At the start of 2015, I declared it the year of ‘doing big things.’ I wasn’t quite sure what I meant by it but I knew it was time to start making intentional changes in my life.
I declared it simply to propel myself to action.
A couple of years ago my life changed rather unexpectedly. I quickly found myself single again with decades ahead of me to fill with more living.
After this big change, I spent the first couple of years sitting around collecting my thoughts and reflecting. I was trying to work out how I wanted to live going forward and how to create the life I wanted. It was time well spent but I didn’t find it easy.
These are big questions that we all have to answer at some point. Mostly, I found it paralyzing because there were so many choices. I wanted to make big changes in my life, but it was hard to pick a starting point or know where to focus.
My declaration of 2015 being the year of ‘Doing Big Things’ was meant to kick off a personal revolution of sorts.
I knew I wanted to:
· Travel more
· Get my finances under control
· Live a life of less consumerism and be easy on the earth
· Focus on my art & photography
· Plan a future path
· Live a life of creativity
· Show up more and be brave
· Only surround myself with that which is essential
These goals were all well and good but generalities can be hard to actually achieve.
It was a year of doing random, imperfect things and not creating as much as I could have.
I did some things that were scary and some things that were lazy. There were moments of big inspiration that I failed to capitalize on, moments of wonder, moments of total fear.
The Big Things!
I traveled to 6 countries by myself (including Haiti!). It was a little scary and a big coup in personal independence. Now I know I can do it. I always knew I could, but now I really know it. I miss having someone to travel with, but that doesn’t have to stop me from continuing to have grand adventures throughout the world.
This summer I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland along with 3,000 other people. I was solidly petrified the entire time. It was inspirational in many ways (thank you Chris Guillebeaua and Sean Ogle) but my inner introvert didn’t have a plan for dealing with this kind of large, outgoing group of strangers.
It was perhaps the scariest thing I’ve ever done but I showed up. I wouldn’t say it was super successful for me but I learned some things that I really needed to learn and heard some things I really needed to hear. I’m going back next year to do it better.
I also went to Pioneer Nation. A gathering of 150 strangers in the name of entrepreneurial excellence. I was totally unprepared and that was my biggest takeaway from the experience. Don’t spend a lot of money to set yourself up to have magical experiences and then do absolutely nothing to prepare! That was stupid. That was my loss. And not a mistake that I’ll soon repeat.
August 2015 saw the birth of my latest and largest art project: 10000sketches
Admittedly, I could have done a little math before committing, but I often breeze past those kinds of details. The idea hit me and I began the project within minutes.
So, I’m in it for the long haul. 10,000 sketches will pour forth from my little fingers over the next who-knows-how-many years. It feels good. I’m only at 225 sketches but I already have a small body of work and I keep surprising myself with new ideas.
The longest journey always starts with just one step. I have bigger things planned for 10000sketches in 2016 (nope, not 100,000sketches….)
I failed at getting my finances totally under control. But I increased my net worth and didn’t increase my debt. So I am taking that as a small win.
Rejection met me in other areas but I let these things go and moved on. I’m also taking this as a win because I showed up and put myself out there. Shots on goal.
In October I had a moment of recognizing that I will live the rest of my life as the laziest person I know if I continue to own a car. I have two bikes and I literally found spider webs (and spiders!) on both of them as they sat forlornly in the corner of my house.
I sold the car and then immediately deployed to Antarctica. There’s no telling how next year is going to go. I will return to the US in February. Carless. With no easy way to get to my office.
Living more intentionally on this earth is a priority for me and it starts with giving up a car for a while. The big unknown is if I will really be able to create what feels like a better life, without feeling deprived. But that is my aim for 2016.
It was a year of Doing Big Things. I’m proud of what I got done and the things I was able to see and learn. But I have along ways to go.
It was also a year of realizing that:
· Good intentions will only get you so far. Generalities are loosey-goosey without specific goals and a plan for stepped achievement of those goals.
· Scary isn’t bad- just scary. And usually not as scary as you thought it would be.
· I’ve been neglecting some of my relationships and need to re-prioritize some things, like my time.
· I’m not giving enough back to the world.
· I’ve wasted a lot of time, potential and universe expanding opportunities by not showing up to answer the call to action. By not being brave.
Most importantly I’ve realized that every day is another day to Do Big Things!
And so, the planning for the next year of Doing Big Things begins…