Looking Ahead – My Goals for 2014

I love, love setting goals.  I find if I just see my goals as “intentions” and “desires of my heart” and think of them often, actively desire them, etc…well…eventually one way or another, they will each manifest themselves quite effortlessly.  It’s crazy how that works, but it has worked for me time and time and time again throughout my whole life.  But it seems the desire has to be clear and open.  For example, if I wanted to find a specific job and I was very clear about it in my mind, I would start noticing job opportunities in that category that I would have otherwise passed up, or I would be more likely to have conversations with people and let them know. Sooner or later, that job would likely just come together without even trying too hard.  Some call it “synchronicity” – which is the idea that when you are in a good spiritual place with good energy, the things you desire will begin to unfold.  
[I think prayer also plays a part as this is a time to actively think about and define your intentions and goals and it’s usually an attempt to try and reconnect yourself spiritually.]

For example, I once said to myself – “It would be awesome to meet a boyfriend within the next 3 months.” ha! (Christmas was coming up.) Well, it happened much sooner.  But I think it’s because I was willing to mention to others that I would love to meet people (which led to connections), I was willing to go to parties and events that I otherwise would have passed on, and my heart was totally open to the possibilities. Much later after a lot of dating, I was getting even more specific about the desires of my heart.  I had just come to the conclusion that it would be great to maybe marry someone who had been married before, who felt the same way about life as I did.  Within 5 days, someone connected me for the first time with Danny.  ðŸ™‚

Here are a few of my goals or intentions for 2014 – –

-Stay in touch with friends and family.  This is always, always on my list and unfortunately I don’t do a great job of this.  I need to focus on it more!  I’ve been cutting out some other things that suck my time and I’m hoping this will lead to more time for loved ones.

-Focus on personal wellness while in Ecuador (because it’s so inexpensive!):  Yoga, thermal hot springs, acupuncture, massage, meditation.  I’d love to connect with some healers there.  I know very, very gifted people in New York that I go to for an extra bit of healing, if I need it, and I’d love to find a few in Ecuador, too.  (For NY: Angela Le is one of the most amazing women & spiritual healers I’ve ever met – her influence changed my life many years ago; Maria Petrova is an amazing healer with the most beautiful light – I can’t recommend her enough; Sarah Chase has a lovely and healing presence for massage or acupuncture at a more affordable price in Brooklyn; the yoga practice I love in Brooklyn is the Brooklyn Yoga School; and I love my holistic / homeopathic / primary care physician in Park Slope, Dr. Larisa Litvinova, M.D.)

-Learn to live with less conveniences & luxuries. As a New Yorker and as an American, we are so darn spoiled.  Ecuador will have it’s own set of benefits that the U.S. can’t offer, but our experience there will not include a lot of American luxuries like Amazon deliveries, 10 types of ethnic foods within two minutes from our home, a huge Whole Foods, Uniqlo, Costco, etc.  I look forward to trying to live with less consumerism.  In fact, we just had a sale over the weekend and sold just about everything we possibly could (aside from big furniture pieces that we are leaving for our renters.)  It feels so good to clear it all out.

But speaking of “stuff” – this phase of our lives in Ecuador will include a bit of hand made “stuff” which will hopefully be more meaningful.  For example, I’d like to…

-Get some leather goods and wooden furniture made.  The craftspeople there are amazing and the wood varieties and leather quality are unbelievable.  It would be fun to explore the potential since we will need chairs to sit on and a table to eat on once we get there (and good leather bags just last forever opposed to the crap that is sold in most places.)  If any designers want to get in on designing or suggesting something to be made in leather or wood, let me know… I’d be thrilled!!  There could be some fun possibilities there.

-Read, read, read.  I’ve removed Facebook and other social media from my phone.  So now, if I’m waiting in line or reaching for my phone out of habit, I go to Kindle instead.  Hopefully I can read through some books as there are just tons and tons I’d love to read.  I am sure my brain could use it, too.

-Learn a craft in Ecuador…from some of the best artisans in the world.  Maybe basket making?  Weaving?  Knitting?  Pottery?

