Happy New Year! We have 12 months in front of us. Some of us might have made some resolutions – lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, quit smoking, drink less, travel more, read more, etc. Others of us have given up on the resolution-setting idea. Goal setting – the same thing. How can we think of five years from now when we just want to get through this next week?

Years ago, I read an interesting way of looking at a new year ahead. I don’t remember the source, but the idea has stayed with me for several years. I’m calling it a time travel exercise. Stay with me for a few more sentences!

Okay, this is what you do. Pretend you are sitting in your favorite spot, all good and comfortable, on December 31, 2023 – the last day of this new year – and you are reflecting back on the past 12 months (which have yet to take place…). What has 2023 looked like for you? What do you want it to look like? Are there places you went, debts you paid, accomplishments you made? Are you feeling happier, more centered, healthier? Are you just glad you made it through another year? Are you proud of how you handled unexpected challenges?

The idea is to take a glance over your shoulder, look back at this coming year, and give yourself a pat on the back for the roads you navigated, the decisions you made, the life you’ve lived.

Write some of these down. What did 2023 look like in your visionary exploration? Then tuck the list somewhere – maybe stick it in your Christmas decorations so you find it next year when you start decorating your house. Or slip it in a desk drawer for you to come across at the end of this year. Put a reminder on your phone for sometime in December to pull the list out and read it. Then just forget about it and live these next 12 months as they unfold.

When next December arrives and you find your list, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you wrote, by what you imagined for yourself, by what you accomplished. Maybe nothing happened as you expected, or maybe it all did. Most definitely, though, you might discover something about yourself that is revealed in a list you wrote 12 months earlier.

Whatever we put out into the universe eventually finds its way back to us in some form or fashion. Setting resolutions and goals is basically saying you WILL DO or WILL TRY TO DO something. But stating that you HAVE DONE something is acknowledging that it has already happened, and it is just a matter of time.

At the end of 2023, as I look over my shoulder, I see that Carl and I have traveled to Alaska and had an unforgettable, adventurous, beautiful trip – boat rides, float plane rides, walking on a glacier, seeing incredible wildlife, feasting our eyes on untouched beauty, meeting new people and seeing old friends. We also made our way back to Minnesota for Carl to work the corn silage and sugar beet harvests as a truck driver. And then we spent some time exploring new places in the southwest. Our health is good – no unexpected scares. And I’ve made serious and productive progress with my writing, to the point that I’m starting to make some money.

Now you’ve seen my list. So much for me “tucking” it away until the end of next year. The good news, for me, is that I generally forget what I’ve written until I reread it again! So, I will put a reminder in my phone to reread this post at the end of next year, and I’ll let you know how it all turns out!

This year, 2023, will be a year to remember. May it unfold lovingly and beautifully for you as well.