At the turn of each year I like to pause and take stock. I’ve developed some habits over the years and thought I’d share them here. I would love to have you comment on your own turn of the year practices.
On New Year’s Day I do a journal review. As I page through my journal from the year just passed, I review highlights, make note of progress, and savor accomplishments. This can also be painful and trying as I relive losses and face stumbling blocks. Overall, I find this practice productive and satisfying.
The next thing I do is write down some goals and dreams for the year ahead. These are items as pragmatic as “get a new storm door” or as dreamy as “travel more.” As I write, I allow my dreams to run wild. Yes, I’d like to do a month long retreat at Spirit Rock retreat center. The chances that I’ll have the time or funds to do this isn't likely but that doesn’t matter here. I’m dreaming about my life, not laying plans. This is my big-and-little dream list for the year, so Spirit Rock is on the list.
I write about my hopes and dreams for my work life, my children, my relationships, my home, my spiritual life, my leisure time. Pretty much everything I hope for or dream of goes on this draft.
Once I complete this first list I take out a nice piece of stationery and I mold my dreams into an offering. I take the time here to whittle down the list to what feels true. Now the list becomes something I will look over almost daily as it becomes a kind of personal litany for my life over the course of the year. At year’s end I pause to re-evaluate it. What has come to pass from my list? How have I changed which, in turn, has changed the meaning of what is included on the list?
I find this practice instructive, guiding, and inspiring.
And there is one item that remains year by year: “may I be of service to others.”
I embrace this particular item once again for 2013.
What’s on your list?