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  • I stopped doing New Years Resolutions many years ago. They usually never lasted past January 15th or so.

    However, I do live a life of intention, and regularly state my intentions. This practice is more about committing to choices that I've made, for how I plan to spend my time, in order to achieve certain goals I have set out for myself.

    For instance, one of my intentions a year ago was to find a way to write from my heart, and to get into the discipline of writing everyday. My writing was washed up on a rocky beach and left for dead, at the time. I was barely able to even journal for the first 3 months of the year. I was in a classic writer's rut. My Executive Coach's husband, whom I've never met, suggested to his wife that I might find this website he stumbled across, interesting. In a coaching session, she mentioned Cowbird to me. I was too busy for about a week to even check it out. But, it was supposed to be about story-telling, and I had an intention, which she knew about because I had told her, so I looked into it. It's made a difference. (That might be an understatement).

    That's how intentions work for me. They serve as reminders, and help me to make the choices I need to make each day, to continue living an intentional life. This helps me to tap into the energy I need to follow through on all of my goals. There's only so much time in each day, and I need to maximize it. As my wife likes to say, "Energy is a decision."

    I decided this morning, instead of spending this morning's time doing a review of 2012 ("Blah-blah-blah-blah"), I would set some intentions down for 2013. Why not? So, in no particular order, here's my first list of intentions for this coming year.
  • Continue significant efforts begun in 2012. Continue to live as if it is your last year to live. Live each day as if it is your last such day that you will have on this earth. Remind yourself of this upon awakening each day. Leave nothing behind on this day. Leave it all on the playing field of life... today. It begins and ends, right here, right now. What are your going to do with this moment, this day? Do it.

    Continue the life review that is part of this effort. Find the time each day to do this work. Don’t dwell on any of it. Be dispassionate and self-honest. Pick up the thread that presents itself each day, and follow it with the searchlight of truth and honesty, to the best of your ability. Avoid exaggeration, embellishment and drama in this review. It’s not about that. Find the hidden kernels that have remained buried under the conventional wisdom of memory, and allow these to bubble up to the surface through the review. Don’t judge what you find in the process. Just report it, acknowledge it, bless it, and move on. Remember that this is what it is about, nothing more, nothing less. Push through the comments and thoughts questioning, and praising, the effort. Continue to be thorough and honest at each step of the review.

    Continue to avail yourself of opportunities to serve. Limit the time spent in activities that are completely self-serving, but do the activities that you love and that are life sustainable. The balance is important. Don’t quit playing softball – but maybe, playing on two teams, two nights a week, one that you manage and one that you just play on, is enough? (Last Spring was overkill – you’ve been there and done that, now get back to a balance). At least, consider this. Say no when you need to.

    Allow time for other activities that need your time and attention. Continue the 12 Step Group involvement. You’ve had that experience for a reason. You’re back there for a reason. Follow it through. Help that group become a group. Don’t shy away from the difficult choices that might entail.

    Continue to be open to finding a way to support the GLBT community in Northern Virginia as best you can. Put it out there, and the opportunity will present itself. Be open to it, and commit to it when it does.

    Continue to be open to making a difference in other arenas, as you see fit.

    Don’t give in to the excessive negativity about world affairs that swirls all around you, each day, in the media, on Facebook, even on Cowbird. Continue to ask yourself the question, “What can I do about this issue today?” Listen for the answer, and do that. Leave the rest alone. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t contribute to the negative energy being given to that, whatever today’s great concern is. There’s already enough of that.

    Be aware, but be alive. Yours is to be a force for positive change. Focus on what can be done to improve the world. Today. Use the energy that comes with that choice to aid you in today’s effort, whatever that happens to be. Today.

    Continue to write. Take the time each day. Don’t think too much about what you will write. Just lay it out there, on the line. When in doubt, refer to Ben’s Writer’s Manifesto. Stay several steps ahead of the internal editor as you follow those story threads. Don't worry about the impact of the truth upon future background checks. Remember - the truth will set you free.
  • Continue to read. Read other’s stories. Contribute with meaningful retells as appropriate. Love the good effort. Don’t hold back. But don't worry about reading everything. You can't. Be o.k. with reading what you can. Read it mindfully.

    Continue, also, reading books. Resist the habits of mind that want to read only stories and blog posts. Each day, spend time reading a book. Be a mindful reader. Question what you're reading.

    Continue to be dedicated to excellence at work. Follow through on commitments. Don’t over-commit. Be open to opportunity, but don’t dwell on it. It will come. It always does. Leave nothing behind each day, there. Leave it all on the field. Be thorough and honest. Continue to be a force for positive change. Continue to apply the principles learned in the Speed of Truth, there. Be a force for open and honest communication. Be supportive. Be a leader. Be an honest broker. Continue using Executive Coach. Continue mentoring others. Hold nothing back.

    Nurture and value all relationships. Be mindful. Be there.

    Have fun!

    Remember to bring your mental laugh track with you, at all times, and when in doubt, laugh at it. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke. Don’t take yourself, or the whole shootin’ world, too goddamned seriously. They want you to – when in doubt, pull out the Elvis mask. Dance. Sing. Be joyful. Make 'em laugh at themselves, while you laugh at yourself.

    Be grateful.

    Love. It beats the hell out of hate or its opposite – indifference. Love.
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