-Learn about Latin Music – we met a “musicologist” professor today.  Fascinating stuff!  He explained how culture IS music.  If you want to truly experience a culture and experience someone’s life, you have to explore their music.

-Think more about my future…Should I go to graduate school?  Start a new career?  I have no idea yet.  This will be a year of exploring and pondering a lot about my life.

-Go to bed at an earlier hour.  I have always been such a night owl, though I’m always wishing I weren’t as I prefer to be up when the sun is up.  The sun sets in Ecuador at 6 pm and rises at 6 am every day of the year (give or take 15 mins).  I’m hoping this will help.

-Grow some vegetables and herbs.  We grew herbs this last year on our balcony and it was DELIGHTFUL.  I can’t wait to do this again.  Besides, having fresh herbs makes us want to cook more. 

-Travel in South America!  Machu Piccu, Patagonia, Galapagos, Brazil, the Amazon jungle, the Coast, and maybe even Bolivia (I’ve heard the salt flats are spectacular.)

-Offer our on-line classes again.  Yes!  We’d so love to do this.

-Have my mercury fillings (boo!) replaced by a holistic dentist in Ecuador.  The dental work there is supposed to be as good of quality as the states, but very, very cheap.  I’ve read too much about how harmful mercury is that it’s time to get this taken care of.  I also tried oil pulling this last year (and I was delighted that Design Mom linked to it) but I started getting a strong metal taste in my mouth and I got very worried about the mercury.  So, I held off.  BUT, oil pulling DEFINITELY whitened my teeth! That part was awesome.  (And if any of you have any knowledge or experience with oil pulling or dental mercury, I would love to hear!)

And how about you?  Any goals or intentions that you’d like to share?  I always love reading about people’s goals.  I never skip those kinds of posts if a blogger writes about it.  

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  1. Anonymous January 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    If you don't mind writing a post on the subject, I'd love to learn more about the sale you had, how you parted with stuff, what you sold, what it felt like, etc. I really love the idea of being more of a minimalist, but then I struggle with all the ways we attach ourselves too much to our heaps of STUFF. You in particular seem to have very nice, well-cultivated things, so I'm curious to learn how you let go of them and what you let go of versus kept. Thank you!

    • ayelen January 6, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      I would also love a post like this, since we will be trying to clear out alot of our stuff as we prepare for our move this year.

    • ladygenj January 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      I third this! My husband and I are 2.5 months from a huge international move (from NYC as well) and I'd love to hear your take on it, too!

  2. ayelen January 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    so many of these resonate with me as my husband and I will be moving from NYC to Bolivia this year.
    btw- the salt flats are a spectacularly surreal place to visit! be sure to reach out if you pass through Bolivia. we should hopefully be there by August.

  3. eden January 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    i will definitely have to try oil pulling. i love coconut oil!

    and here are my goals for the year… http://yay4fun.blogspot.com/2014/01/another-new-year.html – still under construction… (:

  4. Emily January 7, 2014 at 1:05 am - Reply

    please do offer your classes again–I'd love to take one!

  5. Kristelle Larsen January 7, 2014 at 1:05 am - Reply

    I love reading your goals. I am so excited for your relocation. thank you for being willing to share so much. My husband sometimes forgets that I have never met you personally because I mention you/your blog so often.

  6. Cindy January 7, 2014 at 1:30 am - Reply

    I've been reading tons about health stuff in the last 6 months. One of the things I read that surprised me was that people who have mercury fillings don't necessarily have systemic mercury. So I might get your levels checked to see if it merits replacing your fillings with something that aren't going to be as durable. (Although I should say that at 47 I have had to have most of mine replaced because they'd finally lost their integrity because of their age.)

    • mara January 7, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

      Interesting..thank you! I think it will be worth it to get the levels checked.

  7. twinklytina January 7, 2014 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Hi! I'm just wanting to say, that I ADORE you & your darling blog 🙂 You are one of my inspirations and thank you so much for sharing your life's adventures with us!

