A Little Accountability…I Tell You, You Keep Me Honest

A huge and jolly Happy New Year to you!

I sincerely hope your first hours and days of 2011 are joyous.

The theory goes that you can wake up on the wrong side of the bed each day and that’s justification for a crappy day, so my chipperness knows no bounds today this week; I want to send all kinds of positive vibrations into 2011.

Can you tell I'm Excited?
Yep, I'm THIS excited about 2011

And rather than a 2011 wrap-up post (check out the best of and resources pages for that!), I’d like to look forward into the new year and put out some ideas and projects on which I need some accountability.

The thing is, I hate to fail in public. And no one really does, right?

So to mitigate that I just keep all of my projects, ideas, and dreams to myself. I wrap my arms tightly around my ideas and give off glib responses even to those in my inner circle.

Then my progress on any given dream or project goes something like this:

I do my own brainstorming; I plot and I plan.

I get really excited about it so…

…I plot and plan some more.

Plans derail while I get distracted and forget about my original plan for a bit.

Then I decide the first plan sucked anyway and go back to the brainstorming.

And I plot and plan.

Rinse and repeat.

There has to be a better way. I figure the warm red flush of embarrassment and shame that creeps into my face when I fail just might be enough to keep me focused my goals this year. And if I fail, well, at least I really tried this year!

So Here Goes…Shannon’s 2011 Goals and Aspirations:

  • Launch Volunteer Site: I’ve owned the domain for 2+ years. I love the idea. It can have such a positive impact on socially responsible travel. So I am actually going to launch it this spring. Thanks to an epic brainstorming session with Andy Hayes I have a workable plan….and a launch deadline of before Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit in June.
  • Keep A Little Adrift Honest to Me: There are ways I could monetize the site better (I talked about that in my State of the Blog Address) but really I love this site as my personal adventure and a place for me to share tips and stories about my style of travel: giving back, gaining a global perspective, and environmentally conscious. They’ll be more of this type of focus in the coming year and less of me trying to write content I feel like I should be doing to fit in…which I have been doing…sometimes…too often… :(
  • Seek Out Speaking/Writing/Doing Opportunities: Maybe it’s my “actor gene” waking up from nearly three years of dormancy, but in 2011 I will get myself out in front of people more and talking about travel, and the power of volunteering and purposeful lifestyles. I will actively seek out opportunities to talk to people.
  • Care More About Those I Care About: I missed a lot of birthdays and important events this year. Sometimes I would remember a family member’s birthday just a couple of hours later. Other times day. I forget to call people back. And I chalk it all up to the expected draw-backs of world travel…but really it’s just lame.

Okay, those are the one’s I’m willing to share. And to be clear, I have specific target numbers, dates, and figures associated with them too, as the mysterious “they” say you should with any long-term goals.

And there are actually a couple other goals still wrapped tightly in my arms, but who knows, maybe they really do need another year of incubation! ;-)

So fess up, what do you want to accomplish this year that kinda makes your heart beat faster and color rush into your face to admit?

21 thoughts on “A Little Accountability…I Tell You, You Keep Me Honest”

  1. Shannon, thank you for summing up how I operate. Brainstorm, plot, get distracted, forget my original ideas, and start over. For me, I shared my goals on my blog post “A new year, a new challenge, a new direction, and a new blog.” I did it for the EXACT same reasons you did – to be held accountable to making a difference and achieving what I set out to do. I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from on this and I am right there with you. Hopefully, we can both set out to do what we say we will do for 2011. And for once, I am more excited about the new year than I normally am!

    • Setting out our intentions is a really good first step! It’s so easy to just
      get distracted and forget to make progress on little goals through the noise
      of life and everything else going on. Cheers to a productive 2011! :)

  2. What exciting travel goals for 2011! Mines is to plan and hopefully accomplish an epic adventure for my 25th birthday this year. I’ve got until July; so I am crossing my fingers!

    About your wanting to speak about your travels, you should check out Meet, Plan, Go- http://www.meetplango.com; I spoke and even hosted an event last year and it really made me feel proud to be a part of the travel community; and led to other opportunities to speak. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the buzz about it on Twitter, but its a great way to accomplish that resolution. Cheers!

  3. You are too funny :) I like your plans, looking forward to your new site. I’m in Shanghai now, so if you make it to China, do let me know :)

    • That sounds excellent! It really looks like I may be in China in a couple of
      months, and coming through Shanghai, so I will keep you posted! :)

  4. I wish you good luck, Shannon :) Hope 2011 will be full of happiness and joy for you and with as little downs as possible.

  5. Shannon, I’m with you :) It’s tough when you come out with an idea and then it falls through or you get sidetracked. Been there. Good luck with your plans – I think they all sound fantastic!

  6. Your photo is awesome!

    In 2010 I realized I didn’t want my old life back, 2011 is about finding what I really want. Maybe I need a little…kick in the ass?

    • Thanks Ayngelina, that’s one of those ridiculous self-portraits I know we all have hidden in the depths of our photo files ;-)

      Looking forward to seeing where you head in 2011! :)

  7. Looking forward to seeing you do these things in 2011! Thanks for helping make my 2010 a good one! We’ll see you again in some country or another :-)

  8. I am also very excited about your volunteer site! I can’t wait to use it!

    As for your question, I am still growing my goals but I’m excited about my website with a personal mission of more volunteering and generosity in the new year.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! So glad I got to meet you in ’10!

    • Thanks so much! I am looking forward to the growth in your own site as well – Happy New Year and cheers to an awesome 2011 :)

  9. Really love the idea of the volunteer site and can’t wait to see how it takes form. Knowing how you feel about this topic, I can imagine it being a wonderful resource for travelers wanting to volunteer but not knowing how to get started and sort through all the information out there online.

    Like you, we tend to keep projects and ideas under wraps until they are ready to release…sometimes a little disclosure works well in keeping one focused and on track.

    • I agree with Audrey, announcing a plan is a fine good way to help yourself not get distracted :) I’m also looking forward to the volunteer site.

    • Hmm, anything good cooking for you guys?! :-) I definitely felt like if I didn’t but something out there I would just let this year slip away. Thanks for the support and happy 2011!


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