intentions is finding and making time for them all. This will require me to stop doing a lot of things I do now. That means I need to understand why I do these things now. Things are the way they are for a reason, and I need to appreciate that reason before I can start spending my time differently.

When I put this list together I originally started with ‘be a model for others’. After all, that’s the advice I give everyone else who asks me ‘what should I do to save the world’?  But I concluded I am not yet ready to be a model for others. Maybe in another six months, after I’ve realized these ten intentions, I’ll be ready. Or perhaps, merely by intending to do things that are useful, helpful, generous, and by doing everything I intend, I will become a model in the process.

That’s my list. What are your intentions for the first half of 2008?

Category: Let-Self-Change
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7 Responses to New Year’s Intentions 2008

  1. wendy says:

    I think Dave my intention will be to understand better why I want, what I want. I like your idea of intention instead of resolution. Intention seems more open ended and allows things to form around what you need, rather than forcing things to be the way you want. Forcing doesnt seem the way to go, it doesnt feel trusting to me.

  2. Cristosova says:

    Dave, I am wishing you a great New Year and Happy Unfolding, wherever your path may go. It´s always been an interesting journey to follow your thoughts. ChristinaPS My intention is to fully incorporate that all I do is not about achieving but about learning.

  3. Dannah says:

    I like reading other people’s New Year’s resolutions even though I don’t make them myself. I used to, but then I discovered that I automatically didn’t keep them. Now it almost seems like I’m jinxing myself if I try to make one. Yours are nice though. Inspiring.

  4. Paul says:

    Don’t worry about the ‘be a model for others’ part. That will naturaaly happen as you share your actions and intentions with others.I haven’t thought about my intentions very thoroughly, but some are a bit similar: Continue (mostly through meditation, mindfulness, and reflection) to understand my mind better, so that I’m more able to understand situations and live truly in the moment rather than being stuck in conditioned responses and a “personality”. Love others while accepting their choices, not assuming that my way is the best way. Start gardening to learn how to grow things (the front lawn is already ripped out and replaced with raised beds, but I just have cover crops for the winter). Use my car less often and my bicycle more often.

  5. Jeff says:

    Add a little “B” to my Type A. ;-)

  6. lgjhost says:

    Dave,I just stumbled across your site and really like your Mid-Year’s Intention number 2. “2. Live simpler. Buy less, use less, consume less, owe less, need less. Live lighter on the land.” So much I have added your site to our directory, because it focuses on things that will help our planet.The rest are really good as well.Have a great year!CheersLGJHOST

  7. Happy New Year, Dave!

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