    • mara January 7, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

      Wow, this was so sweet. Thank you 🙂 🙂

  8. Janssen January 7, 2014 at 2:16 am - Reply

    I love reading goal posts too! (Here's my post about my goals this year: http://www.everyday-reading.com/2014/01/2014-goals.html).

    And I can't wait to see your adventures this year! And meet you guys at ALT 🙂

  9. Laura January 7, 2014 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Hi Mara, I hope this isn't too forward– but I was wondering how you reconcile using holistic "healers" with your faith. Does the Mormon church encourage things like this? What exactly does "healing" entail? Is it just acupuncture or is it affirmations or incense or something even more? I guess I'm just curious.

    Also, I know you don't trust a lot of chemicals that are in soaps, shampoos, cleaning products, etc. Yet you willingly went through IVF (which is totally in conflict with the human body's natural state). How do you reconcile that? Are you hoping to cleanse your body of the harmful effects it caused physically?

    I apologize if my questions are insensitive. Feel free not to answer if it makes you uncomfortable. Really enjoy reading your blog. Your views on life are very thought-provoking for me.

    • mara January 7, 2014 at 3:34 am - Reply

      Hi Laura – Thanks for such thought provoking questions – I love a good discussion! So – I don't have to reconcile holistic healing with my faith as I don't think Mormons have a monopoly or anything on healing. 🙂 Some of the most gifted spiritual healers I have met are not Mormon and are also women. I think anyone can have or cultivate the gift of healing. (an interesting note: in the Mormon church – it's mainly the men who offer blessings of healing using their Priesthood. Both my physical body or the state of my soul have absolutely been healed by some of those blessings. I have truly experienced miracles because of them. I am sure others would disagree, but I firmly believe that you don't need to have the Priesthood in order to heal someone…I think it's based more on a person's ability to connect with the divine and to share that strength and light with another so that they can be lifted to connect to the divine as well.) I also don't see my faith as just "Mormon"…there is just SOOO much truth, light, and goodness in the world and I love to just seek it out and learn from it and experience it no matter where it comes from. The Mormon faith DOES offer a lot of truth and light – I've had so, so, SO many amazing experiences because of the community, the service, the dedication, the sharing of lives, etc. – but also, many (even some of the most pivotal) spiritual experiences have happened outside of "Mormon" territory.

      As for the chemicals in IVF – – yuck, yuck, yuck. It was really hard on me to do that…I wrote a bit about it awhile back as it really felt abusive to my body. That is not a good feeling, let me tell you. But, somehow I decided to do it…I guess it just felt like the right thing to do at the time as I had already had tests, surgeries, appointments and blah blah blah for years…so the IVF was like "finishing" the years of that investment (both financial and otherwise) in the medical investigation. The first IVF was easier…but the second one was not (largely because I really, really didn't feel good about doing so much to my body.) I learned my lesson and will never, ever do something like that again.

      And yes, I do hope to cleanse my body. I feel mainly normal…but my periods have not exactly been the same since and so I am certain that I am still being affected by the drugs somehow. 🙁 Hopefully that can improve. I am sure with good care of my body, things can get back to normal.

  10. Anonymous January 7, 2014 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Mara, I'm not going to try to convince you what to do with your amalgam fillings but curious as to what you are going to replace them with… Gold? Or are you going to use BPA-releasing white composite fillings?

    • mara January 7, 2014 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Oh goodness, does white composite release BPA? I obviously need to check into this further. I guess I assumed they would be replaced with porcelain, but not sure if that's the safest material. I have a lot of research to do! Any advice welcome!!

  11. gbjedi January 7, 2014 at 6:42 am - Reply

    I love your idea of treating resolutions as aspirations! The received wisdom is that you should set specific, measurable goals, but these have always seemed so dry and uninteresting to me. The trick is to somehow connect your resolutions to everyday life, and by framing them as aspirations that haunt your thoughts and live in the prayers you carry in your heart, you achieve this.
    Thanks you!

  12. A.Co January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Great goals and I was surprised to hear you removed social media from your phone (gasp! the horror! 😉 but now go to the kindle app instead–so smart! I feel I need to read more as well.

