EXPERIMENTS IN BLISS: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A NEW YEAR

imageHere we are again in the doorway of a shiny new year. 2015. Before I start allowing my self to get too comfortable with this new year, I have decided to, once again, take some precautionary measures to ensure that I get the very best out this year. As you know if you’re a regular reader, I have been making a list of resolutions every January for the past several years. And while I am still tweaking my style, I am finding the practice to be a worthy one. For me, at least. The process of ruminating on and organizing intentions for the coming year does several things for me.

First and foremost, it sort of forces me to take inventory of how I spent my time and energy in the past year. It allows me to compare that performance against how I hope to spend my time and energies this coming year. This is huge for someone like me. I have a tendency to assume that I know what I want in life, and to also assume that I am actually working toward making that happen. However, like many people, when I take the time to really and truthfully observe my desires and behaviors I find my self totally lacking. When I don these goggles and observe even further back in my herstory, I am able to see how consistently negligent I’ve been in getting specific about what it is I want. I also see my tendency to procrastinate on actions that might actually get me where I think I want to be. It’s kind of a strange, self-defeating double helix of negligence: How can I expect to get what/where I want without actually taking concrete, measurable steps to get there? And how on earth are any steps going to get me anywhere if I don’t know where I’m trying to go? Annual goal-setting in the form of resolutions (or intentions) is a good way for me to get specific about my desired direction, and that specificity of vision makes it easier to create manageable, measurable and active progress toward that end.

Secondly, making resolutions gives me an opportunity to bring some living into my life in fun, creative and adventurous ways. It makes me less likely to fall into the rut of mundane routine, by giving me prompts for interesting activities throughout the year. Who doesn’t like fun, creativity and adventure?

Thirdly, setting intentions/resolutions for the year, provides my life with some structure and discipline; two things I have a difficult time coming by naturally. While I love the free-spirited, adventurous side of my self with great abandon, I also believe in balance. Strengthening those skills (structure and discipline), actually, in the big picture, affords me more opportunities to revel in my freer side.

This year, I have, once again, tweaked the way I’ve set up my resolutions. As last year, there are a total of 12 intentions. However, rather than aligning each resolution with a particular month, as I did last year, the new resolutions are not time-specific. In fact, I’ve tried to become more specific with my goals, so that there are actions to be taken and documented throughout the year. Some of these overlap enough to be performed at the same times. Others will be done individually. Some are one-off activities or experiences, some are month-long experiments. Of course, one could accurately say that the whole Year of Resolutions is one big Experiment in Bliss.

So, with no further ado, I present to you …

Melanie’s Resolutions for 2015

1. Formally observe the Wheel of the Year. Do so publicly by sharing info on social media. Also have a personal observance either at home, with community members, or in Nature.
2. Try something new. Choose 6 new things to try this year. Document the experiences on social media. (My 6 initial choices: SUP Yoga; taking solo camping trip; attending a meetup group; aerial dance; making clothes from a pattern, hang gliding) NOTE: Feel encouraged to try more than 6!
3. Start a YouTube channel. Make regular posts – at least one a month.
4. Save some money. (As last year, I have some specific actions here, but I prefer to keep that stuff private.)
5. Volunteer, already! Find an organization, and set up either a regular schedule for donating time/service or a particular project for contribution of self and skills. Document the experience via social media.
6. Take a vacation. I mean a proper vacation. Travel somewhere other than here for at least a week.
7. Go fully raw LFHC vegan for one month, beginning with a three-day stint on Banana Island.
8. Embark on one month of super-productivity a’la Tynan’s “Love Work” article.
9. Be creative. Pursue one or several creative hobbies. By the end of the year have a minimum of 6 finished products. Use these products as gifts, or giveaways on social media.
10. Write an ebook. Sell it online.
11. Pay off debts by a minimum of 50% by year end. Try to pay them 100%, if possible.
12. Find ways to reduce consumption, and, therefore, cost of living. Document these experiences via social media. As part of this project, try a one week experiment in asceticism. Reducing stimulation as much as possible – a’la Tynan’s “Stimulation …” article.
So, there you go! These are my resolutions for the new year. I don’t know about you, but I’m actually looking forward to achieving these goals. And you, did you set new intentions for the year? Care to share? I’d love to hear from you. We can support one another together. Either way, I hope you have a most beautiful year filled with a million opportunities for love, laughter, health, wealth, and, of course … BLISS!

xoxo,
melanie

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