As part of my three week down time in December I spent a lot of time reflecting on the past year and where I wanted this year to go. I identified my key word: luminous; and core feelings: creative, well, devoted to the divine and peaceful.

I figured out my intentions for the year, some of which are:

  • Grade 6 flute
  • Grade 1 piano
  • Another music exam, possibly a second in either instrument or grade 6 theory
  • see 12 live performances
  • read 50 new books (last year I read 113 books, but I didn’t track which were new, I suspect that only about 40 were new)
  • To have my photography in a bigger exhibition that is bigger than the tiny one I did this year.
  • To get the kitchen done

But at about 3am on 1 January I realised that I was selling myself short, I wasn’t really stretching myself to what I really wanted to achieve this year. I didn’t have that Big Hairy Audacious Goal – a BHAG, taken from Jim Collin’s Good to Great which I studied on my MA. Hurrah for insomnia and a dreadful cough!

So, my seriously big BHAG is to earn £X through my own creative work, regularly by the end of the year. And yes, I have got the SMART version of that written down so I can clearly tell when/if I achieve that.

I havne’t defined exactly what that will look like at this stage, because I have realised that staying open to opportunities is the best way to achieve intentions. Also life tends to chuck things at us that we can’t possibly expect.

So, just to put it out there I write in various forms – blog posts, marketing materials, ghost writer, articles, and anything else! I can use a variety of tones and voices as appropriate.I am especially interested in writing articles and guest blog posts about anything I write about in here.

I’m not sure at the moment how the photography is going to be a saleable offer, I’m certainly not going to be doing wedding coverage. The same with music, I am not going to be out gigging, it is far too exhausting for me! That’s what I mean by being open to what happens, rather than getting the whole year planned out.

Having the minutia planned out would mean that I would likely to be missing out on various opportunities, not to mention having to stick to the plan as written, which would be terribly stressful! Having a BHAG is a kind way of working, as it Big, Hairy and Audacious, so if it doesn’t happen, well it was ridiculous in the first place! But, I have set my intention, and that is where I am heading.

I wrote this first thing, and then during my morning walk (still on the 1st Jan) I realised that there is another BHAG that is so super audacious that it needs a new hyperbole world for it! It’s so audacious that I’m not sharing it, just writing it down in my bullet journal. Interestingly BHAG#1 contributes towards BHAG#2.

Like my word of the year I know what I need to do daily to be working towards it. Coincidentally working towards my BHAGs will help towards my small intentions, as well as my word. I can forget about it day to day, because I will be writing, playing music and doing photography every day, which will help towards the BHAGs and Luminous. At the end of each day I assess how I’m doing with Luminous on a scale of 1-10 and each month I will figure out what I need to do to work towards my smaller goals and BHAGs.

Have you stretched yourself this year, while still being kind to yourself?

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