I don’t do resolutions. To be honest, for people like me (and by that I mean pain-in-the-ass, ever-so-slightly-hyper people with a tendency towards perfectionism) I think they can create many more problems than they resolve.
What I do rather like and find useful are journal lists. There’s something liberating for me about using lists in this way – to brainstorm, clarify, focus, uncover themes, gather images and ideas. Lists are one of my favourite journaling tools and I can highly recommend Chapter 12 of this book for inspiration about using lists as journaling prompts.
I also like the idea of the life list, like this and this and this. Far more fun and a little bit less pressure than resolutions, don’t you think?
For me, a life list isn’t about goal-setting – or living for some vague future when you’ll finally have achieved everything on your list and will, of course, therefore feel so much happier (ha!) – but about recognising what brings you joy, acknowledging your deepest desires, pausing for a moment in the midst of all the rushing about to notice what’s really important to you.
I’ve been adding to my own life list in the back of one of my notebooks for a while now. And one of the items on the list has been to create a page on my web site for my life list. And share it. So, erm, here it is.
OK. I can cross that one off now. (Always wanted to do
that crossed-out typing thing.)
My life list began as a bit of frippery one evening when I was having trouble winding down. I just started scribbling. But as I invariably find, there’s something surprisingly powerful about actually writing things down. It’s both oddly calming and also like an invocation of sorts, as if you’re calling the possibility of these things into being, inviting them into your life simply by forming the wishes into words.
Here’s the rest of my life list. Well, so far. It’s bound to keep changing…
Write a bestselling novel.
Share my life list on my web site.
Learn how to use a proper DSLR camera and take at least one photo every day for a year
Make a beautiful room for Violetta.
Learn how to crochet.
Brush-up my Italian/ get really good at Italian.
Buy a house in Italy and live there for part of every year.
Make fresh panettone from scratch.
Become a mother.
Learn to play the guitar.
Travel to India.
Turn my grandfather’s war diary into a novel/memoir/book of some description.
Run Word Sauce writing-and-mindfulness retreats in other countries.
Turn my PhD into an accessible book that people actually want to read.
Swim naked under a full moon at least once.
Make a quilt for Violetta using pieces cut from her outgrown clothing from her first years.
Watch the sun rise from the top of a mountain.
Create mindfulness groups for school children. (Start a movement?)
Travel to Africa.
Own a pair of perfect everyday boots.
Publish a Collected Poems.
Take my sister somewhere special for her 40th birthday.
Send my mum and dad on holiday on the Orient Express.
Live in an Art Deco house (with a room dedicated to a library).
Own an amazing collection of vintage clothing.
Host a cocktail party.
Make a beautiful garden.
Celebrate Violetta’s first birthday in style.
Go on a spa/retreat holiday with my mum and sister.
Plant a tree for Violetta.
Every day, remember to stop and look up at the sky.
Keep a regular journal of Violetta’s first five years to give to her when she’s a grown-up.
Do you have a life list? If so, please do feel free to share!
If not, what would you put on yours?