Designing a Perfect Life

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
Langston Hughes

Piles of papers by iHanna, Copyright Hanna Andersson

I guess one of the reasons I usually fall in love with this short time between the new and the old year is because it is full of promise. Now, when the old year is going out and a new year is about to begin, I feel so full of hope. To me this has always been a bright time, even more wonderful than the promises of spring… Right now, this year, I am finding it difficult to get my personal, annual review started…

When the new year is coming it is time to evaluate the old and bring in the new, as I have talked about before I find myself in the mood for planning, organizing, starting new projects and being overall positive about the future once again. You can attract anything you want into your life; new ideas, projects, habits and make inspirational vision boards, life lists and plans. You clean out clutter, bad habits, dust and empty boxes. Indeed, tis’ the time to design your own perfect life, at least in your mind it looks perfect. But I think it does take hard work. And time.

In the comments yesterday to my post filled with other peoples goal setting advice etc, a very wise woman called Tally saw right through me and wrote:

It’s not only about talking, one has to get into action.
For the last years I was online into goal setting, motivation pages and so on and so on. It takes so much time, unless one sticks to one system.
All those pages are beautiful, but online pages stuff up one brain. I did learn a lot, but as often: Enough is enough.
You know enough, my dear. Decide, if you want to play or if you want business. For the latter you need a plan (but not x-online pages).
Keep your hands busy.

The most important rules are these three:

1. Show up
2. Do the work
3. Don’t procrastinate
(4. Enough is enough)

This whole post is a bit of procrastinating… sorry. It’s because I can’t decide on the simple thing Tally suggests: business or play. Maybe both, or non… but most of all: don’t want to decide. Choose. Pick. Decide.

I have started evaluating 2010 and my accomplishments during the year, both good and not so great. I derailed myself by starting a life list inspired by photographer Karen Walrond’s post on creating a life list. Bucket list, Things to do before I die, Adventure ideas, Life list – what ever we call it it is interesting to write some ideas down!

I am also thinking up new goals that inspire me. I think the key is to have inspirational goals!

My Life vision statement

Life vision, it is that one sentence that lead you through your days. I have been thinking about mine before but now I can’t remember if I wrote it down somewhere… Anyway, I was reminded to think about it again when reading Alyson Stanfield’s post Vision vs. goals. My “life vision statement” could be something like this:

I appreciate the small things in daily life as I live in the now, I encourage and inspire others by being creative every day in art, craft and writing that sustain my way of living.

A New Writing habit

Jennifer Blanchard of the inspiring Procrastinating writers blog wrote about her challenge Make Over Your Writing Habits in 31 Days which is exactly the kick start of 2011 I need! Jennifer writes:

Making writing a habit is your only shot at reaching your writing dreams.

While writing is about creativity and style, it’s also about creating good habits that make you productive. Because if you don’t get any writing done, then your creativity and style don’t really matter.

So, I’ve signed up and will start my new habit on 1st of January, bright and early! Also thinking about A poem a Day at least during January for starters. Wanna join me? Read the post about the “discipline secret” here.

One little word

I also want to choose a “one word” to bring with me into the new year. I have done this before and the first time it was a great experience that I needed. This year I did pick a word but forgot about it halfway through and haven’t been thinking about it. This year I am thinking about choices we have and what choice I do every day. Even when I don’t act and don’t follow through, that is a choice. So Choice might be my word for the year. Do you pick a word?

Life design

Can we design our life? Can we put in and take out what ever we want? At least it is interesting to think about what we want more or less of, to picture the perfect life. Well, if there is such a thing as “a perfect life”?

If next year will be everything we hope, now is the time to plan out the action steps! I think we will need to work hard, keep your goals in front of us – and constantly strive ahead… Never give up and always try to be as positive as you possibly can. And me? I have not been great at doing just that. I can’t follow through. I have lots of fear. I hesitate. And OMG I procrastinate. Still, I harbor hope that next year will be different. And it is such a beautiful idea! 2011 could be oh so wonderful… or fall flat. We will see.

Maybe it is time that you start designing your own life? Let me know how it goes!

The title of this post is inspired by my favorite (Swedish) blogger Sara who writes about A Life Designed among other interesting topics.

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12 Responses to Designing a Perfect Life

  1. Melanie K says:

    YOU just gave me my one little word: DECIDE
    And that is just what I need to do! Thanks!

  2. I love this time of year also. My word this year is EVERYDAY. Live it, notice it, enjoy it. I’ve decided on my project this year and added it to my blog. I’m calling it 12/365/2011. I’m nervous because I’m not a finisher but there isn’t a better time to start!

  3. SaraOoo says:

    Naaw, “my favorite swedish blogger”, thank you!

    Interesting post. I’ve been thinking in this paths too, it’s action that counts. Doing things, keeping busy, but sometimes it’s just more fun to procrastinate!

    Ooh, I had totally forgotten about the year word! I used to do this and I remember it actually being pretty good when I wasn’t sure how to handle something. I should pick a word this year…

  4. Libby says:

    Hanna you said, “I can?t follow through. I have lots of fear. I hesitate. And OMG I procrastinate. Still, I harbor hope that next year will be different. And it is such a beautiful idea!”

    and that’s exactly how I feel too!

    This year I want to fall in love with my body. I never have and it suddenly, at age 34, feels incredibly important to do. Not because I should but because i want to.
    My first step toward this is to try exercising entirely for the purpose of changing my body into a strong, fit one… because i would enjoy that more.
    I’ve never tried this before and I have fear and doubt but also hope.
    I’ve never had a Year Word but maybe I will choose one this year :)

    thanks for your honest, genuine sharing post that encouraged me to share a bit of myself :)

  5. bonnierose says:

    love all this post.. every bit of it.
    my word for this year is COURAGEOUS.
    I want to believe in myself more, be more courageous re my art, my life.. etc.

  6. aimee says:

    beautifully written and so true! happy new year, hanna!

  7. Michelle says:

    I really like the link about “discipline” and poetry that you posted. I also totally agree with the idea of “enough is enough”…there are so many outlets available to list goals, plans, lists, words, etc for the new year that you could get so caught up making lists that you forgot to actually get things done! I get a bit overwhelmed by that.
    A lot of people have been talking about picking a new year word but I haven’t thought much about it…maybe I should! We will see.
    Great post, thanks for sharing your 2011 goals!

  8. Linnea says:

    Hi Hanna, Happy New Year! I really loved your post. The way you set goals and write about them is inspirational to me!

  9. MAria says:

    Jag ?nskar dig ett Gott Nytt 2011!

  10. Corvus says:

    I’m notoriously good at getting stacks and stacks of ideas and plans and just not acting on them. Sometime this isn’t a bad thing- I consider writing down ideas and then leaving them a while as a way of letting them percolate, letting the best ideas rise to the top like cream- if they still interest me a bit later, then I know it’s the thing to work on.

  11. Mary says:

    Hi Hanna…love what Tally said. I think we (at least I) get caught up in following someone else’s “plan” because it sounds so good but it may not be the plan for me. If it works for that person, then great! My word for the new year may be “enough.”
    Regards,
    Mary

  12. Carin says:

    Love this post Hanna! It really speaks to me and where I am at the moment. My word for 2011 is “develop” (which I’ve blogged about). .

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