10 Big Intentions for 2016


It is the time of lists, countdowns, and commitments.  Something about the closing of a year inspires reflection and reorganization.  With that reality in mind, I thought it would be prudent for me to take a stab at finding 10 intentions that will serve me for the next 12 months.  Ten is a great number; it is not too big nor too small.  It is round and memorable, achievable yet challenging.  So, let's go with 10.

1.  Strengthen my relationship with healthy foods -  I've gotten better over the years, but I still struggle with over consumption of nuts and bread.  If I can consistently moderate those two items, I will be a healthier human being.  I'm two days into my Ideal Protein program and have already dropped 4.5 pounds; about 15 more to go.

2.  Read more, and one at a time - I have a terrible habit (as illustrated by my bedside table) of starting a book but rarely finishing it.  One of my goals this week is to clear that table and only allow one book on there at a time.  I also have this quiet aspiration to do a better job of ingesting more of my personal and professional development books.  Maybe I need to start a book club at The Redpoll Centre?

3.  Walk more with Heather - We so enjoyed our 30-day challenge when we got out and walked together for 30 minutes every day.  The weather got cold and we stopped.  I think we need to start again, and keep walking throughout the year.

4.  Push the boundaries of my painting - I love it when I get to do a painting that pushes me in a new direction or a project that is so compelling that I can't get it out of my mind.  I'm staring at a photo of Vincent Van Gogh on my other computer screen as I type this.  This is a good example of something that makes me want to run out to the studio, like right now! (I started writing this post on Tuesday morning - Mr. Van Gogh came to life shortly thereafter)

5.  Plan to perform with Dylan - We have an intention to do a play together called Mass Appeal.  I love the script and the idea of going through this journey with my son before he finishes high school and starts the rest of his life.  We just need to find a window of time when it will work with our crazy schedules.

6.  Building our business - Heather and I have had our first full year of operating Birdsong Connections.  The "art" portion of the business is way bigger than either of us imagined, but we both recognize that we can be more effective if we utilize our respective strengths.  For someone who couldn't see himself as an entrepreneur just a few years ago, the success of Birdsong has been a delightful surprise.

7.  Living the united way - With both my work and my art I get to help the community.  Melba Seto, in a recent interview, introduced me as a philanthropist.  It kind of took me aback at first.  But, when I stopped and thought about it; I guess I am in a way.  I want to continue growing in my role at United Way and finding more ways to give back to the community through my painting.

8. The next thing - It is said that everyone has at least one novel inside of them.  I'm not sure if I'm interested in going down that particular avenue, but I am interested in seeing what comes next with this painting journey.  Maybe it's an exhibition, a table top book, or something else entirely.  I'm intrigued to find out what will be next.

9.  Declutter my world - My study is a cluttered mess.  Magazines are stacked from hither to thither, odds and sods of paper, pictures and pieces of memory. My aspiration is to take an hour or two to cull, sort and solidify a more organized way of managing this precious space.  In the interest of full disclosure, I've had this aspiration several times before.

BIRDSONG STUDIO will also get decluttered and sorted in 2016.  I really enjoy having people in my creative space.  My goal is to clean it out, sell-give away-toss most of my carpentry tools, and reorganize.  I should be able to have tow or three guests comfortable creating at the same time if I do it right.

10.  Nurture energy mindfulness - I love this term.  It challenges me to look for ways to be more mindful as to the amount of energy we consume, and most importantly, waste.  Like I said to my boys:  "When I was young my dad used to rag on us to shut off the lights.  He was interested in saving money.  I don't care about saving money, but I do care about saving the planet."

The next step for me is to write these down on a slip of paper and hang it next to me in my newly cleaned, culled and organized study.  That daily visual reminder will help keep me on track and on task.

Happy New Year!

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