Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Thoreau
Why do we use the term “New Year” yet we don’t have a way to refer to the year that is drawing to a close, like “Old Year?” Why do we make new year’s resolutions without reflecting on what happened in the past year? Or better yet, why do we make new year’s resolutions at all, when we know how rarely we keep them? After all, we usually make resolutions about what we don’t want… and that works about as well as trying NOT think about a pink elephant.
Over the last ten years I’ve stopped making new year’s resolutions. As is often the case, I was dropping something I knew didn’t work for me, but I didn’t yet have a replacement.
Seven years ago, my life coach, Melita DeBellis, demonstrated to me how powerful it is to imagine my future when she asked me to write a paragraph about how I envision my life unfolding in the next ten years. I, of course, made a comment about lack of money being a barrier, and she said I should make as if it wasn’t. And so I did. I wrote that I would like to go to school to earn at least a Bachelors Degree; that I would like to learn German; that I would like to go to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland for longer than a three-week vacation; and that I would like to have three books published. I also wrote that I would like to do adult literacy work. That leaves me three more years to publish two more books and get involved in some kind of adult literacy work. I think I can do that.
Using what I have learned from Melita, I have come up with a system that works for me — that is to reflect on at least three things I am grateful for in the year that is drawing to a close and to envision three things I would like to have happen in the upcoming year.
This year the things I am grateful for are:
1. My family: I am especially grateful for sharing my life in this cozy home with David.
2. Good health: something I have learned I should never take for granted.
3. Friends: I have a wonderfully warm and caring set of friends, both near and far.
4. The publishing of my first book: something I have been envisioning for more than fifteen years.
5. My Bicycle: I loved going for evening rides with David this summer and fall.
6. My Freedom: This is something I appreciate so much after I spent the first 23 years of my life answering to others in nearly every aspect of my life.
And the things I envision for 2011 are:
1. A successful launching of my first book.
2. Collaborating with David for writing the sequel that includes our story of a forbidden love.
3. A contract (including an advance) for this second book.
4. Feeling fit and strong as well as healthy.
5. Traveling to Europe with David.
6. Completing our home.
Are there things you are grateful for that transpired in the past year? And are there things you envision for the new year? What are they?