Monday Monthly Mission # 24

January 2nd, 2012 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.


The blogosphere seems to be split into two: the “I-don’t-believe-in-new-year’s-resolutions-because-we-should-be-making-positive-choices-ALL-year” camp, and the “I-always-hated-resolutions-but-recently-I’m-drawn-to-the-idea-of-setting-some-good-intentions (but-I’m-still-not-calling-them-resolutions)” camp.

Me? I love a new year and a fresh start. Any opportunity to clean house, to take stock, to re-inspire, and most of all, to make lists! That’s all good as far as I’m concerned.

Each December I spend the month reflecting on the year that’s past, revisiting what I had hoped to achieve, and imaging what I want the next year to look like. I’ve written in the past about my yearly Word doc – the one that sits on my desktop so that I always have easy access to my ambitions.

I make a new doc each year. First, I copy and paste the old one. I like to scroll back in time, from more recent years to the oldest ones, to remember how far I’ve come (and how successful I’ve been at fulfilling my aspirations!) At the top of the new doc I always start with a title for the year – something to sum up the overall tone I’m going for. For example, 2009 was titled “Living The Dream”.

And this year, 2012?

You Only Get One Shot”

Underneath my title, I outline my annual intentions. There’s always a theme – for example last year was “Quality Over Quantity”. And then I list my specific goals.

And this year, 2012?

“This is my ONE LIFE. What is *really* important? What will have mattered once I’m gone? “You only get one shot” – so make it count! Fill it with joy. Unplug. Fill it with laughter. Family comes first! Always, always Live in the Love.”

This year I’ve listed some specific goals (which I’m choosing to keep private), but what I’m intending to do for January – and for this MMM – is to outline an actual plan of action to help me achieve each of these goals. Step by step! No excuses! I find that it helps to work backwards, to begin with your end goal and then to imagine where you would have to be in order to take that last step to get there. And then what would get you closer to that second-to-last step? And so on.

For example, I always mean to send birthday cards to my friends, but I never do. I hate that! Why does it happen? Here’s a plan of attack:

End goal: Sending Card

What keeps me 1 step away: Not being able to find the time to get to the store for a card. (gah!)
Action: Buy (or make) cards NOW, and keep a stash on hand (with stamps!)

But what keeps me 2 steps away: Not remembering birthdays in time (oh shame!)
Action: Go through iCal and set reminders for all important birthdays – 2 weeks in advance with a 1 week follow-up.

End Result: Cards are easy to send!

That’s just one small example, but you get the point. So, this MMM is all about -

  1.  Setting intentions for a new year, and
  2. Outlining a very specific plan for conquering those intentions

Are you in?? Have you already set some intentions? Know how you’re going to keep the momentum?


  • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    I had to laugh at your blogosphere-resolution-split description – it’s so true!

  • Annie

    As The New Kids said, ‘Step by step, oooh baby’
    Hahaha, sorry, just reminded me of that :)
    I am planning a small but profound change in my late night habits, and having a ‘lights out’ rule. I’m constantly annoyed at myself for staying up so late, but my mind gets a little distracted then I feel like I can’t sleep so I watch a movie or some old funny sitcoms etc, and end up staying up way too late. I think the watching is actually keeping me up, and not entertaining me while I’m up anyways. I still get up bright and early, but because I know I have to. I can sleep in like nobody’s business on the weekend. But now, I’m having everything off at 11.30 and I think at the very least I’ll be bored lying down in the dark and I’ll fall asleep. And it’ll probably make for a more pleasant morning Annie.

  • Suburban Snow White

    Love it! You have a great way of describing what this time of year is like. I LOVE your approach!

  • Gabrielle De Vries

    2012 is all about integrity for me. First step: quit smoking. I eat well, exercise, meditate etc and that’s the one thing that makes me shamefull. I’m on with your plan. :)

  • Kimberly

    I send cards for everything and always wish others would do so as well. It’s such a great way to tell someone you’re thinking of them.

    Great goal!!

  • Lexie

    I’m completely in the middle…it’s really infuriating. I’m obsessed with the notion of a ‘new start’ and always trying to take ahold of it, but at the same time, I’ve forgotten about SO many new years resolutions that I just can’t do it anymore. I think half my mind makes the resolutions before the other half squashes it for my own good. But good luck with yours, let us know how they go!