    Here are my resolutions / goals for 2014: http://acoest1984.blogspot.ca/2014/01/my-new-years-resolutions.html

  13. Frankie January 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of setting goals, I think it is really useful. I think what you are saying it is something like the law of attraction principle, but I wonder did it really worked like that in finding a partner?? you set the goal to meet a person and you will?? of course putting yourself out there and try to have a open heart…I guess it never really work that easily for me, I don't know what I am doing wrong.

    The idea to remove social medias…great. we spent so much not useful time on those things!

    Thank you for the post anyway!

  14. Alexis January 7, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I can relate a lot to your journey, having gone through 10 years of infertility, failed treatments and what not. I can certainly thank you for the growth I have experienced in the past two years, I know it is because of your wisdom that I am finally on the path of acceptance. I finally turned the corner late last year, I just wanted to go forward in my life without something pulling me down, which is what it started to feel like after so many years of trying to have a baby and the disappointments. In many ways it was freeing! This year, I want to not only surrender and accept, I want to embrace! I want to just enjoy and live the hell out of my life.
    Your one resolution to think more about the future – well that caused me to get a lump in my throat because I thought to myself, your future is open for you too.
    Thank you!

    • Anonymous January 8, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Dear Alexis, I have found a book called "Rocking The Life Unexpected" I don t have the author right here. I have just started reading it and am finding it so hope filling. I too have had infertility issues, IVF, miscarriages and am at the point of trying to come to acceptance.(and move through the anger) This book and the online community are all about "Plan B". I might see you along the road as we really live the he'll out of life!! Thanks for writing, I am so thankful to not be alone. Debs

    • Anonymous January 8, 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

      P.s Mara I have a feeling you would like this book and the author too, just looked her up "Jody Day", the community is called "Gateway Women"

  15. Palaeontologist Mum with Babies January 8, 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Hi I just found your blog.
    What a big move from NY to Ecuador. We did a similar move, Sydney to Patagonia with my family (small kids under 5 and my Australian partner). I am working there but he is not so we have also changed our lifestyle a lot, making our own things, missing all the great multicultar food you get in Sydney and the beaches. Good luck and let me know if you get to go to Patagonia (by the way my brother is in Bolivia now and he travelled from Argentina by train to Bolivia and loved it).
    good luck mucha suerte

  16. Maddy January 9, 2014 at 4:35 am - Reply

    Even Instagram off your phone? I've been thinking of doing that. It's my last social media on my phone. I too have been kindleing more. Which I love, but if I removed insta I might never use it. Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing! Your spontaneity is making my heart beat fast! I'd love to get up and go!

  17. Michaelann Gardner January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    re: replacing Facebook with Kindle…
    I don't know how you are, but unless it's a really engaging novel, a book is more effort than my brain wants in those short moments where I'm typically accessing FB on my phone.
    HOWEVER, there's this coooool app my friend recommended called DuoLingo–it's a free way to learn a language and I'm loving it. It's KIND of like a game with incentives and levels and stuff. you can do lessons in abt 10 minutes. I think it's at least as good as Rosetta Stone (plus it's free). It's the perfect way to redirect my spazzy attention that I usually use on Facebook. And I know you want to learn Spanish anyway! Worth checking out.

  18. Ashley Jane Reina January 10, 2014 at 3:31 am - Reply

    I have inconsistently followed your blog and am always inspired. I am soo thrilled for you both and excited for your move to Ecuador…and jealous. Sometimes it seems like we live eachothers dreams as life happens in ways that are unexpected. I am a new mother of two, struggling to find my identity and my sanity with a newborn. I am grateful for my blessing of having children, but as a result I had to set aside my dreams to travel with my husband. So maybe we are living each others dreams. I am learning how to enjoy my blessings…maybe it is that the grass always seems greener on the other side.
    Love love love your travels and your time together! What an incredible blessing!!! One day I hope to enjoy time alone with my husband in a foreign country. Goodluck with your amazing goals and new direction.

  19. Aubrey January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I'm not a designer, also not an artist or good sketcher, but would still love to send some idea and options of things to be made…?

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