One Little Word (and then some)

Also known as: On having a word for the year

I’ve been stalking some LJs and online places of old friends lately and I’ve been quite inspired by some of them who were brimming with positivity and amazingness1 with everything that they did in the past year and all in this year. You know those people? Who just seem to be bright rays of sunshine, so inspiring that you also kind of want to be like them? Yeah, I’ve been reading their blogs for the past hour or so.

So I’m trying to figure out what makes them just that: amazing. Not that I don’t think I’m anything less, but when you’re flailing on and off thinking about what you want to do in your life and feeling like time is running out when you’re not doing anything, my inherent amazingness is easy to forget. I want to have the same thing they have, but not exactly the same. I want something of my own, something to make me look back in this year and the next and the next and be proud of what I see. You know?

Other than having goals, five year plans and vision boards, here was one thing I thought was pretty simple: a word. I’ve read how some of them choose a single word to define their year and by using it, reminding themselves of it and just repeating it everyday, the days, months and years became exactly that word.

I could do that. I like words. I can use a word to describe what I want 2012 to be. Right?

I remember doing something like that sometime in the past — 2004 I think? I remember saying something like, “This year will be AWESOME!” and it turned out to be just that. There was 2007 with GREAT ADVENTURE (that’s two words, but that worked). Oh, and there was 2008 too: my word was EXTRAORDINARY. It did turn out to be a pretty extraordinary year for me.

Extraordinary
Extraordinary 2008

So yes, I could start with that.

Now, I know I said something about initiate and follow through, but I’m honestly not sure if those words capture exactly what I want for my year to be. I mean, yes, I need to initiate and follow through, and those are things I need to do. But as for what I want to be? And what I want?

Hmm.

So, so, so. Here’s the plan and I’m giving myself until my 26th birthday to do all of these (I love that my birthday happens early in the year — it’s like another new year). I’m posting it here for accountability, but I’m also writing it down in my planner and somewhere else visible so I won’t procrastinate on this. Here’s what I need to do:

  • Choose my word for the year.
  • Come up with a five year plan using this method
  • Make my vision board

I think maybe one of the reasons I feel like I’m running in circles is because I lack focus and I tend to just wing everything because I’m lazy. There is nothing wrong with winging it sometimes, but thinking about that just makes me panic. No more just going with the flow — I need to step up a little.

So. A word. I found this today, too (credit for my post title), and I wonder if it’s worth it to invest in this class? I could use all the encouragement I can get. I like what she says here too:

A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow. From my own personal experience, it can be a catalyst for enriching your life.

Thinking about it now, I actually have several ideas, but I may need to figure it out first. How about you, though? (You, the few people who actually read this blog.) Have you ever had a word for your year? What were they? Do you have a word for 2012, too?

  1. This isn’t a real word, but hey, I can use it []

Goal-Setting

Also known as: Well I think it’s already obvious: 2012 goals

Just making it uniform, since I used almost the same graphic last year. :D

I meant to post this yesterday, but I (think) I was nursing a hangover from drinking on my own during New Year’s Eve, and I was out with my brother and sister-in-law at night. I wanted to blog that night, but I honestly wasn’t up for it. Not to mention that I don’t really know what to write yet.

But enough excuses.

Last Friday, I had dinner with some of my closest friends at home (more details at my best friend’s blog post about it) and as expected, we started talking about how 2011 was and what we want to do in 2012. 2011 was a pretty good year for us as friends, and personally it’s one of the good ones (as I mentioned in my post). 2012, however, is a brand new year with so many possibilities that I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed at times. And this isn’t just because of the end of the world predicted by the Mayans1.

As far as my 2011 goals were concerned, I managed to accomplish 50%. By 50%, I mean 1 out of 2 — and it’s obvious what goal I managed to reach. The driving thing? Still nada. I have no valid excuses, really, and even if I say that my brother uses the car, I still had those days when I could have driven but chose not to. I’m done getting frustrated about that, really, because what is the use of my driving if I don’t have a car? And since I can’t really afford to get myself  a car2 anytime soon, I really shouldn’t worry about that.

So, here we come, at 2012.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here.

I have no idea what I am going to do.

But first, a little anecdote. Sometime last year, I attended this event for the top performers of the company I work for. It was a time to talk to different bosses in our company and it’s really a chance to pick on their brains and get some advice and/or inspiration from them for our careers (and maybe even our lives). It was an inspiring time (especially when one of the bosses took his time to talk to me because I wasn’t able to ask my question), and it got me mulling over the things I am doing and what I want to do with my career. I realized that the bosses at my company are bosses because they took initiative, they jumped at opportunities, they took chances. It’s not always easy, but seeing where they are now is inspiring. And I know that somewhere inside me, I also kind of want that.

I’m not sure if I have the guts to be a hotshot executive, and I still believe my life plan is to work with words (more to this on another post, probably), but here’s the thing: I won’t know that until I try. And since I still see myself working where I am now, and I’ve been in the same role for more than two years already, I figure it’s just high time to do something new.

