Wednesday, 30 December 2009


The inner goal setter in me goes crazy when the new year comes around. And this year it's a new decade no less. A complete blank slate! So much to resolve! So many goals to set!

To prevent myself from committing to a ridiculous scroll of self-improvements, I have to remember something I heard this year. Apparently, the average human learns approximately two life lessons per year - so no point trying to cram in more than that. I try to bear this in mind when I'm attempting to prioritise more than two things at a time and find it difficult. For example, when I'm in the 'going-to-the-gym-zone' it's hard to be also in the 'writing-every-day-zone' as well as the 'win-the-damn-cupcake-competition-zone' at the same time.

I don't have enough bandwidth. I just have to choose two priorities and stick with them.

In 2009 my two overarching life priorities (resolutions if you'd be so kind) were writing and holistic health. I set these in January and decided that every activity I took on should feed into one of these. I'm not talking hour by hour scrutiny here, I'm talking about just thinking through bigger projects and making sure I was spending my time on what I really wanted to be focusing on. Like going to Pilates class (yes!),  writing every morning (yes!), learning to sew (interesting, but no), baking (depends), getting an organic box (yes!), painting (tempting, but no), etc...

Naturally, God, Dan and friends are already set priorities that I don't need to include into my two rotating ones. And I'm not really as militaristic about these priorities as I sound, I just like to whip myself into a frenzy for motivation. In reality they're just always in the back of my head, keeping me in check. If I really was inspired to paint, I'd freaking paint.

So, new year, new priorities...

I think that since we're going to be in New Zealand until June and I can't really think beyond that, I'll stick with 1/2 year resolutions if that's OK.

The first one is easy. I'll keep writing up there. I've had a great run with it this year {thanks to Writing Down the Bones, The Artist's Way and my morning pages} and this period without a job is like a writer's paradise so I can't turn it down really.

The second one is a bit harder, but I think I'm going to have to go with simplicity. Not in an Amish way, but in a taking-each-day-as-it-comes way. Since we don't know exactly what we're doing with our lives after June it's harder than it sounds. So instead of spending all this amazing time we have in paradise planning the next steps, I want to, simply: eat good food, drink good coffee and good wine, read good books, watch good films, go to the beach, write and enjoy any other of life's many simple pleasures rather than complicating things.

So, those are my priorities for the year so far. Feel free to hold me accountable. :) What are your priorities for 2010?

{Photos: Picnic by Ellie, danagraves}


Matt and Joey said...

I love resolutions too. A fresh start and a set will are such amazing things. But to be honest, this year, I can hardly think about them at all. With a baby on the way, all I can anticipate are the countless ways my life will alter, despite my will, and I imagine merely trying to keep my head above water in the fray.

But, if I really think about it, I suppose I do have goals, though baby related. I want to eat the most nutrient-dense, fresh foods as possible as I begin breast-feeding and reclaiming my body from pregnancy. I am hoping to juice at least twice a day. I also want to be back at the gym (thank God for childcare there!) within 8 weeks of delivery and set a routine for "me" time there at least a few days a week. And finally I want to find a rhythm for writing as I settle into a new home rhythm with the baby. Maybe a page or two a day during naptimes? We shall see.

Thanks for the inspiration, Alisha! Don't you just love morning pages? If you're ready for your next creative fodder book, I would recommend "Art and Fear" or "The Creative Call" in the new year. I think my next book will be Stephen King's "On Writing."

Jenny said...

this is inspiring, Alisha! and i like that you're picking two much more realistic.

so, i will have to think about mine...i too feel like having a baby makes you focus on "surviving" more than "enjoying" and so i definitely think that embracing each day will be on my short list...i'll think about this all and get back to you ;)

Jess Fouche said...

Lish~ I love who you are!!:) I also love that every new year I can't help but picture you, me, Suz and Jess writing out our goals and hopes for the new year way back when. I'm sure some of them were silly such as 'my favorite lipstick of 1996 is...' and some more serious, but cherished memories for sure.

My resolutions/hopes for 2010- I wrote on my blog a short while ago but I think it boils down to being open to anything, dreaming big, and making small steps towards those big dreams wherever I can in my day to day life. It would take too long to write out what that would look like but I am excited to see what comes of it all.

Cheers to a new year! Love ya~

Nadine said...

Excellent post! And I love your resolutions, especially the part about just enjoying paradise.

I've gotta figure out my resolutions tomorrow, but definitely blogging once a week, increasing my daily word count, and keeping healthy. I had more than a few moments in 2009 where I realized you only truly appreciate health once it's gone.

Happy New Year Alisha!

ianandmonica said...

Alisha, what a blog writing and resolution setting inspiration you are! I think the being in a place of enjoyment and peace is our hope also instead of just surviving. I will continue to ponder on the implications of this one... Ahh we miss you heaps. Kia Ora good friends!

alisha said...

I love everyone's goals about enjoying life and trying to thrive vs. survive. :)

Joey, I love your goal of eating a nutrient-dense diet. That phrase keeps making its way into my head so it may rub off on me as well!

Jenny, I think you are already good at embracing each day so I can't wait to see what else is on your short list.

Jess, ahh...those were some of the best NY eves ever. Who has those time capsules of our 16 year old hopes and dreams and fave lipstick colours?! Mine hasn't changed actually: Wet & Wild 666 of course.

Nadine, I look forward to your weekly blogs. It's always so nice to take a sneak peek into your Hawaiian paradise.

Monica & Ian, I completely agree! I'm thankful that there are seasons for everything, and that your 'survival season' is hopefully drawing to a close. I can't wait to see where life takes you both next. Be encouraged that your NZ enthusiasm is felt over here!

It's so great to have resolutions about enjoyment rather than dietary restrictions. Otherwise I'd have already failed with the amount of cheese I've consumed in the last two days. But I enjoyed it, so I win.

Can't wait to see how everyone gets on this year. :)

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