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A Guiding Thought for the New Year

December '14

I hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as I did. I returned home to Rhode Island in a state of deep contentment and joy after days of celebrating and relaxing with my family. As the year now winds down, my thoughts turn to 2015. My recent break and an article in the Atlantic Monthly gave me a valuable clue for envisioning this new year.

In “Buy Experiences, Not Things,” James Hamblin outlines the results of extended research on happiness. These investigations led to the compelling conclusion that experiences bring you more enduring happiness than possessions – a perfect guideline for planning the year ahead. Instead of focusing on resolutions, or perhaps in addition to setting goals, why not set your compass to the true north of experiences.

What might that look like? Travel beckons as a natural experiential opportunity. Could it be time for you to plan a vacation out of town, or even abroad? Or what about daily excursions with friends or family? Yesterday an old college friend came from out of state to visit for the day. We headed to the “Breakers” in Newport after lunching at “Slice of Heaven” in Jamestown – located on a small island about 10 minutes from my house.

On the drive to Newport after our lunch, we marveled at the tastiness of the kale salad and tried to recreate it. While we could identify the kale, carrots, chic peas and dried cranberries, we couldn’t nail down the dressing, which we thought was the most critical ingredient, so we decided to return another day to ask the chef.

After deconstructing the salad, we gazed in wonder at the shimmer of the sun on the water and the silhouettes of ancient copper beaches against the winter sky en route to a famous mansion all decked out for the holidays. Our exploration of this over-the-top home of the gilded age was wonderfully enhanced by an individual, well-narrated audio tour.

On the way back to my house, we savored again the sweetness of the day where we experienced nature’s wonder, an extraordinary house, a delicious lunch and the opportunity to chat together.

What experiences will you consciously create for 2015? Please share your plans; I’d love to hear them. To further encourage this generation of new experiences for the year ahead, I’m offering my 9-week journaling eCourse, Reinvent Your Life – Write Now at a 25% discount until the end of January. For only $35, week-by-week, you will discover a clear path forward as you learn what you need, who you are now, and what you truly want. You can check it out here.

Happy New Year to you!

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