The new New Year’s trend the past few years has centered around choosing an intentional word for the year, rather than more of those old resolutions we tend to break somewhere mid- to late-January. Last year I wrote a blog post about choosing balance as my word for 2015.
I am slightly behind for 2016 due to some exciting happenings in my world — which I will share with you shortly.
But, first, I wanted to show evidence of how powerful setting intentions can be. If we name the intention, break it down into manageable steps, work hard, and are persistent, things we may never have thought possible can become possible indeed.
One year ago, I was writing about short meditations and mindful breaks as an antidote to busy, stressed-out motherhood. I thought about self-publishing but thought I’d first attempt to have my book published with a traditional publishing house. I first needed to find a literary agent interested in representing me and my work. I decided to give it a go. The worst, I figured, they could say was no.
Around the same time, as part of a class I had enrolled in on the science of happiness, I used the following writing exercise prompt:
Adapting the writing procedure developed by King (2001), you will write for 20 minutes at a time… Here are your specific instructions:
“Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined.”
Do this for 20 minutes per day for three days in a row.
And this is an excerpt from what I wrote December 2014:
I am so thrilled that I have landed a wonderful agent who is so energetic and believes in my book. Because of her, I have landed a deal with a publisher! I can’t believe this is happening. The book is finished and now just coming back for last-minute edits. I remember last year at this time – how the doubt would arise – should I even finish this book? Something told me to just keep going with it. It feels like all of my hard work is paying off.
Do you sense the foreshadowing?
Now for the Big Announcement:
With the help of that wonderful agent, I have signed a deal with The Experiment, an independent publishing house out of New York City.
My book, Breathe, Mama, Breathe: Five-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms is due out early- to mid-2017!
And so I am now hard at work on the manuscript. I am excited and scared and proud and humbled, often all at once. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me, offered me feedback, and shared some of your parenting challenges and successes.
I encourage you to take the time to write about your best future self. Just for a little while, set your self-imposed limitations and doubts aside. Dream big and see what arises. Now, how do you get there? Start small, but start now. You never know where it might take you and where you will end up in 2017.
Happy New Year.
Now off to write I go!