  • Lou

    Love your card sending goal – I’m exactly the same, always have the best intentions, but somehow the person’s birthday comes and goes and I haven’t sent a card. It’s all about getting organised, and that’s not too hard now is it?

    I have no excuse now, got a smart phone for Xmas, so all I need to do is programme reminders…. plus make some pretty cards :) Hooray for projects.

    My theme for this year is FOCUS… on myself, my family and what makes me happy.

  • Serenity

    I am going to accept folks… And me…. where they are right now and not where I want them to be.

    I need to start on my financial retirement plans. I do not want to have to be a greeter at Wal-Mart

  • rachelinveganland

    This year, I wrote down the year’s goals in my day planner, right next to dec. 31 2012. This way I can reflect on my goals a year from now and see how far I’ve come. I love your card sending goal. Such a simple way to let someone know you’re thinking of them!

  • Steph

    Every year the two of us sit down over a white board or a big sheet of paper and ask each other what we want out of the next year. I’m a person that always has a bunch of projects and plans on the go, and if I don’t sit with him and look at the big picture it sets us up for failure. Everything I want to accomplish depends on him to do more as well, so doing it together makes sure everyone gets what they need and the big things they want.

    Theme this year: Family and Health. A year of mat leave gives me time and a bunch of other reasons give me motivation. Then the big goals get scribbled all over the paper and we talk about the plans to make it all happen. How to take those steps you’ve got up there to reach those goals. This year he surprised me by asking for a cleanse. We’ve noticed a change in health around the spring and fall and he seems on board with letting food be his medicine. I was rubbing my hands in anticipation of planning!

    I think we’re going to put it on our bedroom wall this year – a new baby and toddler and lots of plans means having the big picture in our face is more likely to keep us on track.

    Happy planning!

  • Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    Fabulous plan. I’m in the “positive changes all the time” camp, but mostly because I think a resolution is too easy to give up on when you slip, where as a goal or intention is something you are constantly working toward. Hopefully I can report back that I am well planned!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It really is! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    You have all my best wishes and all my loving thoughts for you as you quit smoking. It was truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was also SO WORTH IT, and being on the other side now – honestly, completely free from cigarettes (I never thought I would actually not want them) – it is LIBERATING.

    I know you can do it. Luck!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Love this idea!

  • Anonymous

    You really touched on something that is SO important to resolution or goal setting – list the steps you are going to take to get to your goal! For so many of us, we set the goal and have no idea how to make it happen. I have to admit that occasionally I have one of these items on my list. When I do, I put this one at the top in a place I see it every day so that everyday I am reminded to look for actions that can help me to that goal. When I find one, I write it on my list to remember.
    Re: your cards… I also keep blank cards on hand just in case and also for occasions that may not have a specific card and I don’t have time to create one.

  • Bettina

    Yes, I’m in. :)
    I’ve decided to start making my life more simple and more prosperious at the same time in 2012: I want to get rid of things (and habits, people, patterns of behaviour…) that are not good for me or that I simply don’t need (I truly believe that too much clutter stops me from feeling good), and include more of the good things in my life. I truly
    Most of all, I want to plan less. I’m never more creative than when I’m just relaxing.
    Also, I want to try and produce no garbage that cannot be recycled. AND I want to make my diet more vegan. Have been a vegetarian for about 16 years and have started to include vegan meals in my diet (btw, thank you for all your vegan inspirations! Brilliant!).

    Oh, and like every year, I am also planning to get REALLY rich. :)

    PS: I haven’t introduced myself yet: My name is Bettina, I’m a freelancer living in Berlin, Germany. I came across this website when I was looking for advice on the “no-poo” method and absolutely love your (and your readers’) ideas. How you manage to do all this (being a writer and a mom, keeping this blog, cooking all those treats) is beyond me. :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Bettina! Welcome to Bonzai =D

    Your goals for the new year are AWESOME and I can relate to all of them. Good luck!

  • Bettina

    Thank you. And thank you for making us write our goals down. This way it’s much more likely I won’t forget about them. :)