Love & Plans :: Kicking Off a New Year

Image: ‘New Years

Happy New Year! Wow. Can you believe it’s 2011? Over a week in and I’m still surprised it’s 2011. Seriously. 2011!

I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s festivities and are getting a great start to 2011. Here’s how we rang in the new year:

8:00 pm: Open door to Atlanta hotel room. Drop luggage on floor. Flop on bed. Watch some show about a guy who blows up buildings in the Netherlands. Wolf down Wendy’s salad.

8:30: Fall asleep with lights on, the sound of buildings exploding on TV, and Wendy’s salad bowl on lap.

9:00: Wake up briefly. Remove all food from bed. Brush teeth. Remember it’s New Year’s Eve. Set alarm for 11:45pm.

11:45: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze because it will be impossible to stay awake for 15 minutes.

11:59: Alarm goes off. Pry eyes open. Count down to 2011.

Midnight: Kiss husband. Wish him a Happy New Year. Wish we were still in Ireland. Fall asleep immediately.

Yeah. Exciting. (And totally as I’d predicted.)

I don’t know what 2010 was like for you, but for me it was full of change, change, change. Some of it I welcomed (major change in my employment), some of it I didn’t (death of my father-in-law and my grandmother). I’m glad 2011 is here.

Pamela recently said something in reference to 2010 that made me smile (I’m paraphrasing here): It’s good that Aaron and I have each other because love is the best remedy for the times when things really suck…yes, love…and….PLANS!

I’m happy that I have both this year. Lots o’ love and lots o’ plans.

Loving my plans for 2011

I love planning. I love goals. I especially love it when my plans and goals to have meaning. So I chose 3 themes to guide my 2011 goals: visibility, giving, and simplicity. Why did I choose these themes? Simply put: they felt right.

1. Visibility. After reading Ann Marie’s blog a few weeks ago, the concept of visibility made me cringe a bit less than usual. I struggle with the whole hey! look at me! type of visibility. Not really my thing.

But Ann Marie suggested a different way of looking at visibility: to make available and accessible. This I like. This view of visibility fits Small Planet Studio’s mission to help intercultural educators change the world through sharing stories, creating a passionate community, and advocating for intercultural education.

My goal for 2011: make awesome intercultural educators, resources, and projects visible and accessible.

2. Giving. When I bought a Dublin travel guide in December, Border’s gave me two $15 gift cards to use at While looking through the looooong list of globally-focused classroom projects in need of funding, I decided to make giving a priority in 2011.

My goal for 2011: set aside 10% of my 2011 income to give to others.

I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to support one organization for the year or several different projects. I’ll let you know what I decide. Honestly, it scares me a bit to make this commitment, because my income is a huge unknown right now (and both our fridge and heat pump have decided that now is a great time to stop working). But I really feel that choosing to live a year of abundance and giving, regardless of what my income turns out to be, is more beneficial than living in financial fear and hesitancy.

3. Simplicity. This is an on-going goal because I tend to make things waaaaaaay more complicated than they need to be.

My goal for 2011: simplify wherever I can.

Here’s an example: during the first quarter of the year (January, February, March) I’m focusing on simplifying 2 areas of my life by participating in projects started by a couple fantastic internet peeps: Kyeli’s book bying ban and Jill’s shop your wardrobe program.

I’m not a shopaholic (the mall is one of my least favorite places to be), but nevertheless, I’m participating in both projects because they will help make the abundance of unread books on my shelf and unworn clothes in my closet more visible, which will enable me to more easily give 10% of what I earn to others (see goals 1 & 2).

Visibility. Giving. Simplicity.

These themes will guide my business goals in 2011. In the spirit of accountability, I’ve decided to post my goals each quarter. Since this post is getting long, I’ll post my Q1 goals in a day or two. Stay tuned!

Do you have a theme for 2011?  What are your goals for the year?