The original word I used was aggression, which I wasn’t really sure applies. Haha. Okay, I used that word because I figured it was what I needed to do. I need to be aggressive with the things I want. I need to go after them, not just simply nose around and follow a path slowly, or just go with the current. I need to chase them. If I want something, I need to try and get them because not everything will be handed to me on a silver platter.

And then I realized that the term aggression may be a bit too…well, aggressive and negative, so I needed another term. It could be assertion, but it doesn’t feel absolutely right. Then my friend Dodge gave me a term: initiate.

And I thought, “That could work.”

I’ve proven it last year: there’s nothing wrong with asking, and there’s nothing wrong with taking the first step. So I figure, this year, I’m going to initiate. I’m going to take the first step out of a million possible steps. I’m going to get started, because if I don’t initiate things to reach my dreams…then who will?

The secret to getting ahead is getting started. (Mark Twain)

But I must add something. When I was writing this entry, it was really just about taking initiative and starting things. But I realized that it’s not enough to just start. When you start something, you need to follow through. So just to make sure I am on track, I need to remind myself to keep on going and finish what I started. Because, you know, it’s not fun when you leave things unfinished.

I know, all these sounds so vague, yes? But let me work on that3. I do have some goals and things to achieve this year, and for the purpose of writing them down to remember, here they are:

  • Travel more. One destination each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Hopefully once with a group of people I don’t really know, and another by myself.
  • Go to Europe again. Well, okay this is me wishing and praying for this really hard, and if God gives it to me again, then why not? When you’re invited for a Europe mission and you think you can go to it, why not do it?
  • Get a mentor, train back-ups and start looking for a new role at work. Self-explanatory.
  • Sponsor another child in World Vision.
  • Finish one of my novels. Too many works in progress but too lazy to finish any. Must work on that.
  • Learn a new language. Bonjour! :)
  • Go back to community. Self-explanatory, too, I think.

(See, I do not have driving on this list? I haven’t given up on it yet, I just decided to let it rest this year. :P)

So let’s call this post my first step in taking initiative. By God’s grace, I’m declaring this year as another year of answered prayers. :) Like what my friend said, life in God goes from glory to glory, and I believe that if 2011 was great, then 2012 can only be better. :)

This entry is long enough — time to stop. I leave you now with an excerpt of a wonderful post from one of my favorite blogging discoveries last year, Isa. :)

I hope you discover the beauty of simple things and how they stand as lifesavers when the big things fall apart. I hope you find yourself face-to-face with a problem so seemingly impossible you will be forced to find a strength within you that you never even knew existed. And, with all I have, I hope you win. I hope you learn to be a hero. I hope you get to share an amazing adventure with people who are nothing less than wonderful. I hope you find all kinds of opportunities to show kindness to a hurting and broken world – even if it costs you. I hope wherever you are, hope grows. I hope you get to travel. I hope your horizons expand beyond all your expectations, I hope that you tremble with vulnerable love but above all, I hope you witness a miracle.

And, as 2012 comes to a dazzling end, I hope you realize what your heart has hardly begun to believe:  that the miracle is you.

I wish you all a blessed 2012 ahead4. :)

  1. Really, who believes this? []
  2. The gray Honda Jazz of my dreams! []
  3. I will write about that in the coming days/weeks/month, promise :D []
  4. Everyone and their cat had said this already, but there’s nothing wrong with too many well-wishes []

Adiós por ahora

Also known as: Off to Europe, see you later!

So I meant to post, and I meant to schedule posts here while I’m away for the next two weeks, just so people would know this blog is still alive, and I’ve got stuff to write about.

But alas. The last few flurries before the trip really got to me, and I find myself scribbling this blog entry as fast as I can while I wait for my brother to get me and drop me off at the airport.

Sometimes I still can’t believe that I am actually going to World Youth Day. And to Europe. This was just a hasty prayer/epiphany I got while I was showering in the gym, wondering what I was going to do with my life. I just posted about it last January. I was scared that it won’t happen, but I’m just amazed at how God fixed everything for us, for me. And I wanted it to happen, of course, but now that I’m here, about to fly, I can’t believe that I’m actually here.

Once again, I am amazed at how faithful God has been and is to me. :)

Anyway, there’s so much stuff I want to write about, but I must hurry in case my brother arrives. One of their advice for us for World Youth Day is to empty ourselves and be ready for how God will fill us with everything we will experience in this event. A part of me is excited about that, but also a part of me is wary of what I will come back to after this is over. Oh, there’s no doubt that I will experience God in the next 15 days. I guess I’m just concerned about what will happen next after this. What will I do next? What will I strive for next? Will I even be the same person after?

Then again…I guess that’s one more thing to pray for. :)

So…let’s do this. :) I won’t be bringing my laptop, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to post anything. I’m not sure how much online time I have, but let’s just assume I won’t have much. :) I will try to tweet, though, but I can’t promise. :)

But if you have any prayer concerns, or you just want me to pray for you, leave a comment (or tweet me, or email me, or text me, even, if you know my number), and I will pray for you. :) That I can definitely promise.

See you in fifteen days! I promise to blog more after, really, I do! :)