Judythe MorganIt’s that season again. Time for New Year’s resolutions and goal setting.

I set objectives every new year. It’s a holdover from my teaching days and another name for goals. Sometimes I achieve my objectives. Sometimes I don’t.

The fact is, too many of us end up in a mire of guilt, weighed down by our failure to meet our expectations.

Many years ago, Juliet Marillier offered what she called magic wand gifts to use instead of goals and resolutions. Ideas that would help increase productivity and creativity.

I’ve adapted her list below. They’ll be my objectives this year.

  • Feel the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin, the sun on your back, the richness of freshly turned soil underfoot or in your hands. Plant some flowers or veggies in pots if you don’t have gardening space. Take regular walks and use your five senses to experience nature.
  • Have more social interaction, and I don’t mean online! Online socializing is not great for physical or mental health. Make the effort to go out to coffee with a friend once a month or once a week, join a book club, walk your dog at the park, and meet like-minded people in person.
  • Write or do whatever you do because you love it; love whatever you do. Because otherwise what’s the point? Life’s short. Enjoy the ride.
  • Realize motivation for getting on with things – your work in progress, your diet/exercise plan – does not come from the note on the fridge, but from deep within you. Change your mindset. Do the right things not because you ought to, but because you want to.
  • Most importantly, take time to breathe. Stop whatever you’re doing periodically. Step away, go outside and breathe slowly for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how your perspective can change.

If you’re not one to set goals or resolutions or even if you do, give Marillier’s magic wand gifts a try this year.

You can read the full blog here.