So I have this really great friend named Doc Klein who has this company called Uncharted Territories. Doc is one of the main reasons I moved to Asheville, we met when we were both hired to do contract work with Phillip Morris and met on the road somewhere in the SouthWest. We kept in touch and he invited me down to Asheville to visit in the summer of ’99. I came down in July for a week to visit and Doc took me out to Linville Gorge for my first time and I was sold. I moved down to Asheville two months later with $35 in my pocket. That’s roughly the same amount of money I have in my checking account 13 years later.
I worked with Doc for a couple of years, not right when I moved down here but a couple of years in. I have learned so much from him about how to really focusing on the things I’ve wanted to create in life. I am a nerd for business and Doc is as well, or rather what makes them tick. You see, he’s a consultant. Not they type you see in Office Space who come in and fire people, he’s the type who comes in and helps people look at the driving forces behind why people make the decisions they do. What’s the cause and effect of the decisions they make. For instance, he worked with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta on a Type II diabetes campaign. Instead of just trying to get people to work out and eat right, they look at what are the social and economic impacts that cause people to get type II diabetes. And look at what can we do as a community to have an impact on those who have it.
Doc created this program called One Amazing Year and he’s been putting businesses through it for some time now. The goal of it is to really focus on what kind of impact an organization can have in this short amount of time. It really forces a company to set clear intentions and guidelines to hold all of their decisions up to. He decided to put himself through it as an individual and now, he’s offered the experience to me. I’ve decided to blog about it as writing more is one of the intentions I’ve set for myself. And it’s one of the things that is going to help keep me accountable for what I set out to do. I meet with Doc once a month and he gives me homework to do. So here’s the start of it:
Step One – Pick 3 or 4 key themes that you want to focus on for the next year. These are the things you will hold your actions up to to make sure you are staying on track. Here are my themes”
Community Service – I love Asheville, and I believe we are only as strong as our weakest link. I have volunteered here as long as I lived here. When I first moved here I volunteered with the Writer’s Workshop, a local non-profit literary agency that offers all sorts of events and has an advisory board with such greats as Kurt Vonnegut, John Le Carre, and E. L. Doctorow. Through them I taught writing classes through the local ABCCM shelter. I have also been reading to preschoolers for 10 years through the Preschool Outreach Program. I wanted to do more, and since have started doing other things in the community but I’ll save that for another post.
Adventure – I love to travel and am one of those folks who is generally up for anything. I definitely wanted to make this a focus for the next year and making sure this was part of where my focus was. As of today, I have some serious adventure planned. I am going to Nashville at the end of January to be a part of the Cowboy Jack Clement Tribute. I’m going to SXSW (which is always an adventure) and I’ve already booked my trip for the first weekend of Jazzfest in New Orleans.
Creativity – I am trying to find that balance of the right brain and left brain. I have been a writer all of my life, but I only do it when everything else is taken care of. I like to make furniture. I make noise, not music because I don’t devote enough time to practicing. I love crafting but again, that only happens after I cleaned the house, taken care of the 3 jobs I do, trimmed the dogs toenails, etc. We make the time for the things we want and I want to make time for this.
Best Overall Health of My Life – This is an extremely difficult yet important theme for me and this is why I chose it. I tend to put myself last before all else like so many of us do. I am not yet 35 and I have tendonitis in both shoulders and biceps. I have an “old lady hip” which actually means I have torn the cartilage in my hip socket. My job requires me to be on call 24/7 and I will go weeks on end without a day off. I book my schedule so full that when I get a day off I get sick from exhaustion. This is all about to change. I will be pain free, well rested, and lookin’ good this year.
So that’s the start of it. My one amazing year. I’ll keep posting as I get more homework and do exciting things that fall in line with my goals.