Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014, The Year of [insert intention here]

Do you love New Year as much as I do? It’s my favorite holiday of all. One of my rituals is getting up before dawn and going out to greet the first sunrise of the year. 

6:50 this morning.

Ever since I first understood New Year’s resolutions existed, I have taken this time of year very seriously. My family and friends seem to find it a bit amusing, but accept this little quirk as my Very Important Ritual. It goes like this:
  • Purge and deep clean creative/work space
  • Take some quiet, reflective alone time
  • Buy new journal (chosen by me, and only me!)
  • Write The List

Do you make The List? I'm betting many of you do, too. My List’s structure has evolved over the years, and I no longer make resolutions, which tend to set even a very determined person up for certain failure. After all, a single transgression, one slipup, and you’ve already failed. These years, I make a series of goals for each area of my life: Health & Fitness, Professional, Creative, and so on, depending on what I most hope to grow.

The thing about goals is this: it's incredibly easy to fall short of meeting them. And so, I tend to make BIG goals for the next year, knowing it is somewhat unlikely I will be able to fully complete them in the 12 months I’ve set myself, but feeling I would rather make it partway through a really big goal, than fall short on one that was smaller and possibly less worthy. Do you, like me, allow yourself to start the year dreaming big with a huge sense of hope and possibility? I believe it can carry me through my inevitable slumps in energy, inspiration, and motivation (and also through moment or three when I kick myself for making such big goals that seem so far away. Hah.).


Since I was fourteen and read The Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher J. Koch, I have also named each year. I’ve had The Year of Going Forth, The Year of Simply Living, and The Year of Achieving Greatness! I have a good chuckle as I add this dash of melodrama, but I’m careful to always choose a name that has real meaning. It’s the banner I hope to march under for the next twelve months.

What would be written on your banner for 2014, if you had one? What do you most want to achieve or learn or heal or feel? Have you thought about how to get there, and determined the steps it might realistically take? Do you make resolutions or goals, and if so, do you prefer smaller goals or larger ones?

In 2013, I feel I’ve finally achieved one of my big goals for the last few years—to let go of some fears that were holding me back creatively. And so, 2014, I dub thee... 

The Year of Creating Fearlessly!

Arise 2014 and my writer and illustrator friends, and go forth. May you strive for something close to your heart and work toward your goals boldly, bravely, and fearlessly!


  1. Yes I make that list. Resolutions are doomed to fail...? Now I get where I've been going wrong!! Makes sense. I make goals too but smaller ones I know I can do. It works for me. :) Happy New Year Marlo! Looking forward to working with you again on my new book!

    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Sadie! I hope all your goals reach fruition. :)

  2. Here's a very interesting take on making workable goals. Thanks to Jennifer O'Keefe for the link.