Intentions for 2014

I don’t do “resolutions”. The word lacks weight to me. I like a bit more action to a word meant to capture my plans for the coming year. I like the word “intentions” better (sounds more purposeful and deliberate), here are the things I intend to do in the coming year.

  • Publish my next book, This Could Help

  • Read only books I already own. There are so many books we own that I have never read. Some of these are ones that Bethany has purchased. Some are ones I did but then never got to. Some are ones given to me or borrowed I have yet to crack. I aim to change this. I already have a stack of a dozen or so books that fit this category and have identified a few on our shelves that will be added to the list. If I receive any new books, they will just have to wait until next year.

  • More weeknight dinner with friends. So often during the year we have friends that we do dinner with — either have them over or go over there or, even, go out — and we always come away wishing we did that more. This year, I want to be more intentional about following up on that desire. I plan to shoot for every other week.

  • One date night a month with my wife. We were pretty successful meeting this shared intention this past year. Why not go for two?

  • Keep a journal/log daily. This is one of those things I love to do, espouse doing, and that always makes me feel better having done so. Yet, I find it a challenge to keep up with daily and beat myself up when I go a day (or several) without doing so. I’m also going to make it less easy to “break the chain” by using a Hobonichi Techo Planner for the task. In the past, I have used blank or otherwise undated notebooks for the task. Therefore, it was not visible when there were days between entries. The Hobonichi, being a planner, has dates.

  • I’m going to be more mindful of my listening. I think I’m an OK listener as it is, but often I want to try to interject or correct of offer my own perspective instead of taking the time to just listen and understand. Specifically, I’m going to practice what Buddhist teacher and philosopher Thích Nhất Hạnh terms “deep listening” more often. He beautifully describes this practice in this excerpt from an interview he did with Oprah Winfrey:

    Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less. If you want to help him to correct his perception, you wait for another time. For now, you don’t interrupt. You don’t argue. If you do, he loses his chance. You just listen with compassion and help him to suffer less. One hour like that can bring transformation and healing.

  • I also plan to do another GORUCK Challenge in 2014. Just to say I can.

A pretty good and actionable list if I do say so myself. Here’s hoping all of our actions for the coming year meets our intentions.

Happy New Year!