So a new year is upon us and I thought I would wait until at least a week into this new year before I attempted to look at what some call resolutions.  I prefer to say I am making decisions, making a new journey or as a blogger friend, Helen Yoest, called them her “I’m gonnas”  in her New Year’s post in her blog, Gardening with Confidence.  I asked Helen if I could borrow her idea of “I’m Gonna” because I think the statement lends itself to actually doing something.

Of course there are some who would say “gonna” is not a word or a proper word.  I actually learned to my dismay that I could not use it when writing anything for my 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Doucette.  He was fresh out of Cornell, top 10 of his class and eager to teach the Honors English class that year.  He soon discovered that although we were Honors English students we had poor writing habits that had not yet been abolished.  So he proudly told us that “gonna” was not a word and we could not use it if we wanted a good grade from him.  Needless to say I did not take this well and I was “gonna” get out of his class.  Not going to happen I was told so I bucked up and erased gonna from my written speech, but not my oral speech.  “Gonna” has been and will be a word here in central New York State.

And as luck would have it, it is now a word in the dictionary.  It is either listed as slang or a contraction for “going to”.  Even the spell checker recognizes the word.  So now I feel it is safe to write this word again…so here goes on my journey to another year:


1.   I’m gonna garden more thoughtfully this year.

  • I find that I have good intentions every year with my garden, but it just gets away from me.  Either I try to do too many things, or I haven’t planned very well or at all.  I find the weeding seems to wait for months until it is overtaking the yard or I never did get some of those seeds planted.  So I am deciding to write out a garden journal with dates for activities, time enough to plan ahead, actual sketches of designs (even if I don’t stick to them) and a good to do list that is reasonable.

2.  I’m gonna rise and embrace each day positively.

  • Instead of dreading that I have to go to work today, I will instead rise with positive affirmations, not condemnation.  I will laugh long and hard all day long and look for the humor in things.  I started already on New Year’s Day when the most beautiful sky was presented to me upon waking.  I promptly got up, grabbed my camera and ran out in the 40 degree air in my PJs to grab this glorious picture.

3.  I’m gonna practice “good health” habits.

  • This of course will be a huge challenge given I am a sugar-holic.  I have decided to exercise as many days a week as I can gradually increasing my time.  And what better way than to walk outside either in the neighborhood or somewhere in nature.  Of course I also have to keep going with making better food choices:  eliminating sugar as much as possible, going more gluten free and eating little in the way of starchy carbs.  Another piece of this is making sure I can be more organic in my food choices.  I know they are more expensive, but I really don’t want to put poisons in my body like pesticides and refined sugar.  I also will be expanding my garden to include more veggies.  I added more berry bushes in the fall.  This winter I am experimenting with growing herbs and greens indoors under a grow light.

4.  I’m gonna eliminate more stress.

  • I know we all say this, but I have been mildly successful here just by changing jobs.  It is really a matter of identifying what is creating the stress and then trying to change it, eliminate it if possible or re-channel it.  I find I am most successful in accomplishing this by doing a combo of any of the following:   gardening, meditating regularly, practicing Reiki, or journaling.

5.  I’m gonna continue to explore my “right eye” with garden design, drawing, photography, writing.

  • The sketch here was one of my early ones and one that I was quite proud of.  I am more of a minimalist and tend to not like to draw in the detail but here I really got into it.  This tree is the same tree from the photo at the beginning of the blog.  It is the largest and most fragile and I have featured it in other blog posts.  I am taking time to play more with my Canon SureShot and practice with my landscape design software that I purchased recently.  Of course the writing goes on and I have started on a journaling exercise for 27 days that has gotten off to a great start.

6.  I’m gonna only have a couple of projects going at a time so I have a chance at successful completion.

  • Otherwise I run the risk of overwhelming myself and procrastinating or never finishing.  I tend to dart from thing to thing as it catches my interest or eye.  This happens frequently with projects in my job (or it did) and in my garden.  I find that it is all about refusing to do too much multi-tasking, keeping a working list of To Dos and focusing your time.  I used to have to balance 10 balls in the air because we always short-handed at work.  What I found was that you can ask me to do more, but I will likely do it inefficiently.  So keeping the list that is manageable will be a good start.

7.  I’m gonna actually find more than 5 minutes to relax and have no thoughts.

  • For a thinker who is always in her head this will take time and practice.  I plan to learn to just breathe, listen to my breathing anf letting go of all that chatter in my head.  To soak up the scenery, the sounds of nature whenever I can.  To be in nature as often as possible regardless of the weather.

8.  To reduce, reuse, recycle more.

  • I have always done this, but I know I can always make improvements.  And I plan to expand this concept to my life with regards to reducing time watching TV or playing Facebook games.  To be more productive with my time and energy.

9.  I’m gonna stay in touch with friends and family on a more regular basis.

  • Human connection-relationships- are a bigger part of the journey for me at this point.  My family loves each other, but we have never been good at keeping in touch except through Facebook some now.  We grew more apart I think when my dad died in 1998.  I have decided I need to stay in touch on a more regular basis with family and good friends who I don’t see regularly or who have moved.

10.  I’m gonna travel more.

  • This doesn’t just mean taking long trips although I plan on those as time and finances permit, but it means just getting out of my house more especially in the winter.  There is so much yet to discover; other places, other people, gardens, memories for a lifetime.

I thought I would add 1 more for 2011….

11.  I’m gonna step out of my comfort zone and create the garden design business.

  • While it has been coming along slowly, I must promise myself to keep moving forward at the pace that the cosmos dictate without getting impatient.  While I wait for some things to happen like my logo, business card and website I need to look into taking classes particularly the Master Gardener program, and of course read and study all the wonderful garden books I recently purchased.

So as this year unfolds and my journey continues, I will keep track of my “I’m Gonnas”.  I hope that what begins to emerge in the spring and then on into the summer will be the best yet to come.  A more authentic, beautiful, real me.  What are you gonna do this year….

~ Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. ~

Arthur Ashe