One Little Word | January Dare

This month, I feel called in lots of different creative directions. I am excited about doing more art, writing more, making a quilt, reading more, blogging more often, taking more time for yoga and running, seeing friends, organizing and de-cluttering, decorating my house, planting my garden, cooking and baking. So many things are calling me right now, I'm not sure where to start.

My usual style would be to make a long list, bucketize and prioritize, then set goals. I'd organize my days around achieving those goals. I'd have a plan, and go to great lengths to avoid the dreaded idle moments and unproductive gaps between activities. That planful approach usually works well for me. But because I feel daring, I'm going to do the opposite. As an experiment. To see what happens.

In January, I DARE myself to let my days evolve naturally.

I want to get more in touch with what my heart is calling for each day. It takes practice to turn our attention inward and tune in to what feels right in the moment. I'm not very good at it. In fact, over the years I suspect I've trained myself not to listen to that inner voice, and instead to stay focused on plans made in advance or made by others. This month I practice listening to my heart.

I want to find out whether heart-directed action will yield more satisfying days and richer outcomes. I secretly believe I will get very little done, or worse, that this approach will leave me feeling out-of-sorts. But maybe, just maybe, I'll be surprised and find that I am actually doing more, and enjoying it more, (or even getting a better result,) when I allow myself the flexibility to let my days evolve naturally.

I want to start my year more gently than I usually do. Instead of new year's resolutions (often involving exertion or denial or some other relatively unpleasant method of achieving goals), I want to set a more peaceful, kinder-to-myself tone. I am hopeful that the more relaxed tone I feel inside will spread to my family and yield a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere at home.

I want to allow myself the freedom to hop between lots of disparate activities for a while. I want to be guided by whimsey instead of drive and strive.

This approach to my January may not sound very daring to you. But for someone who has started every January with resolutions and goals, it's a little bit unnerving to fly by the seat of my pants. I'm sure I'll be daring myself to accomplish aggressive goals later on this year (it's my nature, after all), but for January I'm going to try a different approach. Who knows, maybe I'll even like it.

I hope your 2014 is starting off the way you want it to! Happy January!

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