I spent the day with several AssistU Virtual Assistants on a virtual retreat on Friday. Our goal was to plan our year for 2012. I have never taken the time to map out goals to accomplish in a year and I thought this was a brilliant idea for next year: my year of action. 2011 was a gift to myself I needed to spread my wings and fly, to experience freedom and the ease of soaring but next year I want to focus on digging in and taking action in my business and personal life.

My first step was to take Kim’s advice and journal where I wanted to be in December 2012. Oh that was easy—to have one more ideal client; to be debt free again; to finish my screen play and the edits; to create a new WOWVA WordPress website; to discover a business that Jeff and I can do together; to maintain my weight and fitness goals with ease; to volunteer with a local therapeutic riding organization; to learn to sail; to take the Weight Watchers leadership training.

IStock_000002470472SmallA couple of those potential manifestations surprised me and spoke to stepping out of my comfort zone. Next, I knew I wanted both a theme and a word for 2012 to help me focus on my priorities, create a plan of action and processes, and stay on a clear heading for true north. I realized during this process they may not be the same word and that was a new possibility as well. I mind mapped the word action which felt like the right beginning for my theme but I wanted more.

Action as in ‘something done’ led me to accomplish, achieve, realize, and finally actualize as in ‘make real’.  It clicked. The word fit my purpose and intention exactly and resonated in my entire body kind of like a deep hum or the vibration from a stringed instrument. Thawaaaaang!  Some of the synonyms for actualize are: activate, create, begin, undertake, initiate, accomplish, bring about, produce, realize. The other synonym that came from mind mapping the word action was challengethere it was like a clear blue day filled with possibility. The definitions that applied for me are: difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it. And: something that by its nature or character serves as a call to special effort.

Stretching myself out of my comfort zones both personally and professionally is a way to challenge myself and achieve the ultimate goal of living my best life—a call to special effort. Beautiful that. Sailing is something I’ve always wanted to learn to do and would be a stepping stone to the live-aboard life hubby and I envision. I’ve shifted my thoughts from ‘I don’t know how to do that and can’t picture myself doing it’ to the possibility of: what does it take to learn to sail? Who do I need to become and what do I need to do to actualize being a sailor? Amazing that.

Now that I have my theme and one little word and have generated a slew of goals for 2012 I am combining Jamie Ridler’s planning ideas with Glenda Myles’s Planning 2012 Series. I’ve completed the 100 Questions exercise (extremely enlightening—more on that in another post) and am ready to select my top ten questions and move on to writing my intention for 2012 and a plan for transforming my ideas into reality: actualizing them!

Here's to a year filled with possibility, delight, and your wild and woolly dream actualized!

Here’s a quick review of the 100 Questions exercise—you may be inspired to play: