The New Year Experiment

Written by Raymond Salas

How are your resolutions, goals, and intentions for the new year going so far? 

Are you still going strong? Still on track?

Or have you veered off course a little? Or a lot? Or like many, have you quit altogether?

If you have fallen behind or quit, the problem may not be you.

The problem may actually be the whole process of setting resolutions, goals, and intentions itself.


I know what you may be thinking: without setting any resolutions, goals, or intentions, you'll accomplish nothing.

But is that really true?

As last year was coming to an end, I reviewed the highlights, positive events, experiences, and growth from my own life in the past year.

And, I discovered an interesting thing... most of the good things were unexpected. A complete surprise. Unplanned. Spontaneous. 

In other words, they were not things on my vision board or list of goals, resolutions, and intentions.

Furthermore, the majority of positive events and experiences were beyond anything I had imagined or visualized for myself. 

The New Year Experiment

This got me thinking...

What if there were more good people, circumstances, and situations that were trying to come into my life but were delayed or blocked by my insisting that my goals, resolutions, and intentions happen instead?

Or on the flip side... what if certain people, circumstances, and situations were trying to leave my life but were delayed or blocked by my insisting that my life stay the same or look a certain way?

Or...what if I really don't know what would make me happy (but only think I do)?

Would would happen if I let it all go?

So, here at the beginning of the new year, I decided to do something different: set no goals, resolutions, or intentions and see what life has in store for me instead.

My only focus will be to do my best to show up to each moment, live it fully, follow my passions and inspiration, have fun, and do whatever excites me.

I'll try to remain open and flexible to whatever the moment brings and go with it.

Sound crazy? Completely nuts? A little bonkers? 


How long can I or will I do it? What will happen? 

I don't know. I have no idea. But, I'm looking forward to finding out.

I'm willing to trust that whatever is supposed to happen will because I'm no longer resisting any of it.

Should be fun. 

Won't you join me? Do you dare?

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."  
- Joseph Campbell

"I don’t make plans, because they’re an illusion — you never know what will happen in a year or even six months. You can try to control what happens, but you’ll lose. Things always come up, sometimes good and sometimes bad, that will disrupt plans. Instead, I’ve learned to go with the flow, to not worry about things that disrupt plans but worry about what to do right now. This allows me to take advantage of opportunities to come up that I could never have planned for, to work on things I couldn’t have known about, to make decisions about what’s best right now, not what I planned a few months ago. I don’t force things, but do what comes naturally. And I focus on the present, on being happy now." 

- Leo Babauta