My Year of Bliss: How I Fulfilled My Dreams Without Setting Goals

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 31 December 2014
  • 3 minute read
My Year of Bliss: How I Fulfilled My Dreams Without Setting Goals

How do you want your new year to feel?

Last year, inspired by this classic post from Danielle LaPorte on sensuous goal refinement, I decided to ditch the traditional New Year’s Resolutions and choose a ‘theme’ for 2014 instead: Bliss. 

After years of pressing on to reach personal milestones like getting a Psychology degree, setting up this website and improving my health one step at a time, I wanted more space to enjoy everyday simple pleasures: having lunch outside on a gorgeous day, browsing bookshops, taking up yoga, catching up with friends. No more delaying fun plans to achieve grand goals in the future – 2014 would be about celebrating love and life in its purest form.

And that’s just what happened.

More than anything, this past year had a sense of ease to it. Not that life was easy (far from it at times), but it felt like less of a struggle. I couldn’t give in to my normal tendency to push beyond my limits and rest up afterwards, because I had a little munchkin in my belly to care for. So I had to be extra kind to myself – more resting and pacing, saying no more often, trying to keep up my standards of healthy living without tiring myself.

Much to my surprise, being pregnant turned out to make me feel much better than I normally do. You can’t imagine how wonderful it was after all these years to have little pain and more energy. Compared to my usual health state, the nausea and heartburn felt like a walk in the park.

And the biggest bliss of all was of course the birth of my daughter. It still amazes me that my ‘rickety’ body grew, fed and gave birth to that beautiful, cheerful and fierce baby girl! I couldn’t be a prouder mom.

Was it all blissful and rosy? Of course not. But throughout the sleepless nights and the overwhelm of being a new parent, there was always that awareness of how blessed I am. In our quest for that rush of happiness, adventure or achievement it’s easy to pass up on the experience of quiet contentment with what you already have. Seeing the world through my baby’s eyes made me notice and appreciate the small wonders in our lives even more than I did before.

What I loved about having a theme as your guide instead of clearly defined goals is that it works perfectly for those periods of transition when you have no way of knowing what your day-to-day life will be like afterwards, such as moving across country, starting a family or during a (health) crisis. It provides you with a direction but leaves you with enough flexibility to adjust your plans when your circumstances change.

So what do you want the next 365 days to feel like? Will you focus on self care, growth or acceptance ? Or do you want more joy, energy or love in your life?

Which word will be your theme for 2015? 

I wish you all a magical new year, filled with love, laughter and of course lots of healthy moments!

If you want to the latest tips on a healthy lifestyle and coping with chronic illness send straight to your mailbox, sign up below for free weekly updates:

Related articles in Coping with Chronic Illness

Using Essential Oils to Cope With Chronic Illness

Dating with Chronic Illness: How to Start a Relationship?

Dating with Chronic Illness: How to Start a Relationship? | The Health Sessions

8 Mind Games to Play When You’re in Need of Distraction

8 Mind Games to Play When You're in Need of Distraction | The Health Sessions