“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” – Vance Havner

The end of the year is approaching and I am loving the crisp, clear, frosty mornings and the hibernation and reflection the dark, cosy winter nights allow.

It’s about this time of year we start thinking about our New Year Resolutions. January see’s Gym memberships soar, millions of people attempt fad diets, detoxes and write lists of I will, be, look, do better this year.

This time of year lends itself so beautifully to this moment of reflection and resolution as we start setting our sights on spring – new life.

But what so often happens is, despite our good intentions, by the third week in January we have forgotten all about our resolutions and slip back into old habits. Shoving crisps in our face on the sofa, bitching about the person who wronged us and still hating a certain element of our life or ourselves.

We set the intention but sometimes we forget about the most important bit – the action.

My best friend takes resolution setting one step further and creates herself a vision board every year – abstract photos and clipping of the things she wants to bring to life that year. Some she knows the meaning of clearly and others just seem to find their way onto the board and only make sense at the end of the year. And the process has always, always served her well.

But I had sort of struggled with this idea of the ‘law of attraction’ and vision boards.

Perhaps, like I used to, you think it works like this;

You put a picture of something on a vision board, for example a slim model with a toned physique and flawless skin, and you set the intention to get fit and aspire to look like this beauty. You do all the manifesting imaginable, visioning yourself in a swim suit looking like a bronzed goddess whilst you go about your usual day, thinking to yourself ‘well I’m thinking about it, it’s on my vison board, the laws of attraction say it will be so! Woohoo’.

And then only to be really disappointed when you look in the mirror and see pale, blotchy white skin and bingo wings that you flap around to remind yourself that, ‘see, the laws of attraction don’t work. It’s a load of rubbish’.

The critical and somewhat blatant miss-interpretion of how it might possibly work is obvious here though right? = Accountability.

Simply thinking about becoming rich, happy, achieving success, owning some flashing material item is only a seed. You have to take daily action and create habits to help nurture the seed, feed it, water it, give it light and space in order for it to grow. Otherwise it just remains a seed that you end up throwing away with the rubbish.

A bit like dreaming of winning the lottery but never buying a ticket.

The more you nurture the seeds by taking daily action against your intentions – only then will the laws of attraction start working; Really working. I read a lovely quote somewhere the other day that went something like this ‘take one step closer towards your intention and it takes 100 towards you’.

For the last 3 years I have followed a process in a mystical book that guides you over the course of a month, at the end of the year, to create an ‘intention mandala’ for the new year ahead. Within this mandala you set out the conditions in which you will live by each day and the fruits you hope to produce by doing so – essentially, the items on a vision board.

My 2016 intention mandala housed the following conditions; To really listen to myself, to be active, to be bold and brave, to say yes more, to be present and mindful, to live with an open heart and to have fun.

And, if I lived by those conditions everyday, I would hope to create a life where;

  • I fall in love
  • I write
  • I travel
  • I run retreats
  • I live an outdoors life
  • I help change peoples’ lives
  • I live by the sea

And I named my year ‘Become the Horizon’.

I look at my 2016 mandala now and I am filled with joy! All of those things came to life. All of them and so much more.

I started to share my writing for the first time – it had always been a little secret of mine that was hidden away because I was afraid of how people would judge me and it. God, I wouldn’t even share a Facebook status from the heart at this exact time last year until I was challenged by a close friend to do so.

I travelled in Indonesia to run Introduction to meditation classes, I lived an outside life in my beloved “shed of dreams” that was right by the sea. And when I got a message from a meditation class attendee thanking me with exact words ‘you are changing peoples lives’, I actually cried with happiness. I fell in love with life.

What is also a little crazy to think now too is I hadn’t even decided on a name for Horizon Retreats when I named my year ‘Become the Horizon’.

Set intentions, believe them to be true, manifest but don’t forget to be accountable for action. Your life is your creation, a combination of choices you’ve made – be it action or reaction based choices, external or internal.

So perhaps instead of the bronzed photo-shopped model goddess women you might put on your vision board, intention mandala or list of resolutions, you replace it with an image that conveys love and acceptance of yourself. Take daily action to ensure you are treating yourself as the guest of honour in your own life, feeding yourself delicious nutritious food, giving yourself permission to breathe, extending TLC to yourself as much as you do for others. Perhaps then when you look in the mirror you might just learn to love the reflection and start to see the unique perfection that is you.

Write your resolutions and intentions for next year but really think about the actions, values, commitments that you are accountable for in order to bring them to life. Your resolutions will only be sustainable if they come from the heart… and don’t forget to leave the lid off, the universe might just have a few surprises for you.