New Year’s Eve musings

While I firmly believe that any day is the best day to set a new intention, there’s something about New Year’s Eve that makes me appreciate the opportunity for a fresh start. I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s comment in one of her interviews with Oprah on the SuperSoul podcast – ‘I keep messing up the old one but they keep giving me a brand new year!’ – I’m paraphrasing her words.

For the last couple of years, I’ve paid less attention to resolutions and focused more on feelings. Danielle La Porte, in her book The desire map, describes it like this:

We have the procedure of achievement upside down. Typically, we come up with our to-do lists, our bucket lists and our strategic plans – all the stuff we want to have, get, accomplish, and experience outside of ourselves. All of those aspirations are being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way.

So what if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel within ourselves, and then we designed our to-do lists, set our goals, and wrote out our bucket lists?

How do you want to feel when you look at your schedule for the week? When you get dressed in the morning? When you walk through the door of your studio or your office? When you pick up the phone? When you cash the check, accept the award, finish your masterpiece, make the sale, or fall in love?

How do you want to feel?

Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.

This year, I wanted to feel creative, connected and calm. I think I achieved two out of three.

  • Creative – I have finished and submitted a children’s novel to a publisher, I’ve sewn a quilt and Christmas stockings, started a new quilt, cooked a handful of new recipes every month, planted our back garden, gone on creative excursions, kept a dozen or so indoor plants alive, taught a few workshops on creative writing, made Christmas hampers with friends …
  • Connected – I’ve had meaningful conversations with my kids with equal parts listening and speaking, celebrated my twenty-year wedding anniversary with my husband, started a new friendship with an elderly lady in my community, talked and talked and talked with friends, celebrated many family birthdays, sent my words out here every week and responded to my lovely blog readers …
  • Calm – I don’t think I achieved this one. Life runs at such a hectic pace and there’s not enough white space between all the activities. As a strong introvert, I need time to myself in the same way that extroverts need to be around people. Something to work on for 2018 …

I really like this article from Deepak Chopra, who sets four intentions, which are relevant to almost everyone.

I want a joyful, energetic body.

I want a loving, compassionate heart.

I want a restful, alert mind.

I want lightness of being.

Four intentions, focusing on body, heart, mind, spirit. He suggests focusing on these four intentions daily so that during the course of your day, you will begin to remember them and make appropriate choices about food, stressful situations etc.

Regardless of whether you like to set intentions or celebrate into the early hours of 2018, I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you. Thanks for reading my blog this year. I’ll be taking a few weeks off and will start blogging again in mid-January.

4 comments

  1. Deepak Chopra seems to have gotten it right. I want all of those things but will I get them. I stopped making resolutions many years ago as I didn’t seem to keep them. What I’d like to do is to be kinder and more useful to the people around me. Thank you Karen for your blog. I’ve found it interesting and inspiring. Happy New Year.

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