How I prepare for a new year

Magickal Realism Studio - Franklin
Magickal Realism Studio – Franklin (Photo credit: diana_rajchel)

A lot of people at least put on the appearance of being reflective in the New Year. Especially this one – I’m involved in community more New Age than Pagan lately, so I hear a lot of comments you wouldn’t among Pagans  about “I can really feel the energy of the planetary shift!” I don’t really feel much of anything different –  yet. While I’m a big-picture thinker in daily life, when it comes to energy management my sensitivities run in the microcosmic. Not feeling shifty – but do feel the urge to roll up my sleeves and evaluate.

That’s good because this happens to be evaluation season. Evaluation leads to planning. Even if I don’t follow the plan, making the plan seems to lay the psychic track necessary for change. In my case, I do have a small tradition to bring this about: new year, new Google documents.

Every year I revisit a series of Google documents that assess a different aspect of my life. Some – like “stuff I want for the apartment” – I share with my partner. Others I keep just for me.

The 2012 Google documents:

  • Bedroom Closet Overhaul
  • Apartment Planning
  • Data and Notes Plan (for managing a lot of scraps of paper that needed transcribing, Delicious and StumbleUpon bookmarks, etc.)
  • Divorcing a Real Witch Plan
  • Fat Chic Plan
  • Financial Plan for Household
  • Magickal Realism Business Goals
  • Planned Giving
  • Priority Rankings
  • Savings and Spending Plans
  • Stuff I Want to do with my sweetie
  • Writing Career

I never complete everything on every list each year, and often enough I forget to check it by June or July. But when I check back in around late December/early January, I do find items I can cross off before moving on to the next year.

An example (you may need to click the image to see large enough to read):

2012 Apartment Planning   Google Drive

Every year the list is slightly different. 2010 had a list of items I wanted for my spring wardrobe, and a “stuff I’d like to save for” document. While I haven’t achieved all the items – I still can’t make it to Gallifreycon or Pantheacon – I do now have a Walker Art membership, and regularly take water aerobics classes.

I share this list because most of the stuff on it did actually get completed.

This year’s list will also obviously change. I own a home now – so apartment planning, no longer relevant.  But as it has turned out, all that work done on the apartment benefited my new house. Much of the customization went into organizing items and minimizing clutter. Most of the organization stuff has found almost immediate use in the new place, leading to a faster, smoother move than if those items had not been put in place.

This year there are different documents to consider. Magickal Realism shut down, for example. Divorcing a Real Witch did not go according to plan as I’d hoped to have it to publishers in much less time – as it is, I will be submitting by the end of this month, no excuses. The new plan for Divorcing a Real Witch involves blogging here lots more. I might even write about actual magical practices.

Some stuff didn’t happen – like the overhaul of my website that my partner put a great deal of energy into pitching last year. The idea was awesome, but the reality is that I need something I have more direct control over since he doesn’t have the time to tend my career and his own. But I can still look at the list of intentions and what he pitched and see what I can adapt to an altered plan.

Also, some new documents need to work their way in. A plan for Pagan Newswire Collective (not an official one, just things I know I specifically can do and questions I can ask) will replace the Magickal Realism doc. Planned giving will change – I MUST give more to the library, and I routinely donate to Como zoo for Mike’s penguin so it might as well go there. This blog right here needs a plan of its own, finally.

There are two rules to these list creations:

  1. They must be based on what I have in the present moment. Thus none of the “own a Ferrari/lose 100 pounds/buy an airline” stuff. These are small, realistically achievable and intent on me making small improvements on who I am and how I live in that moment. There are no projected outcomes – the only outcome is to have a reason to change the font to strikethrough.
  2. There is no deadline on these. Some things will not be finished by 2014. If nothing is, I will need to look over what happened in my life and see why – and make new plans according to whoever I am at the end of 2013.

So while people go through their usual resolutions, this is what I’m doing – making a plan.

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