We’re two weeks into the first month of 2015. How are those resolutions going?
Uh. . . yeah. . . maybe next year I’ll do yoga twice a week.
So many of us (myself very much included!) spend our New Year’s Day listing all the ways we can be better/thinner/more productive and all the things we should really stop doing.
And by the time February rolls around, we’ve given up on the kale and spin classes and we’re right back where we started – only we beat ourselves up that we fell off the resolution wagon.
In 2011, my friend and I decided to do something different. Instead of a list of “Do’s” (Do more Yoga,” “Clean out one closet each month”) or a list of “Don’ts” (“No chocolate during the work week,” “No texting during meals”) we decided just to make a blue-sky list of experiences we’d like to have over the next year.
I called it “Experiences for 2012” and wrote it with a sense of fun and whimsy. Where would I like to travel? Who did I want to meet (being single, a wonderful man of course)?
I wrote with a sense of non-attachment. Sure, having these experiences would be amazing and, yes, I really wanted them, but I wrote with a sense of playfulness, like a child. I didn’t get wound up about price tags or next-steps, I just gave myself over to fantasy.
I forgot all about that list and never discussed it with anyone until, around Thanksgiving, I took a look at the list as I was making a note of all I was grateful for. What I saw BLEW ME AWAY! About two-thirds of the experiences I had wanted to have actually came true! And these were big things, came in unexpected ways, and it all fell together in a way I would have never dreamed.
Create a meaningful, intimate loving relationship? Check! I’ve been with a wonderful man, Clayton, for three years now.
Get physically fit, back to my best “2010” body? Check! Even after struggling with significant thyroid issues!
But here’s the one that made me pause and realize maybe I was on to something.
In January 2012, I wrote “Travel abroad to places like Italy, Croatia, Bali, China.” The prior 5 years I hadn’t traveled internationally much and I missed it. I had hoped that, somehow, I would be fortunate enough to be able to visit one of those amazing places in 2012. And as luck would have it, in August 2012, Clayton planned a wonderful trip to Croatia with a surprise stopover in Lake Como, Italy!
I thought I was done with international travel for the year – I mean I already had an amazing trip! But in a strange turn of events, my boyfriend was required to do several business trips to Asia and asked me if I would accompany him over Thanksgiving to Hong Kong and Singapore. Twist my arm!
At the last minute (and I mean a week before we left) he needed to change our flights and tacked on a long-weekend in Bali!
So there you have it. I didn’t just go to one of the places on my “Experiences” list, I went to ALL FOUR in one year! AND in that order: Italy, Croatia, Bali and China (Hong Kong)! My “Experiences” were all unbeknownst to Clayton when he was making plans!
And what about the experiences on my list that didn’t come true? Well, the best stuff went on my new list for intentions for 2013! And I’ve been doing it every year since with surprise and wonder about what I can create when I plan with non-attachment.
So my request to you is to create your Experiences for 2015.
Write your bullet-point list when you are in an upbeat mood, preferably in a beautiful setting. Last year my friend and I wrote ours while on a trip to Sedona. Write it in front of the fireplace, or in a beautiful park or any environment that brings inspiration. Ask a friend or significant other to join you. Write it with a sense of play, whimsy, and the thought of “What if I could truly create my year?”
Want help? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a tool that will help you outline your intentions for the year as part of our mailing list.
And then when you are done, give it to God, The Universe, Source, Collective Consciousness, or whatever higher power you draw on. I recommend putting the list aside and perhaps reviewing it sometime this summer and again at the end of the year. Your job is just to articulate the “WHAT” and leave it to angels to determine the “HOW.” Do you think in a million years I could have ever tried to figure out how I was going to visit BALI, CHINA, CROATIA and ITALY in one year?
Try it. What do you have to lose, besides another New Year’s Resolution?
Epilogue: Now, I’ve been fortunate to travel to over 22 countries in the past 2 years – how’s that for ramping up intentions?!?