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Getting bombarded with messages about New Year’s resolutions makes my stomach turn. It feels superficial and commercialized, even though I am a huge fan of reviewing my life, planning for all types of improvements and capturing all of my heart’s desires into a bucket list and life plan.

Desiring healthy and positive change is always a good thing. Making commitments for life improvements only once a year feels limiting and disappointing. I try to be in a continuous state of awareness about what is good about my life and what doesn’t feel quite right, and always have something that I am working on. In fact, I typically have multiple things “in the works”.

Understanding why a change is desired, what that shift would mean, and having a reasonable, sustainable plan for achieving any goal, are all important pieces. A plan that works for you, which is likely to be different than what will work for your mother, neighbor or best friend, is also essential.

The planning piece has challenged and limited me time and time again. Big dreams and goals often feel overwhelming, and attempting to plan out the implementation of something I have no idea how to accomplish, has left many of my hopes and dreams unfulfilled.

I’m not giving up. I know that some of the biggest regrets that many older people have, especially as they are passing on, are the things they didn’t do. And there are plenty of people who have achieved things beyond their wildest dreams, just because they dared to dream and be open to the possibility of achievement.

I’ve spent years working on shifting limiting beliefs in my subconscious brain, and my thoughts about what is possible continue to expand. I allow myself to be inspired by the lifestyles and accomplishments of people making a difference in the world with their own unique skills and talents. I spend time perusing beautiful books and magazines and writing down the experiences and destinations that appeal to me. I allow myself to dream big and have audacious goals for how I might be of service in my own unique way. I work at being my best, every single day.

I forgive myself when things don’t go well. I listen to my body and my heart. I allow myself to feel my emotions and do my best to process and express them, and I ask for support when I need it. I have not mastered any of this and there is a lot of imperfection. Some things come easier than others and I am always learning and growing, working towards the next best version of myself, living my own idea of an amazing life from moment to moment. It is incredibly difficult at times and often feels like a jumbled mess. But I’ve already achieved things I wouldn’t have dared to dream of as former versions of myself. And I feel like I am just getting started. I am perfectly imperfect, ever expanding, and supremely grateful for all that I am and all that I have.

I once deeply believed that reaching for more was selfish and a sign that I was ungrateful for what I did have. I currently believe that we are meant to be in constant expansion and that whatever miracle brought us into existence wants us to soar – to be and do all that life has to offer, no matter what circumstances we’ve come from. And I have come to believe that doing so is how we give back to the source that created us, for all the gifts and talents we were sent into the world with.

Above all, I believe that life is a gift. And that you matter. Your hopes and dreams are not random; they are meant to guide you into having the life you dream of and deserve. I hope you’ll take some time to be open to all the possibilities of what your life could be and to allow your deepest desires to take shape in your mind. Days and years pass whether we like it or not. Unleashing your desires and dreams and being intentional about your life can make the difference between living an amazing life… or just letting life pass you by.

My hopes and dreams for 2019 are still taking shape. I’ll be participating in an online program to dive deep into uncovering my heart’s desires. There are many areas of my life where I feel extremely fulfilled, but a few that don’t measure up. I’m not even sure I know what I want in some areas, and am absolutely sure that I am not currently equipped to level up in all the ways I’ll need to. I am praying for clarity, guidance and bravery. I’m excited to move forward, but also afraid of what I’ll have to work through to get to a more fulfilling place. Change isn’t always easy, but I’m committed to making the most of my life.

What I wish for myself is what I wish for you. I know that you deserve greatness. I know that life has amazing opportunities and adventures that can be yours as soon as you are ready to say yes. And I sincerely hope that you will open your heart and mind, embrace your desires, and allow 2019 to be your best year yet!