Through the years I have been delighted by how items on my list find their way into my life, so I love sharing this fun practice. And, this time of year, it’s a playful counterpoint to the New Year’s Resolution List (a practice laden with self criticism, doubt and tension).
As lightheartedly as you can manage, write out a few things that would make you happy.
Save the goals, the “shoulds”, the pressure to achieve, for another list, and let this one be just because you would love it.
And your list doesn’t have to relate to your present circumstances at all. My first list included “scuba diving” which seemed pretty far fetched for a young woman living in the heart of NYC (not exactly a mecca for divers, but I soon found myself gliding along at the Great Barrier Reef).
“I want to live by the water” has made my list. And I have lived near fabled Lake Michigan for many years now.
And don’t let past disappointments hold you back. “I want to speak another language” was not deterred by my initial experiences learning in high school when I was too shy to speak. French still sticks in my mouth (despite a decade at a French fashion magazine 🙄 ), but Italian manages to roll off my tongue! A language skill I acquired as an “unexpected” side benefit of my fashion career which took me frequently to Milan.
I notice that after I ask myself “what do I want?” ideas bubble up over a few days and I jot them down and smile, thinking “yes, that would be great, I would LOVE that, I want it”.
As a helpful prompt to get you started, I have created a simple worksheet to guide you.
It’s not uncommon to stumble upon some inner resistance.
Many of us focus our energy exclusively on other’s wants, and the very premise of wanting for our own delight feels selfish.
Many of us learned long ago to believe that what we want isn’t important and won’t happen anyway, so why bother.
Many of us believe that the adult world of responsibility leaves no time for joy. We have forgotten that feeling of being lost in happiness.
And sadly, many of us don’t feel we deserve what we really want.
If anything like that comes up for you, please reach out. I can help you.
It’s on my list: “I want to help more people live happier lives” ❤