Desire is awesome. It can open doors to inspiration, achievement, and feeling good about who you are and what you’re doing.
Desire is awesome. It can reveal new information about who you are. What means the most to you in this world. And what makes your heart sing.
Desire…can be scary. Instead of the bright view through a set of clear French doors, it can feel a little like looking down the scary basement steps.
Desire can be seen through the lens of “yeah, but,” “I’m not that lucky,” “it will never happen for me.”
But this…THIS…is a New Year. And this week is a new month in the New Year.
In fact, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, I’m going with February kicking off my real New Year.
And I’m ready. I’ve answered the question of what I want in 2016, framed it positively, and it’s time to start working with some of these desires and bringing them to the sunlight.
What about you? Are you ready? Do you know what you desire?
Do you want to drink more water? Run more miles? Eat more kale?
Call your dad with consistency? Read a book a month? Wear only clothes that make you feel sexy?
Maybe you want to write daily. Gracefully navigate your days. Start a movement.
Whatever it is, the time to create a plan is now.
The word “plan” is not always a favorite. Intentions will work. Action-items.
Grooviness in your day.
I like to think of my plans as the juicy actions that will make me feel like I’m satisfied at the end of the day.
And I like to remind myself to look at the plans – the actions – that will help me create what I desire through the sunny French doors.
If I’m looking into the dark basement, I am way less likely to go down.
In fact, I encourage you to not do any planning until you’ve got the best perspective you can possibly have. Pay attention to your attitude and thoughts. For some of us, we have a few days every month that we feel like everything is doom and gloom. Don’t make major decisions or plans for your life on those days.
When you look at your goals, intentions, desires, or simply the list of coolness you want to have in your life this year, what are the action steps you will take to get from where you are now to where you want to be?
This question can be huge – so totally loaded and overwhelming – that we lose sight of why what we want is important to us.
We imagine impossible feats that scare us right out of our pants.
And we never do anything.
The best question to keep in your pocket, the one to keep on hand for the moments when you start thinking you will never fit into the perfect dress for your future book tour, the question that will save you from crawling under a rock and doing nothing, THE QUESTION, is this:
What is my very next step?
Before starting to write your acceptance speech for the award, before you plan your trip around the world, maybe just today, you can write.
Or today, you can just go for a walk.
And maybe, since we’re taking it one day at a time, you can make that phone call to your friend – today – to find out if she’s in for the trip to Paris you’ve been dreaming about for five years. The one that you say you’re going to take and somehow never do.
By all means, plan out your week, make checklists, be ready with a list of action items you can take.
But when you’re faced with a point in your day where inaction seems to be the flow and you want to change that, you can ask yourself, what is the one thing that I can do right now?
Is it always easy?
If it were we would all look in the Mirror of Erised and see our own contented gaze looking back.
As you get ready to move into action, here are some questions to noodle in your journal, or journoodle.
Looking back over my list of desires/wants/dreams, what is the one that I want most for this year? What would make me stay up late on January 31, 2016, celebrating with gusto the year I’ve just had?
What are the actions I need to take to make this happen?
What habits will I need to develop in order to take these actions?
What systems will I put in place to keep me on track? Some suggestions include planning your next days activities before you end the work day, or if you’re a mom like me, at night after the kids go to bed and I have a moment to decompress and breathe! Get an accountability partner and keep it simple. A quick text that says: going to workout at noon today. Please check in. When she texts back at 1:30 asking about your workout, you’re ready.
Setup a rewards system for yourself. The last weekend of the month you can rewatch all of season five of Downton Abbey, but only if you stick to your plan. Give yourself something to look forward too.
What will your system be if you get off track? If you plan to wake up at 5:30 every morning to work on a very special art project that you’ve been dreaming about, what will you do on the days that you don’t get up? Beat yourself up? I hope not. Maybe have a back-up time slot or something you can negotiate. Eat the leftovers instead of spending an hour on making dinner and use that hour, or at the very least, just be gentle with yourself.
The movement from plan to action is a learning process. It may be five steps forward and one step back.
As long as you’re learning, living, and loving the heck out of your life, you’ll be right where you need to be.
2016 is going to be a year of some big changes for me and I hope it is for you too – but only if that’s what you really want!
Let’s remember that we’re all in this together, okay? And keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear about what you want for the year and how you plan to create the movement you need to get it.
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Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit saramarchessault.com.