Moving from one year to another is always a significant shift. Sometimes we make a laundry list of resolutions, which, inevitably, we never keep. (As a side note, I make one resolution, the same resolution, every year…to floss my teeth…I’m all about attainable goals!).
Rather than resolutions, what I do every year is make a list of intentions. Things I would experience and accomplish. I offer up my intentions with gratitude. To be honest, I usually forget about my list after a few months, but when I return to it at the end of the year, I’m always surprised how many of the things actually came to pass. For 2014 I made a list of 40 things because I was 40 years old. The list was ambitious and lots of things would mean moving heaven and earth to make them happen. As I look back at my list today, I ended up doing 23 of the items I listed.
Below is a way you can create your own list of intentions for the coming year while also letting go of the year that is ending.
Begin and End with Gratitude
On New Year’s Eve sit with a friend or partner and make a list of all the big events that happened in your life in 2014. Next, make a list of the challenges you faced, moments you regret and realizations you make.
Read these lists over, either to yourself, or out loud (if you are feeling especially brave!).
Then, offer your list to the Universe (if you have a fireplace, you could place the list in the fire, BUT DON’T JUST GO LIGHTING THINGS ON FIRE, THAT’S NOT SAFE!). In lieu of burning the list you could say something like, “May this year’s benefits be realized, mistakes be dissolved and may I be both loving and loved in the year ahead.”
Now you are ready to move into 2015!
Create a list of intentions, offered with gratitude.
Begin your list with “In deepest gratitude, in 2015 I will _________.” Then continue writing your list in the present tense. You can share this list or keep it to yourself, but I recommend storing it in a place where you will see it once in a while – I keep mine on my vision board in my small (read: reclaimed closet), creative space.
Whatever you set as your intentions, may your voice be heard in the year ahead. May you find yourself enveloped in love, willing to walk the journey of your life while embracing both the challenging and easy moments.
Here is a poem by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, to offer a little more inspiration for the coming year:
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
One thought to “Let go of the past. Embrace the present.”
Thank you for this beautiful post and for all your good work this year! Love this–and the Mary Oliver poem, too. Happy New Year!