158956-main_FullDuring this first week of the New Year, most of us find ourselves projecting our dreams into the future–what do we want to do this year? Where are we going?

You may ask yourself questions about your writing life–when will I have time? What was I writing about anyway?

I read somewhere this week about making lists instead of making resolutions–we all know what happens to too many of our resolutions.

List makers can get in trouble too–they look at all the things they have not done and freak out.

So here is a new way to make some lists:

  1. Make a list of all your blessings–a gratitude list. Positive psychology books and theories are telling us this is as important, if not more so, than investigating our failures and problems. Try it for a month. Journal about your experiences.
  2. Make a list of the 10 most significant turning points in your life–or five if you don’t want to think about it too long. These are the moments when your life changed, when you were visited with a huge new insight.
  3. List the 5 or 10 most important people in your life when you were 15. 30; now. Write down their names and visualize them in your mind. Write a word or two about what they gave you and how their influence shows up in your life now.
  4. Use these lists to fire up your writing this month. Contemplate the list, the topic, and see what gets your mind moving, what images come up. What excites you, makes you feel something? We need to write where the heat is.

Good luck with this new version of list making. I think you will find it fun.